Vision & Planning: $650,000 Fairhope Area Community-based Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The City of Fairhope will begin the Fairhope Area Community-based Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a 2-year project, with $650,000 RESTORE Act funding by the end of this year. It will serve as a guide for all future planning, ensure responsible growth and protect our environment into the future.

We will forecast population growth, project demand on utilities and transportation coupled with urban design that includes form-based codes  in key areas to fulfill the development vision of Fairhope for the next 20 years.

Watershed modelling and analysis of environmentally sensitive areas will be factored in to ensure that areas targeted for growth are suitable. Land use development will coordinate with infrastructure demands to ensure that utilities and transportation are carefully planned so the City’s investment in these assets are prudent and wise. The outcome will provide the City of Fairhope a full and comprehensive blue print for growth and our future. 

That sounds like a lot – it is. And it is important.

The current comprehensive plan lacks such vision, clear goals and objectives. There was no guidance for where we should be in 20 years and how we should get there. Now we will have a guide to the overall character, physical form, growth and development of our community.

Population projections will provide us the ability to coordinate land use and growth. Our village concept is good, but it is undefined with no consideration for utilities, transportation needs, physical constraints, etc.  Areas outside of the village centers get little to no attention or land-use guidance.  The land use plan will first analyze the physical constraints of properties (flood zones, environmental sensitivity, utility availability, transportation constraints and compatibility with existing neighborhoods) along with the community’s vision for growth.  Then this will be coordinated with a long-range utility and public services plan.  The goal is to ensure that as growth occurs the appropriate level of infrastructure will be available.

To avoid confusion and misunderstanding or misinterpretations, it is critical that the public and elected officials understand and know how the plan will be implemented. There is no such direction with our current comprehensive plan.  Plan monitoring and updating is critical to keeping a 20-year plan up-to-date and relevant, and that will be achieved by producing a report every two years on how well we are following the plan. This is a strategic step in ensuring that the plan is constantly being updated.  An amendment process to the plan will be put in place so that formal amendments can be discussed to address changing conditions.

In a nutshell, this plan will be comprehensive in nature, public-vision driven, integrated with public utilities and services, will consider environmental sensitivities, will be data driven, and kept up to date to provide a blueprint for the future.

Fairhope was founded on a utopian vision in 1894. A vision of a society that simultaneously encourages individual initiative and promotes cooperative ventures and attitudes.

Fairhope was founded on a vision.

We are on target for reclaiming it.


Mayor Karin Wilson

More about Mayor Karin Wilson

6 thoughts on “Vision & Planning: $650,000 Fairhope Area Community-based Comprehensive Land Use Plan

  1. Mike

    I think it’s a great approach. I would want to see the recommendations prior to implementing though – a small change.


    1. Mayor Karin Wilson

      The plan will be “public-vision driven” and fully communicated with input from the community through the whole process.


      1. Mike

        That’s wonderful. Anyone interested in the growth of their community would love the opportunity to participate. Good stuff!


  2. Maggie Mosteller

    My Congratulations and Gratitude to you Mayor Karin Wilson for your leadership in these crucial efforts on behalf of our community’s future. Your style may not always appeal to everyone but your intentions and vision are inspired. I pray that you and the City Council and City employees can work together harmoniously in an atmosphere of trust and kind respect for one another. Fairhope needs you Mayor Wilson to make one more effort to lead the way in this equally crucial effort. With the beautiful dedication you have to Fairhope and your job as our leader, I am confident that you can accomplish this and anything else you attempt on our behalf. God Bless you Karin


  3. Janice

    How does all of RSA developments fit into this plan? They are now clearing another 100 acres just south of town.


    1. Mayor Karin Wilson

      All property within the municipal corporate limits are governed by the Zoning Ordinance and/or Subdivision Regulations. The Comp Plan will include all land within the corporate limits and areas in the planning jurisdiction similar to the current comp plan. Areas that are being cleared should have a land disturbance permit issued by the Building Dept.


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