Play a Role in Mobile’s Future TODAY
The City of Mobile is updating its zoning code that will drive how we want to grow and plan for the future. They are asking for your comments until this Monday, April 8th. Voice your support for our natural resources!
The code has several positive elements that protect our environment and several areas that need improvement to ensure our natural resources can support our economy and quality of life for future generations. The City needs to hear from you about both!
Below is a summary of Mobile Baykeeper’s comments and our official comment letter attached. Please feel free to use these to draft your own comments. You can submit your comments at the bottom of the City’s webpage.
Mobile Baykeeper’s Summarized Comments:
Positive and protective (Please express your support)
Required predevelopment Neighborhood Meetings will open up communication between developers and communities early in the process creating better outcomes.
Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts for Africatown, Peninsula, and Spring Hill. Required Low Impact Development (LID) in the Peninsula Overlay will improve water quality.
There is a new Conservation Subdivision to protect wetlands and critical habitats.
Introduction of Riparian Buffers: these are areas near streams that are off limits to pavement. These areas are critical for flood protection, maintaining good water quality, and serve as habitat for many species.
Needs improvement (Please ask for fixes here)
If a parcel is not currently developed it needs to be zoned to a lower use classification than its surrounding parcels. This is critical to ensure we preserve the undeveloped areas near heavy industrial sites. With this change, variances can be requested, but granted only with community input.
Landscaping requirements have been heavily reduced, which can cause increased stormwater runoff and flooding risks.
To ensure the Riparian Buffer zone regulations are useful, jurisdiction should be applicable to parcels that are greater than one acre.
Zone 1 Riparian Buffer Areas should not be disturbed for any activities including walkways, greenways, etc.
Mitigation needs to be required in the same local watershed to ensure impacts are reduced within the same area.
Suggestions for a better future
The same Low Impact Development (LID) and conservation requirements in the Peninsula Conservation Overlay should be required in all use types. and certainly in those areas that affect waterways and wetlands. It is a great step to have it required in the Peninsula – why not have more areas receive the same environmental benefits?
Thank the City!
They hosted several workshops collecting more than 3,000 comments before this draft was created. This is a major step forward for our community!