Orange Beach, developer settle on Turquoise Place public benefits
Ryan Dezember, Press-RegisterOrange Beach officials and the developer of the Turquoise Place condominiums have agreed to a public benefits package that will net taxpayers nearly 6.5 acres on Cotton Bayou as well as a public beach access and $400,000.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- With the second Turquoise Place condo tower nearing completion, its developer and city officials have reached an agreement on the package of property and cash that will be given to the public in exchange for the zoning that accommodated the 300-foot-plus structures.
Under the agreement, developer Larry Wireman will give the city nearly 6½ acres on Cotton Bayou's southern shore, a 90-foot-wide public beach access on the west side of the towers, and $400,000 for capital improvements.
The council won't likely vote to approve the deal for two weeks after tabling the matter at its Tuesday meeting. The developer and his lawyer asked that it be delayed while minor issues regarding legal descriptions of the property and easements are worked out, said Vince Lucido, an engineer who is working for Wireman.
Before 2006, when state legislators approved a system for collecting impact fees from developers in Baldwin County, Orange Beach officials extracted "public benefits" from developers in exchange for flexible zoning that would accommodate projects that otherwise wouldn't fit local land-use laws.
Originally Wireman had planned four towers and promised up to 16 acres on Cotton Bayou, the beach access and money to build park improvements like bike racks, barbecue grills and bathrooms as well as a small fire station across Ala. 182 from Turquoise Place. In a slumping market, however, Wireman scrapped his plans for the second pair of towers, prompting renegotiation of his public offerings.