February 2023 Wetland areas in Fairhope

Wetlands areas in Fairhope

As mentioned in the newsletter article – this is a short comment on wetlands and the Fairhope ordinance that defines what is a wetland, what can and what cannot be done with wetlands in the City of Fairhope.

The defining document for wetlands is ORDINANCE No. 1370 with a rather lengthy title:

In talking with the city this issue is taken seriously and it behooves the landowner to be aware of the impact on your property. Fairhope does have maps that define the city wetlands. Furthermore, there are also state and federal maps that define wetlands for our area, such as the National Wetlands Inventory maps and maps from the Army Corp of Engineers. Ordinance 1370, Section 7: Exemptions does define what you can do and cannot with your wetlands and this has relevance with  our topic from last month on Invasive You will find that you do not need permits for some activities in a wetlands area. The permitting process to change a wetlands area is rather extensive. However, there are several Environmental Engineers in our area that one can work with to guide one through this process.

You can, without a permit, make some changes to your wetlands, such as removing invasive species which were discussed last month. However, to be on the safe side contact the Fairhope Planning/Building Inspection and Permitting Department (Main Phone: 251-928-2136) and have a wetlands inspector look at what you are wanting to do. Personally, in my wetlands area, I just let it grow as it does add valuable wildlife habitat near my house. I have seen turtles as large as a dinner plate, hawks in the trees, heard owls, seen deer and foxes, and of course a variety of the slithering denizens of the wetlands.

BTW – stay tuned for our March newsletter as we will be discussing using native flowers in our yards. It is getting really close to start considering what do I want to plant in my landscaping this year.