Tucked away in the city of Daphne’s main commercial corridor, between the Hooters restaurant and a long vacant piece of property marketed for sale by White-Spunner, is a narrow drive that leads past a small storage facility, to an old wooden fence. On the other side may be the city’s newest public land, although it’s still under private lease for a year.
On Monday, the Daphne City Council voted unanimously to purchase 6275 Shiner Ave. — a residential property on D’Olive Bay — for $425,000 from the current owners, Paul and Deborah East. In a lease also approved Monday night, the current occupants may continue to live there for up to 12 months, paying the city $750 per month for rent. The final purchase is contingent on an environmental review, but it’s expected to be approved.
Daphne Mayor Robin Leguene said there are no immediate plans to use the property, but it is adjacent to a lot the city already owns, and “we are always wanting to preserve as much bayfront property as we can.” The property is about 350 feet deep and about 100 feet wide at the water.
“Our long term goal has always been to have a boardwalk from Bayfront Park all the way to Alligator Alley, but we don’t know if that is realistic,” Lejeune said. There is a distance of about 1.5 miles between the two, along with several private properties. “There is always the possibility for a park, but there is no desire to build anything on that property, rather just have it as an area where people can enjoy the bay.”
Lejeune also noted that Alabama’s Forever Wild Land trust is eyeing property on the north side of D’Olive Bay and the city recently dredged the boat launch at the renovated Lake Forest Marina, which is scheduled to open to the public July 4.
“There is a lot happening down there so when this opportunity came up we jumped on it,” Lejeune said. “It was fairly approached and I walked around the property before we purchased and I was amazed, it’s a beautiful piece of property.”
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