The Map for Mobile was drafted and adopted through a community-driven process which created a long-range, comprehensive plan expressing recommendations for preservation, revitalization and growth. Most importantly, it includes realizable action steps to ensure that recommendations become reality.

Continue to support the vision. An overhaul of the City’s zoning codes is underway, based on the guiding principles within the Map for Mobile, Framework for Growth, Public Workshops have been scheduled to share information about this regulatory update.

Frequent Asked Questions

1. What is the Map for Mobile Zoning Ordinance Update?

Map for Mobile is the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Zoning Ordinance Update (often referred to as Map for Mobile Phase 2) helps implement the Comprehensive Plan by bringing the City’s outdated land development regulations and zoning code up-to- date.

2. What are the City’s land development regulations? What is the zoning code?

The land development regulations are the rules that guide development. They include requirements for items such as how buildings are situated on a site and how new subdivisions are designed. The land development regulations include minimum setbacks, the height of buildings, the design of roads, or the amount of open space required on a lot or in a new community. The zoning code controls how land is used. There are many different types of zones like Commercial, Single-Family Residential and Multi-Family Residential.

3. What is the purpose of the Zoning Ordinance Update Open Houses?

The first round of Zoning Ordinance Update Open Houses is scheduled for November 14th through 17th. Another round will be scheduled early in 2017. The purpose of these interactive sessions is for members of the community to develop a deeper understanding of how Mobile grows and how the regulations guide that growth. As the City develops we want to make sure that Mobile remains the City its residents want it to be. Specifically, this process will set the groundwork for updates to the City’s Future Land Use Plan, zoning code, and subdivision regulations, supporting the vision provided within the Map for Mobile.

4. What are some of the changes that can be expected?

The Zoning Ordinance is in some ways at odds with the City’s current goals of Map for Mobile. Updates may incorporate form-based zoning principles, allowance for a greater mix of uses, new sign regulations, green building systems, and updated permitting processes for development projects. The effort seeks to better coordinate the development review process by removing inconsistencies and eliminating outdated policies.

5. How will this affect me?

Improving Mobile’s zoning ordinance helps keep the City competitive when it comes to attracting new investment and retaining businesses. Improvements help to solve problems that residents and business owners have discovered in the existing regulations and code. If you do not intend to significantly improve your property, the zoning ordinance revisions will not affect you. The updated zoning regulations come into effect when you want to make an improvement that would require a development application.

6. Who is involved in the Zoning Ordinance Update?

The update is being directed by City of Mobile staff including the Mayor’s Office, Engineering, Community and Housing Development, Parks & Recreation, Public Works, Planning and Development, Planning, and Urban Forestry. The adoption process involves City Council, and other boards and committees appointed by the Council.

7. How do I get involved?

Attend the workshops and attend any public meetings involving the Map for Mobile Zoning Update.

Answers to common questions

1. What is Map for Mobile?

Map for Mobile is the name we are giving to the first comprehensive planning process for the City of Mobile to be conducted in over 20 years. It is an intense ten-month process to develop a long-range plan that will build off of other recent planning for the city and the region. Map for Mobile will not only fulfill the state requirement for a comprehensive plan, but it will serve to identify core critical needs for Mobile, shaping the long-term vision of the community and serving as a guide for future physical development.

2. We already have several plans. Why do we need another one?

While there have been several plans produced in recent years, they are limited in their geographic scope. This updated plan will look at the entire City of Mobile and will incorporate the information that has been gathered through previous smaller-scale planning initiatives. Map for Mobile will serve as a guide for long term preservation, revitalization and growth so that the city can achieve the goals and aspirations of our citizens.

3. What happens now that the plan is complete?

Map for Mobile will be a realistic plan with a strong focus on implementation. It will include an action plan focused on both the short term and the long term. Once approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council, the plan will provide city leaders with the information necessary to make the budgeting and policy decisions to achieve the vision of Map for Mobile.

4. What feedback did you receive from citizens during the Map for Mobile process?

Citizens expressed the desire for robust neighborhoods, functional roadway corridors, strategic redevelopment, a strong downtown, more recreational opportunities, high quality design and a connected community.

5. Where can I read the Plan?

You can view the plan on this website or read a print version at these locations:

  • All Mobile Public Library branches
  • All City recreation centers
  • Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mobile Minority Business Development Agency Business Center
  • Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center
  • Via Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center
  • WAVE at GM&O
  • South Alabama Regional Planning Commission
  • Clinton L. Johnson Economic Development Center
  • University of South Alabama Student Center
  • The Bishop State Community College’s Main Campus, Carver Campus, and Central Campus
  • Mobile County Health Department
  • Downtown Mobile Alliance
  • Spring Hill College

6. When will we see actual implementation or action?

Immediately. Some projects are actually already underway based on prior planning and citizen input. You’ll see in the Appendix of the Plan the initial outline of action items.

7. What is the funding mechanism for implementing the plan?

Some of the Plan implementation steps may be code or ordinance changes that will require City staff time. Other funding streams will be identified along the way including public/private partnerships.