Mobile Urban Development Department

Urban Development
Code Administration
Building Inspection Unit
Electrical Inspection Unit
Mechanical Inspection Unit
Plumbing Inspection Unit

Board of Adjustment
Land Use Administration / GIS (Zoning)
Long Range Planning
Planning Commission
Mobile Tree Commission
Property Maintenance Division

Predevelopment Meetings

FAQs and TimeSavers

Forms and Applications

Web Mapping

Urban Development
Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1827
Mobile, AL 36633-1827

Physical Address:
Downtown Office
205 Government St.
South Tower, 3rd Floor
Mobile, AL 36644
Phone: (251) 208-7198
Fax: (251) 208-7896

Urban Development

Choose a topic:
Urban Development Projects Collage
Commercial Permitting Process (pdf)
Forms and Applications
General Information
Background Information
Mission Statement
Location and Driving Directions and Map
Office Business Hours
Check on Status of Permit Requests
Tips for using the Check on Status of Permits and License Requests Interface (pdf)
Check on a Parcel of Land
Comment on Public Hearings


Effective January 1, 2007, ALL property ownership information provided for notification MUST be verified through Probate Court records. This new policy, which is the result of an Alabama Court Decision, will ensure proper legal notification of the current owner if the property has sold since the last assessment records. It is the applicant's responsibility to verify this information; and failure to do so may cause delays in processing or a decision by the Planning Commission or Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Click Below To Connect To Specific Sections of Urban Development:

Code Administration

Permitting and Development


Urban Forestry and Safety

General Information
Under the leadership of Director, Laura J. Clarke, and her Deputy Directors including Roger Bendolph (Code Administration), Margaret Pappas (Permitting & Development), Ron Jackson (Forestry and Safety), and Richard Olsen (Planning), Urban Development is responsible for the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Mobile before, during and after development/construction. The Urban Development Department is the hub for development, redevelopment and property maintenance. Please note that other City Departments are involved in the development/construction process as well, including City Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Right of Way, Fire Inspection, Mobile Historic Development Commission (if in a Historic District), and the Revenue Department.

Urban Development focuses on community development; regulating and enforcing the vast number of codes, laws, acts, regulations and ordinances related to development and construction within the City of Mobile; and maintaining high standards before, during, and after the development process. Urban Development is comprised of several sections and units.

Code Administration Section
The Code Administration Section is responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the City of Mobile and its citizens through the enforcement of building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and other applicable codes/ordinances adopted by the City of Mobile. This responsibility requires a team effort and is accomplished with the support of the Building Inspection Unit, Central Permitting Unit, Electrical Inspection Unit, Mechanical Inspection Unit, and Plumbing Inspection Unit.

Permitting and Development

The Permitting and Development Section of the Urban Development Department administers permitting program for the City of Mobile. The Permitting and Development Section consists of two units: Central Permitting and the coordinating section for the Technical Review Committee.

Central Permitting serves as the hub for development and redevelopment within the City of Mobile. As such, Central Permitting coordinates plan reviews among various City Departments including Urban Development, HIstoric Development, City Engineering, Traffic Engineering, and Fire Rescue Department; issues construction permits; schedules inspections; issues trade competency cards for electricans and plumbers; and maintains contractors' bonds for those contractors that are licensed with the City of Mobile.

The City has a Technical Review Committee (TRC) which brings together key players from each department involved in the City of Mobile's permitting process. If you are planning a project in the City of Mobile, consider meeting with the TRC prior to beginning the permitting process. The committee is happy to work with anyone to ensure that the plan review, permitting and construction processes go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Please visit the TRC Web Page for more information.

Planning Section
The Planning Section is divided into two different areas Long Range Planning and Land Use Administration. Long Range Planning concentrates on long-range planning issues, including periodic updates to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, five-year land use surveys, updating community development plans, environmental reviews for projects utilizing community development block grant funds, and professional consultation on special projects such as annexation studies. This section is primarily responsible for developing urban and regional comprehensive plans for public infrastructure and City services to include concept and action-oriented plans for our City by supporting neighborhoods and our historic downtown’s active and continued development.

Land Use Administration is charged with upholding the regulations that control the use of land in order to further the directives of the Comprehensive Plan and to serve as staff for the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment. These controls are primarily the Subdivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance, including the Sign and Landscaping Sections.

As a part of Land Use Administration, the GIS Unit prepares all maps and graphics for the Mobile City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment. The GIS Unit is also responsible for special projects in the department. In addition, database and layer creation and maintenance is coordinated by the GIS Unit.

Urban Forestry and Safety Section
The Urban Forestry and Safety Section is responsible for preservation of heritage trees, and all treecare activities on City property, which includes rights-of-way, City easements, cemeteries, parks and green spaces. In an effort to ensure public safety for the citizens of Mobile, Urban Forestry and Safety also responds to requests for emergency tree removals on City property, as well as keeping roads clear prior to and after storms and hurricanes.

Property Maintenance Division
The Property Maintenance Division is responsible for investigating reports of alleged violations of numerous City Ordinances such as litter, trash and debris, junk vehicles, high weeds and grass, and substandard and deteriorating structures.

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Background Information
Urban Development
represents the merger of the City's Land Use and Code Administration Department with Long Range Planning.

The strategic merger was undertaken in September of 1996 to better coordinate the services of Long Range Planning and the Regulatory and Code Enforcement functions.

In 1992, the Zoning Ordinance was amended to include landscaping, tree planting and protection requirements. The Tree Planting and Protection requirements were administered and enforced by the Urban Forestry and Safety Department. In 1997, Urban Forestry and Safety joined the Urban Development Department, further illustrating the City’s commitment to efficiency and effectiveness.

Combining these sources allows the City to maximize its resources, improve services and implement focused and progressive planning.
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Mission Statement

To administer and enforce the City’s codes, ordinances and regulations pertaining to planning and development in a professional manner; and to conduct these services with integrity and equality for each customer to ensure the best quality development and living environment for the City and its citizens.
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Government Plaza Building
205 Government Street
3rd Floor, South Tower
Mobile, AL 36644
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Driving Directions and Map
Go south on I-65 South
Merge onto I-10 East
Continue East take exit number 26B, Water Street
Turn left onto US-90/US-98 Government Street
Government Plaza is on the Southeast corner of Government Street and Joachim Street.
(click for map)
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Contact Information


Phone Number
Laura J. Clarke
(251) 208-7198
Roger Bendolph
Deputy Director of Code Administration
(251) 208-7198
Richard Olsen
Deputy Director of Planning
(251) 208-5895
Margaret Pappas
Deputy Director of Permitting and Development
(251) 208-7602
(251) 208-7896

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