Mobile is on the cusp of a new era – one with expanded opportunities for economic development and accelerated growth. While the City faces a bright future, it also faces a number of challenges such as limited mobility, sprawling conditions, and declining neighborhoods. Mobile’s biggest challenges are also its biggest opportunities. If Mobile can affect positive change in these areas, the quality of life for its citizens will improve and the city will thrive.
Map for Mobile is a framework plan that provides direction and guidance to improve the City and prepare it for the growth on the horizon. The plan presents goals and policies upon which future planning, regulations and decisions can be built.
The best way to create policies that improve people’s lives is to listen to their ideas. During Map for Mobile’s planning workshops, hundreds of members of our community came together to share their ideas and priorities for the future.
Less than three years since Map for Mobile was adopted, the City has been successful both in implementing dozens of specific recommendations of the plan, and more importantly, in affecting positive change in each of the plan’s seven focus areas.
In January 2019 a Status Report to the Community was presented to Planning Commission. You can view the report or browse highlights by focus area below.
- Built Environment
- Mobility and Connectivity
- City Facilities and Services
- Economic Development
- Natural Resources
- Collaboration and Cooperation
How has Mobile’s Built Environment Improved?
Development regulations are being overhauled. As supported through the adoptions of the City’s new Future Land Use Plan in 2017, progress has continued with the drafting of a new Unified Development Code (UDC) to guide residential, commercial, and industrial development, along with infill and redevelopment.
Stormwater impact fee adopted for funding of water quality protection. To strengthen the City’s stormwater program, the City will begin collecting an annual stormwater fee. All fees will be allocated to stormwater management activities to improve the water quality within the City’s waterways.
City Facilities Assessment identifies strategic infill opportunities. The City’s real estate inventory includes approximately 5.5 million square feet of space, within 367 City-owned buildings, and 1,159 land parcels. The City Facilities Assessment identified parcels for potential disposition and subsequent redevelopment to improve the build environment.
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is funding infrastructure projects. The City is developing its next multi-year plan to help fund and execute large-scale infrastructure projects. Beginning in fiscal year 2019, the five-year view allows the City to look ahead at other funding opportunities to bset leverage CIP dollars.
How has Mobile’s Mobility and Connectivity Improved?
The Reconnecting Mobile initiative is underway. Construction is set to begin on the first phase of the “One Mobile” project funded by the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant award. Once completed, the project will provide safe, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly access, beautify the streetscape, and stimulate economic activity throughout Mobile.
Bike share service has launched. Following the recent approval by the Mobile City Council, a dock-less bike share enterprise has commenced operation in Mobile. Bike sharing connects the City’s neighborhoods and businesses, and offer mobility options for citizens.
The WAVE Transit Bus System is being transformed. The City has selected First Transit, INC., a new management company, to transform the Wave Transit bus system. This new firm has proposed a plan to improve ridership in Mobile through increased customer satisfaction and smarter routing.
Traffic signals have been upgraded. To address concerns, signal upgrades have been made at various intersections within the City. Within the 2018 Capital Improvement Plan, $980,000 was allocated to implement these traffic signal upgrades.
How have Mobile’s Neighborhoods Improved?
Housing plan supports more housing opportunities. The City of Mobile Housing Plan is pending completion. This plan will provide data and guidance concerning housing options and educate the development community about the City’s diverse neighborhood market conditions.
Home ownership assistance is provided. The City of Mobile has helped 87 realize their dream of home ownership since Fiscal Year 2014, through the City’s Down Payment Assistance Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, the Critical Repair Grant Program has already assisted 32 homeowners with various home repairs such as roof, electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning work.
New tools for empowering neighborhood planning. The Neighborhood Planning Toolkit was completed in February, 2018, and includes a set of educational resources. These resources are intended to be used by neighborhoods to guide establishment of Neighborhood Planning Groups.
How have Mobile’s City Facilities and Services Improved?
Opportunities for redevelopment of the Mobile Civic Center site. The potential disposition of the Mobile Civic Center for specific redevelopment objectives is being evaluated. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for development of a mixed-use project at the 22-acre site has been drafted and released.
CSS, online permitting portal has launched. Build Mobile has introduced a new online system, Citizen Self Service (CSS), to better serve the City’s customers with accessing building plans, permits, and inspections, while maintaining effective communication with citizens and the development community.
Parking Management Services Initiative being evaluated for downtown. Coordination with a municipal parking management services provider is underway. This initiative would results in an enhanced level of management for the on-street parking facilities downtown, through a contract with a national firm.
How has Mobile’s Economic Development Improved?
Youth Empowered for Success (YES) initiative helps youth gain job skills and experience. During the summer of 2018, one-hundred students accepted summer jobs at City Hall. The part-time employment focused on job skills training and gaining work experience.
Amazon’s new sortation center creates hundreds of jobs. In 2018, the ribbon was cut at the new Amazon sortation center. Additionally, in late 2017, Airbus announced plans to build a second Final Assembly Line at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley Field and SSAB Steel announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Mobile.
How have Mobile’s Natural Resources Improved?
Three Mile Creek Greenway has been enhanced. The City is installing new amenities along the first completed Three Mile Creek Greenway Trail, including picnic tables, grills, a fitness zone, benches, rest stops, security cameras, drinking fountains, pet stations and trail head signage.
Abandoned junk vehicles are being removed. City legislation has recently been approved by the Mobile City Council which will allow the City to being towing inoperable, abandoned junk vehicles that have been in the same location for at least 30 days.
Litter is being reduced. The City of Mobile has implemented efforts to reduce litter from local waterways, consistent with the CS4 stormwater permit.
How has Mobile’s Collaboration and Cooperation Improved?
Park System Improvement initiative is underway. During the summer of 2018, the City hosted public forums, allowing citizens to provide input in an engaging format, that will help guide the Parks and Recreation System Improvement Plan.
Mobile Airport collaboration supporting various initiatives. The Mobile Airport Authority has released a feasibility study addressing the potential for moving the commercial passenger airport services from Bates Field to the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley Field.
Resiliency and water quality improved through Perch Creek area collaboration. The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council has awarded the City of Mobile and MAWSS $3.5 million for the Perch Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line to support the Perch Creek Nature Trail and Preserve.
Future Land Use Plan and Major Street Plan
The Future Land Use Plan (FLUP) and the Major Streets Plan (MSP) were adopted as Appendix G of Map for Mobile by Resolution of the Mobile City Planning Commission, on May 18, 2017.
The Future Land Use Plan (FLUP), is the primary guide to the future physical development of the City of Mobile. The FLUP complements and provides additional detail to the Development Framework Maps in Map for Mobile. The map and its corresponding land use designations describe the desired types, intensity and spatial arrangement of the City’s land uses to achieve the vision described in Map for Mobile.
The Future Land Use Map is a policy guide and is not the same as the Zoning Map. Where the FLUP describes general pattern and character intended in the future, the zoning code, which is a legal document, addresses more prescriptive development qualities allowed on a specific site today, such as lot sizes, densities and floor area ratios, setbacks, frontage types, building heights, lot coverage, site configuration, and parking requirements.
The Major Street Plan (MSP) represents the City’s vision for a coordinated land use and transportation strategy. The MSP recognizes key existing and future street corridors within the City’s overall transportation network, based primarily on analyses of traffic volumes and character of traffic movements that could be generated by future development of land according to the FLUP.