Mobile Area Association of REALTORS®

Governmental Affairs Update for Q1

Welcome to the latest edition of our Governmental Affairs Update. As always, we strive to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information on the policies and decisions that affect our government and our daily lives.

In this issue, we will be covering a wide range of topics, including updates on legislative developments, analysis of key policy initiatives, and insights into the workings of government at all levels. We have been monitoring the latest developments closely, and we are excited to share our insights with you.

As we continue to navigate a complex and rapidly changing political landscape, we believe that staying informed and engaged is more important than ever.

City of Mobile

Completed Work:

  • Annexation Study complete, City Council to review week of April 10
  • Street Acceptance for New Subdivision Addition (Leighton Place)
  • Facilitated the Sale of 300 Acres of Land to Mobile Airport Authority
  • Supported Affordable Housing Tax Credit Application for the State’s Competitive Cycle
  • City Council Approval the Dauphin Island Parkway TIF (County Commission also agreed to participate)
  • Enforcing the new UDC code
  • Instituted Zoning & Board of Adjustment Fee Changes

In progress:

  • Amend the Historic Preservation Ordinance to Align with State Enabling Legislation which establishes the MHDC and ARB
  • Annexation Proposal to City Council
  • Select Developer for the Sale of De-Tonti Property, Museum Drive Property
  • Open the Neighborhood Resource Center to the Public
  • Open Owner-Occupied Housing Critical Repair Grant Applications
  • Annual Allocation Grant Application to HUD
  • Complete the Calloway School/Woodcock/Arlington Land swap.
  • Amend and Reauthorize the Downtown TIF (City Council to vote on April 4)
  • Close Out the Gulf Distributing Project Agreement Process
  • Design St. Louis Street Rebuild to 90% Completion

Mobile City Council

A public hearing proposing an amendment to Tax Increment Financing District One in the City of Mobile was held on April 4.

The purpose of Tax Increment Financing is to encourage redevelopment in areas that are in need of it. It allows for the use of additional tax revenues from that area to be directed for use on facilities and services within the area.

The amendment will allow the formation of a plan which will come before the council and will address new and improved priorities over the next few years.

TIF District One includes certain parcels of real property in downtown Mobile within the Henry Aaron Loop and the industrial areas on both sides of the Mobile River adjacent to downtown and along Highway 98 and Battleship Parkway.

To view properties that may be torn down by the City, click here

To view all City Council Agendas and Minutes, click here

District 6 Mobile City Councilman Scott Jones Resigns

During Tuesday, April 4’s Mobile City Council meeting, District 6 Councilman Scott Jones announced he was stepping down from the council. 

“I cannot continue to sit on this council that allows an environment that creates the conditions for this abuse to continue, defends those actions, and then funds the organization where those actions exist,” Jones said during the meeting. 

These comments were made due to the council’s continued support of Altapointe. 

Jones said he would continue serving the people of Mobile, but not on the council. This comes a month after he called for the CEO of Altapointe to step down. 

On March 3, a jury awarded $7 million to the family of a young man who was sexually assaulted at BayPointe Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in November 2019. 

“I’ve laid out facts of abuses numerous times, I’ve gone to committee meetings, members of this council have tried to shut down parents that have simply tried to state the problems that they have,” Jones said during his announcement on Tuesday. “We have the ability to impact change yet we refuse to do that as a city council.” 

After making his announcement, Jones said he would not take public comment until a later date. 

Annexation Update

The primary objective of the annexation is to increase Mobile’s population to above 200,000 to qualify for substantial federal grants annually.

This expansion must be done while maintaining the Black-majority status and ensuring that the voting age of the majority-minority districts remains unchanged, and the project must generate positive revenue. The additional funding could then be directed towards affordable housing, improving blighted areas, and capital improvement projects.

PFM Group’s study is now complete, and it will be presented to the City Council on April 10, for review. If approved, the City Council will vote on a resolution allowing residents in annexation areas to join the city. However, due to the projected decline in the county-wide population over the next six to seven years, current funding is at risk.

Unincorporated areas are ineligible for federal funding and lack access to essential city services like emergency services and public transportation, which could be expanded with additional funding.

Incorporating these areas would result in redistricting and absorption by the seven City Council districts, raising concerns regarding demographic splits, sales and property tax implications, and the possibility of industrialization.

To read the entire third party study, click here

Dauphin Island STR Update

Effective immediately, all short-term and long-term rental properties require an annual business license, which must be approved by the Planning Commission.

To avoid penalties, property owners must obtain the 2023 license prior to July 25, 2023, and pay a fee of $135 if their annual gross receipts are under $50,000.

To ensure rental safety, a new Rental Safety Inspection Program has been established. Property owners/agents may contract with qualified individuals or companies to perform inspections, which are required once every three years beginning January 1, 2023. A copy of the completed safety checklist must be provided to the town hall.

On February 20, the Town Council voted to approve the enforcement of these policies, with Gene Fox and Clinton Collier opposing. The Town Council is also working on a Good Neighbor Policy and a new STR policy, which are currently pending.

To view the rental license application, click here

The planning commission will host Workshop Zoom meetings to discuss Ordinance 105-Zoning on April 6, from 1-3 p.m., and April 10, from 1-3 p.m., and April 13, from 1-3 p.m.

Be on the lookout for next quarter’s Governmental Affairs Update. Follow us on our social media below to stay up to date with all things MAAR