Fairhope is facing many major issues at one time and the CATALYST council is asleep at the wheel. Coronavirus and the Arts and Craft Festival, HB 203, and Fly Creek Apartments.

The Mayor has been very vocal and the CATALYST Council has been as quite as a mouse.

Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama Coronavirus and The Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival

As you know, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has received a great deal of attention and discussion within the press and social media. I am happy to report as of yesterday, no COVID-19 cases have been identified in Alabama.

I have been in close communication with Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris with Alabama Department of Public Health and County Emergency Management Agencies. At this time, we are advised to be in a heighten state of awareness concerning the possible outbreak and spread.

Governor Kay Ivey created a task force chaired by Dr. Scott Harris to oversee preparation and response for the illness.

In eight days, the largest annual event in the City is scheduled to begin. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is near and dear to all of us and it’s one of those events that make Fairhope special. This past weekend I did grant an interview with the local press where I raised a possible scenario that this event may need to be cancelled or rescheduled to mitigate potential exposure.

This scenario is the last thing I’d want for our City. However, as the City’s Chief Executive, I take the health, welfare and safety of every Citizen and Visitor to this City very seriously. If the status of the virus changes within our state and the State Health Officer issued recommendations that such large events are not held, that will become my position as well. We will be discussing this today during Council Work Session starting at 4:30 and I’ll keep you posted.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all are suffering with this virus. Together, we will successfully navigate these trying times.

You have to ask yourself how Baldwin County’s Legislature Delegation comes up with the legislation that they propose for their constituents without talking to constituents. Case in point is HB 203, what a cluster F—–.

This could be a major problem for everyone, in the city and those who live outside corporate limits.

The Mayor’s comments about the boundaries being more defined is common sense. The boundaries outlined make no sense, contact the listed officials and ask them to table the issue until

citizens can contribute to the conservation.

Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama


Next, it would be added to a ballot for the whole County or the State to vote on and pass.

While I do not oppose the concept of Landmark Districts, I do have serious concerns with the language in the proposed HB203 bill that just passed the House last week.

If passes the Senate, it would allow a 44 square mile area in red known as the “Barnwell Landmark District” to one day attempt to annex your property into its newly formed municipality without your consent.

Alabama HB203 | 2020 | Regular Session

Alabama HB203 | 2020 | Regular Session

Bill Text (2020-03-05) Baldwin Co., Barnwell Landmark District, annexation of property in district prohibited by local law, exception, const. amend. [Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Local Legislation]

Source: legiscan.com/AL/text/HB203/2020

Since the bill only provides a legal description of the proposed boundary, most would assume it encompass the area known as Barnwell, however, they would be wrong.

This bill allows for an over-inclusive arbitrary boundary to be formed without the use of a legal entity under the laws of Alabama and does not define its powers or authorities specified by any statutory or constitutional provision.

My second concern is the Bill seeks to limit legislative annexation while providing this right for newly formed municipalities created within the district as if this is Fairhope’s intent.

The only time Fairhope has ever legislatively annexed non-contiguous property into the City was for the Walmart property, our own properties or when an area has requested it (ex. St. Michaels Catholic School).

It seems to me, its being sold under the misconception that this district would somehow protect property owners from being annexed without a vote as if this has happened and would happen.

Citizens have always had a vote.

What folks need to understand, however, is a newly formed municipality within this district WOULD BE ABLE TO ANNEX your property without your consent based on the language in this Bill.

Please contact State Senate representatives who will be voting on this Bill next, to voice your concern:

The Fly Creek Apartments behind Publix are far behind schedule and the developers want to open a building at a time.

Traffic is a real problem, NOW.

The citizens of Fairhope are just finding out that the so called “traffic study”, was conducted in 2016.

Fairhope citizens need to remember at election time that the CATALYST council, who sided with the developer, is 100% responsible for the apartments and the traffic congestion, the Mayor opposed the project and warned of the long range consequences.

Fairhope Times

February 13 at 6:17 AM ·

The first units of the controversial 240-unit ‘Retreat at Fairhope Village’ apartment complex (behind Publix grocery on Hwy 98) are scheduled to become available next month.

According to its website theretreatatfairhopevillage.com, rent ranges from $1060/month for one bedroom to $2085 for three.

The project survived several lawsuits by neighborhood residents in a futile attempt to stop it … and was a major factor in the 2016 municipal election. (http://thefairhopetimes.blogspot.com/…/judge-reverses-fly-c…)

Additional traffic congestion along U.S. 98 especially at the Parker Road intersection is the main concern now, according to our polling.

A 77 unit town home project, called The Highlands, is under construction adjacent to the apartments as well.

The CATALYST council should require a new traffic study for Parker Road.

Any traffic mitigation for the road should be completed prior to granting a Certificate of Occupancy.

Please remember these apartments are suppose to be “affordable Housing”.

What a joke.

Parker Road and Hwy. 98 are already congested, get ready folks for 1200 more cars a day exiting Parker Road.