Magnolia Springs finishes street vacation

By CATHY HIGGINS Onlooker Editor onlooker@gulfcoastnewspapers.com
Posted 10/25/13

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. — The town of Magnolia Springs’ first property vacation is complete.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Council voted to accept the offered vacation fee of $15,000 from each co-applicant household, which consisted …

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Magnolia Springs finishes street vacation

Posted

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. — The town of Magnolia Springs’ first property vacation is complete.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Council voted to accept the offered vacation fee of $15,000 from each co-applicant household, which consisted of James and Ann West, and Tim and Sandra Russell.

As previously reported, the council voted in May to grant the request of the Wests and Russells that the town vacate a 20-by-40 foot portion of the street, contingent upon a fee for the transaction. However, in August, James West opposed the $56,000 appraisal the town received for the land. Then in September, it considered consulting the Alabama Attorney General’s opinion of how to define the value of the land being vacated. Meanwhile, the applicants proposed paying a fee of $15,000 each.

The fee of the transaction wasn’t the only issue with the town’s first street vacation. The issue began when the Wests placed a gate on the land when it was still under Baldwin County street maintenance jurisdiction. When the town of Magnolia Springs incorporated in 2006, the municipality declared the gate a public nuisance and asked for its removal. The gate remains today and was the impetus for the Wests and Russells to ask the town to vacate the portion of road on which it is situated.

That land is near an outlet to Magnolia Bay. In the past few months, Mayor Ken Underwood opposed the vacation on the platform that it would eliminate a public access to the water. However, despite is past lone dissenting vote, on Tuesday he voted with the council to accept the fee the applicants offered.

According to Town Clerk Karen Biel, the transaction is almost complete.

“Each applicant has paid their fee,” she told the Council Tuesday. “It has to be publicized within 14 days and recorded in probate.”