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The City adopted the UDC on July 12, 2022. The new zoning code will help implement the vision in Map for Mobile, addresses many issues important to you, and reflects modern planning and zoning best practices.

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the Updates

View the adopted
Code Articles (July 12, 2022)

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About the UDC

The UDC was adopted by City Council on July 12, 2022 after a series of public hearings. The UDC will go into affect in the first quarter of 2023 following the adoption of the updated subdivision regulations.

The Unified Development Code (UDC) is an overhaul of the City’s zoning and land development regulations intended to implement the recommendations set forth in Map for Mobile. The UDC sets rules, standards, and procedures to guide new development or redevelopment in Mobile.

The UDC will help Mobile strengthen neighborhoods, remain economically competitive, and create great places for people.

The initiative of modernizing the City’s zoning code came out of the extensive public input process for the Map For Mobile.  In January 2016, the City kicked off the process of developing the Unified Development Code. The process began with the creation of the Future Land Use Plan, which involved several community workshops during 2017. Following the Future Land Use Plan’s adoption, the City worked with a consultant team and a Technical Advisory Committee to draft the regulations. An initial draft of the code articles was released for public comment in late 2017 and early 2018. UDC Version 2 was released for public comment in early 2019. UDC Version 3 was released for public comment in early 2020. The UDC (Version 4) was considered for adoption in early 2021.

1. How is the UDC different from a typical zoning ordinance? A unified development code is a modern approach to regulating development. It is an adopted law of the city that combines the zoning ordinance and other land development regulations into a single document. The zoning ordinance defines different districts that govern the types of uses and the location and size of development in each district. It also includes provisions that establish the procedures for how development proposals are reviewed and approved or denied, and development and form standards such as those covering parking, landscaping, signs, building location and form, and resource protection. The land development regulations, also part of the UDC, regulate the division and platting of land, prior to its development. They include regulations that govern lot division, road layout and standards, and other infrastructure requirements.

2. How does the UDC relate to Map for Mobile? Map for Mobile is the City’s comprehensive plan that provides direction and guidance to improve Mobile 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. To implement Map for Mobile (the city’s vision), the Future Land Use Plan and Future Land Use Map (FLUM) was adopted to provide more specific guidance on the character of future land use throughout the city. Map for Mobile and the FLUM are policy guides, not legally binding documents. The UDC (as proposed) would be the adopted law of the city that would implement the policies in Map for Mobile and the FLUM.

3. What is the FLUM? The FLUM is the City’s adopted future land use map. It is part of the Future Land Use Plan that was adopted following Map for Mobile and is the primary guide to the future physical development of the City. 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. It is not legally binding, but is a policy guide that is used to evaluate potential zoning changes or proposals that require conditional review.

4. What is the Zoning Technical Advisory Committee? The Technical Advisory Committee consists of 15 members appointed by the Mayor that has been responsible for providing review and comment to the City and its planning consultants regarding the zoning code as drafts are prepared. The Committee includes local design professionals, representatives from major stakeholder groups (including corporate, environmental, academic communities, and neighborhood and civic groups), and users of the code.

5. What about the Zoning Map? As of Version 3 (March 2020), the UDC uses the existing zoning district names. No revisions to the zoning map are proposed in the UDC. Adoption of the UDC will not change the existing zoning map.

Learn how the new code will improve Mobile.

What’s important to you?

Improving neighborhoods. Mobile loves its neighborhoods. The Unified Development Code (UDC) works to ensure the protection of your investments, property values, and quality of life so that our neighborhoods continue to thrive.

One way the code does this is to retain existing neighborhood protections and introduce a distinction between urban and suburban development to guide site standards.

Protecting the Environment is a clear direction in Map for Mobile and the city’s zoning regulations are an important tool to achieve that. The UDC introduces new provisions for protecting Mobile’s natural resources that will result in long-term environmental benefits.

One way the code does this is to introduce the concept of riparian buffers into the city’s regulations (a first for Mobile). Riparian buffers help to protect water quality, reduce erosion, and support wildlife habitats by preserving natural areas adjacent to major waterways and flood prone areas.

Supporting Sound Development. The UDC is a more modern and flexible approach to regulating development. While the code requires a little more work up front, that effort pays off in the end with a streamlined approval process that is more predictable and consistent.

One way the code does this is by establishing provisions that encourage mixed-use projects, that promote flexibility in site design, and support appropriate use of land throughout the City. Also, the new Table of Uses provides for development ‘by-right’ for many types of projects, ensuring predictability.

Strengthening our Economy. The UDC encourages investment through its streamlined development process, but it also contains new provisions that reflect modern practices in land use planning and economic development.

One way the code does this is by incorporating form-based standards to guide the form or design of development sites and new buildings. The standards are not universally applied across the city, but vary based on location, supporting existing development patterns and community identity.

Adoption of the UDC will not change the existing zoning district assigned to any property.

view the existing zoning map

Adopted Code Articles (July 12, 2022)


The Unified Development Code is written in a way that allows readers to quickly find information that is of interest to their property or neighborhood. The most frequently used information is contained in Articles 2, 3 and 4.


Article 1

Contains basic information about the Unified Development Code.



Establishes zoning districts, including permitted and conditional uses permitted and dimensional and design standards including height, yards, lot coverage, landscaping, civic space, and composite building and site design.



Consolidates the development standards that apply to all development or redevelopment in the City such as parking, landscaping, easements, streets, parks and civic spaces, and utilities.



Establishes regulations for specific uses and development types that address their unique impacts, establish incentives that further the public interest, or to comply with state or federal legal requirements.


Article 5

Establishes workflows and processes for zoning applications.


Article 6

Provisions dealing with nonconforming uses, structures, and sites; and the process for handling applications filed and projects in progress prior to the effective date of the UDC.


Article 7

Establishes procedures to enforce the UDC, including penalties for violations.


Article 8

This is the glossary which defines terms and phrases used in the UDC and rules of interpretation.


Article 9

Includes technical legal language.


Article 10

Provides a checklist of the information that applicants need to have a complete application that the city can process.


Article 11

Establishes supplementary zoning regulations that implement specific requirements of the City’s area plans for Africatown.


Article 12

Establishes supplementary zoning regulations that implement specific requirements of the City’s area plans for the Peninsula.


Article 13

Establishes supplementary zoning regulations that implement specific requirements of the City’s area plans for Spring Hill.


Article 14

Establishes dimensional standards for properties in locally designated historic districts to preserve and maintain their exiting character.


Appendix A

Establishes zoning regulations and requirements for the Downtown Development District.



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