County prepares for changes in jurisdiction
By Guy Busby
FORT SPANISH – Officials from Spanish Fort and other towns are working with Baldwin County to complete plans to change planning jurisdictions following passage of state law limiting municipal authority outside the boundaries of the company.
Under the law, which was sponsored by Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Spanish Fort, a city can exercise planning jurisdiction up to three miles outside of corporate boundaries. On January 1, 2023, that jurisdiction will be reduced to a maximum of 1.5 thousand, according to David Conner, lawyer for the city of Spanish Fort.
Fort Spain’s city council will vote in August on a plan to define its municipal extraterritorial jurisdiction under the new law. Mayor Mike McMillan said the city is working on a map but will have to wait for the county commission to approve its plan.
“This is still a very moving agenda item for the county commission as well, so we will keep it on our agenda until the next meeting in August,” McMillan said.
The next meeting of the Spanish Fort City Council is scheduled for August 2. The next Baldwin County committee meeting will be on August 3.
Hope Hicks, an attorney working on changes for Baldwin County, said the map of Spanish Fort is nearing completion and other cities are also considering changing the boundaries of their jurisdiction.
“I’ve had contact with five or six of the municipalities,” Hicks told commissioners on July 19. “Orange Beach has already given me the dates on which their city council and town planning commission will vote on the proposed deal we sent out. They actually asked to have less than the law would allow them to have. They really want to bring their planning to the limits of the business. “
She said she had also spoken to attorneys representing Fairhope and Magnolia Springs to determine the details of the jurisdiction maps.
“We have prepared maps,” she said. “It’s a bit confusing. The cards are the most complicated part in this area. Even maps that only show the 1-½ mile, the annexations can vary that and how the annexations were made, when they were made. I don’t know if anyone has a full map that would show all of this.
In previous meetings, officials have said the deadline to complete the card is July 26. Hicks said, however, that as long as work began to change jurisdictions, efforts could continue past the deadline.
The proposed plan for the Spanish fort discussed in previous working sessions calls on the city to extend its planning competence up to 1.5 thousand in areas that may be annexed in the future, but not in another location. outside municipal boundaries. City officials have said they do not want to extend Spanish Fort’s jurisdiction to other towns or unincorporated communities, such as Stapleton northeast of Spanish Fort.
According to the proposal discussed in the working session, the planning jurisdiction of the Spanish Fort would not extend east of Alabama 59. The city would also limit its planning jurisdiction north of Bromley Road to areas already located. within company limits.