Gulf Shores puts short-term rentals in multi-family zones on hiatus

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 9/3/18

Gulf Shores City Council walked on and approved a resolution at its last city council meeting temporarily halting the issuance of short-term rental licenses.

The resolution limits the licenses in …

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Gulf Shores puts short-term rentals in multi-family zones on hiatus

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Gulf Shores City Council walked on and approved a resolution at its last city council meeting temporarily halting the issuance of short-term rental licenses.

The resolution limits the licenses in the R-3 and R-4 districts within the corporate limits of the city.

Mayor Robert Craft read the resolution to the council and crowd at its introduction.

“”In order to enable the City Council of the City of Gulf Shores sufficient time to review, study, hold public hearings and prepare and adopt and amendment or amendments to the zoning ordinance of the City of Gulf Shores related to the allowability and definition of vacation rental dwelling units located in R-3 and R-4 districts in the City and to fulfill the City’s statutory obligation to provide for safety, preservation of health, promote prosperity and improve the order, comfort and convenience of its citizens a temporary suspension of the new issuance of new vacation rental licenses,” Craft read. “Vacation rental means any lease, sublease, rental or any licensing of use of a dwelling unit by an owner or lessee for fewer than 180 consecutive days.”

The suspension does not apply to the issuance of a renewal license to anyone holding a valid, current license.

Planning Director Andy Bauer said the zones in question are multi-family high- and low-density areas.

“A lot of R-3 and R-4 developments are located around city hall on the west side of town,” Bauer said. “Then, on the east side of town, (they’re) primarily in the location between Hwy. 180 and the Intracoastal Waterway. We do have a couple of outliers on the north side.”

When the city adopted the short-term rental regulations in 2009, it restricted the practice in single-family and duplex areas and created the single-family overlay district.

“One of the primary reasons for the adoption of that single-family and duplex overlay district was to recognize the short-term rentals that had always been occurring in our beach area,” Bauer said. “Just as important was to restrict short-term rentals from going into our owner-occupied residential areas where a lot of our residents live.”

Also adopted at the meeting were:

- The proposal from Volkert, Inc. for preparation of a habitat management plan in an amount not to exceed $191,350. The plan will be used to protect 836 acres of property acquired by the city for conservation as part of the Bon Secour/Oyster Bay Wetland acquisition project. The total cost for this work is $191,350 and will be 100 percent reimbursed through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant.

- Awarding the contract for Hwy. 182 pedestrian improvements from West Lagoon Ave to West 6th Street to McElhenney Construction in an amount not to exceed $435,000. On August 9, sealed bids were opened for the pedestrian improvements along SR 182 from West Lagoon Ave to West 6th Street project. McElhenney Construction was the low bidder for the project with a base bid amount of $409,963.05. This project will extend the Beach Boulevard sidewalks and bike lanes from West 6th Avenue to the West Lagoon Avenue intersection. A Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP) grant was awarded for this project which will fund 80 percent of the project cost, up to $500,000.