Beginning this spring, visitors to the state-owned areas of Orange Beach will be required to pay for parking, under a new plan being rolled out by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. According to a news release on Gulf State Park letterhead today, parking kiosks are being installed at four beach access points: Romar Beach, Cotton Bayou, Alabama Point, and Shell Lot. The latter two are on the east side of the Perdido Pass bridge.
In a post on Facebook yesterday, the city of Orange Beach preempted the state’s announcement and disclosed that paid parking has been under consideration for “many years.” According to both parties, the details are still being defined, but information should be finalized by March 1.
Meanwhile, the city of Orange Beach noted it currently has no city-owned beach access with parking, but recently approved the purchase of 400-feet of beach, where visitors will have 800-feet of total access, just west of the intersection of Hwy. 161, in a public-private partnership. When the property is eventually developed with a restaurant and parking lot, Mayor Tony Kennon suggested parking there would also include a fee, but it may be waived for locals or restaurant patrons.
In the Facebook announcement yesterday, the city noted the state is taking the lead on parking decisions elsewhere.
“The city and state will be working out details in the coming weeks. Please watch for further details in future communications from the city or state as details evolve. This project has nothing to do with the city of Gulf Shores, where they own most of their beach accesses as a city.”
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