Gulf Shores eyes beach regulation changes

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 3/14/19

The City of Gulf Shores is looking to make changes to its beachfront regulations.

At the last City Council work session meeting, Grant Brown, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director, presented …

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Gulf Shores eyes beach regulation changes

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The City of Gulf Shores is looking to make changes to its beachfront regulations.

At the last City Council work session meeting, Grant Brown, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director, presented the proposed changes to be made and credited them to a land acquisition.

“With the new acquisition of this 100 feet of property, we need to go back into our ordinances,” Brown said. “The current ordinance calls out Gulf Place, but did not include that additional 100 feet.”

With the January 2019 acquisition of additional beach front property together with the completion of the city’s final Phase of the Gulf Place Revitalization Project slated for completion in late April 2019, it is necessary to amend current definitions and regulations pertaining to Gulf Place as well as other beachfront property within the city corporate limits to ensure the safety and enjoyment of its citizens and visitors.

In June of 2018 the Gulf Shores City Council adopted Ordinance 1897, defining areas and

regulating certain activities. Since that time, the additional property must be defined as part of the Gulf Place City Beachfront, and through time and observation, the city recommended additional clarification and modification to existing regulations, which include:

- Establish a beach project tent line - A line on the public beach project area as located and marked by the city as the seaward boundary for the erection of tents and other regulated activities. Appropriate markers designating the location of such line shall be erected and signs posted. This line will replace the Lucio & Oliver Line as the boundary for placing tents or shelters.

- Breakable containers prohibited on public beach project area – Expansion of the current regulation prohibiting glass and other breakable containers on the public beaches to now make it unlawful to possess or use glass or other breakable containers on the public beach project area which is defined as the sand beach south of the Coastal Control Line (CCL).

- Gulf Place City Beachfront – Amend the definition to include the newly acquired beachfront property into Gulf Place City Beachfront.

- Dogs at Gulf Place City Beachfront – Amend the section regulating dogs to only allow a dog into or in the non-sand areas of the Gulf Place City Beachfront when (a) the dog is carried by its custodian or controlled on a suitable leash or harness with leash attached, (b) does not create a nuisance condition by barking or otherwise making a loud or raucous noise or biting, frightening, threatening, or intimidating any person, and (c) the dog’s custodian fully complies with the feces removal requirements of Section 5-37 of the Code of Ordinances.

- Tents or shelters at Gulf Place City Beachfront – Create designated tent area(s) within the Gulf Place City Beachfront, marked with appropriate signage by the city.

- Motorized vehicles or conveyances – Clarify that “other power-driven mobility devices” as defined for purposes of the Americans With Disabilities Act are allowed.

- Tobacco and E-Cigarettes – Amend the inclusion of ALL public beaches and associated parking lots and Gulf Place City Beachfront regulating the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Beach Safety Officer Melvin Shepard said the goal of the tent-specific regulations is to have areas where families can have a tent to allow small children and elderly people to get out of the sun.

“People come to the beach; they pay to park there,” Shepard said. “They want to be on the sand. They want their kids to be in the sand. We’re not asking to make Gulf Place a tent city. I don’t want to see that.”