Orange Beach Planning Commission gives green light for new condo towers

Orange Beach Planning Commission gives green light for new condo towers (img:WPMI)

Another high-rise condominium complex may be on its way to the city of Orange Beach.

The city of Orange Beach continues to draw thousands to the Baldwin County coast. Residents and visitors who find themselves in the busy summer traffic are feeling the growing pains.

Infrastructure improvements and the widening of Canal Road are still top priorities for city leaders. However, some folks wonder if a new proposed condo project will make things worse before it gets better.

Tony Kennon, Mayor of Orange Beach, said the property was sold years ago and would get developed at some point.

However, Kennon said they're working with the developer to reduce the impact of this specific project.

"People get upset because they want to know why we keep building. Well, the reason these are being built is because the property was zoned for condos many years ago and they have a right to build," said Kennon.

Kennon said city leaders are working with developer Brett Robinson to reduce the impact of the Phoenix Gulf Towers condo project.

The Phoenix Gulf Towers project was proposed to the city's Planning Commission on Monday and it was overwhelmingly approved.

The 26-story towers would be built side by side on the Gulf side of Perdido Beach Boulevard, between the Sugar Beach condos and the Palm Beach resort.

Kennon said years ago, before Orange Beach began experiencing massive growth, the property was purchased and zoned for a high density beach resort.

"Way back when, there was actually a project approved there for over 400 units. So its been reduced but they still have the right because it is zoned condo and has been for many years," Kennon said.

A number of other condominiums in Orange Beach are also either nearly finished or in the initial stages of development.

Kennon says no residential properties will be rezoned to make way for more condos.

"What we try to do is moderate that building and create something we're both happy with. We do understand we're growing and we're growing at a very fast pace. So it's a difficult balance between growth and quality of life," said Kennon.

The proposal isn't a done deal and it's expected to go before the Orange Beach city council for a vote on August 7th.

Kennon says public input is encouraged.