Common Terms

Right of Way

The City manages certain parts of properties such as streets, pedestrian ways, drainage, or utilities. These are important to make certain that traffic, electrical power, or other common goods are not disrupted by individual development. The City Engineer must be notified if you plan on encroaching or modifying the Right of Way.

Read the Right of Way ordinance - here


If you plan on displaying a sign on your property, you must be aware of the rules that apply. In addition, the City requires that you display signs notifying the public of development on your property. Be sure you are familiar with these rules before you develop.

Read the Signage ordinance - here


The City requires that you maintain a certain number of parking spaces based on the size and use of your property. If your plans do not match the required parking it may be difficult to approve your development. Be sure you are aware of the requirements before you choose a site.

Fire Safety

The City requires that you develop your property in accordance with international fire safety standards. The Mobile Fire Department will inspect your property to make certain that your fire prevention system, entrance and exits, and other factors are up to standard.


Mobile’s trees are an important part of our City’s character. Before you develop you must understand your property and whether or not it has any protected trees or vegetation. Some trees are of historical importance and may be covered by preservation rules. The Mobile Tree Commission governs these rules and approves development plans.

Learn more about the Mobile Tree Commission - here


Your property is hooked up to the electrical grid, sewer, and water system. Make certain that your property is ready to handle the appropriate amount of electricity, water, and other utilities. City staff will review your plans to identify if your development is aligned with the appropriate usage standards.


The City operates under state and federal regulations for flooding. If your property is on a flood plain you must develop to all applicable standards.

Read the Flood and Stormwater ordinance - here