Thursday, May 7, 2015

Updated: Boat n' Breakfast Proposal Runs Aground

Fairhope, Alabama. (


Fairhope creek marina slip #1
Update: There will be a public hearing on this at Monday's council meeting.

After being conditionally approved by the city's Harbor Board, a request from Bryan Injaian of Accomodations Afloat  for a franchise to allow rented-sailboat excursions after an overnight stay ran into rough water when it reached the city council's last work session. (But the council took no formal action to approve/disapprove.)

Such 'short-term' rentals may not be permitted there, depending upon interpretation of current zoning laws and the exact nature of the business.

Several owners of commercial  boats renting slips nearby objected to the proposal, according to general superintendent Gilespie.

The applicant described the business as "just like a bed and breakfast, but on a boat"; he has been renting slip #1 living aboard himself, as do many other boat owners there.
applicant at left

The business would have to pay 4% lodging taxes and a 20% franchise fee to the city, if allowed.

The slip has been vacant for many years, since commercial fishing boats don't want it due to poor truck-accessibly from shore.

The Board suggested the marina at the pier may be more compatible, if this location does not work out.


Fairhope Harbor Board. April 2015
* A commercial boat owner complained there were trailers and storage containers blocking an area along the wooden fence designated for boat repair (slip renters only)

* Recommended the city council appoint Scott Douglas, Margaret Myers, and Skip Jones to vacancies on the Board. (The city council did this at its next meeting)

* A permit to remove sand from the docking area has been applied for; a crane could be used from the shore or floated on a barge. It costs about $75/hr to rent a crane. The yacht club had theirs done out into the for $60K recently, according to Committee Chairman Yeager.

north marina road
* A new lease is being negotiated for the use of the gravel road to the cul de sac on private property along the creek; owner Mike Francis wants $1,000/yr instead of the current $500. The original agreement with his father-in-law Charlie Gay (now deceased) was never "in writing." It involved providing some utility services as well, according to informed sources.

* The upcoming renewal of the Eastern Shore Marine's lease was discussed; councilman Burrell thought the clause allowing periodic increases based on the consumer price index should have been enacted already.

* Heard that former 'Yardarm' restaurant owner/operator Bob Pope and current Rick Gambino are collaborating to remove the remaining sunken boats from the pier marina; it was stipulated that had to be done before the lease could be transferred. At least one has been there since hurricane Katrina.

* Discussed dredging the pier marina as well -- which is currently too shallow to allow larger boats in: apparently, there is a waiting list for docking space there. Dredging costs are shared 50/50 with the restaurant/marina operator -- according to the lease contract.

Fairhope pier marina
The city has rented a barge and crane to do dredging in the past and sometimes deposited excess sand on beaches; but one long-time Board member described that marina as a financial "black hole" for the city -- because the area is so exposed to weather damage.

He said it was like "tying your boat up in the middle of the bay."


Anonymous said...

Speaking of the old Yardarm, what is the timeline for the new restaurant? Does anyone know? There's a lot of potential in that site.

Anonymous said...

The city marina needs to be turned in to a city park.