New condo gets unanimous thumbs up

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 8/21/17

Orange Beach city officials pushed through a PUD rezoning for Perdido Beach Boulevard property.

The applicant, Brett Real Estate Robinson Development Company, asked the council to consider the …

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New condo gets unanimous thumbs up

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Orange Beach city officials pushed through a PUD rezoning for a Perdido Beach Boulevard property.

The applicant, Brett Real Estate Robinson Development Company, asked the council to consider the zoning change to take 4.8 acres of property from BR-2 (Beach Resort High Density) zoning to PUD to approve a condominium development with 120 units.

The tower will have a total height of 26 floors, including six levels of parking, swimming pools, meeting rooms, fitness facilities and 24 levels of residential space.

The new development would have a total square footage of 562,000 square feet, lower than the 906,000 square feet that would be allowed under the property’s current BR-2 zoning. The total density for the property would actually decrease from 42 units per acre under BR-2 to 25 units per acre under the PUD, a density decrease of 41 percent.

The developer also proposed adding an “attractive sidewalk, landscape and hardscape area along the right-of-way and Highway 182,” according to staff. The developer also proposed a landscaped pedestrian-oriented area along Highway 182 to compliment the pedestrian visual effects.

While the project will not provide public beach access, it will provide the city an easement for dune restoration and an accesses for emergency and beach services.

The project came to the council with a unanimous positive recommendation from the Orange Beach Planning Commission.

Mayor Tony Kennon said the amended zoning would drastically cut the amount of space being built on the property.

“They could build 900,000 square feet roughly by right, and with this they’re building about half of it,” Kennon said.

Kennon said he saw this as a way to help cut down on total density.

“If you see condos as evil, this is a lesser of evils,” Kennon said. “Nothing personal, guys.”

Councilman Jeff Boyd likened the new condo development to other kinds of economic development for the city.

“If someone said they wanted to build a manufacturing facility on the Foley Beach Express, we’d be willing to bend over backwards, donate property to them and help them however we can,” Boyd said. “Every time we get another condominium, it’s a manufacturing facility for the city of Orange Beach. It’s what helps us move forward. It’s what moves us from idle to going forward. It is our economic engine, and I’m grateful to see it.”

The council voted to suspend the rules to immediately consider the zoning change.