MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In a move that could increase Mobile’s population by 25,000, the Mobile City Council Tuesday unanimously approved Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed annexation plans.
Four separate areas west and northwest of Mobile will vote independently on whether or not to enter the city. If all areas approve annexation, Mobile’s population would grow from 184,000 residents to 212,000. This would make Mobile more populous than Montgomery and Birmingham.
Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis now has ten days to approve the resolution. Elections will be held between 20 days and 40 days of the approval of the resolution.
Mayor Stimpson spoke in Tuesday’s meeting and noted the strong attendance.
“There must be something significant going on today,” said Mayor Stimpson. “I am very excited about being here today and having the opportunity to move the city of Mobile forward.”
Stimpson called the decision one of the most historic and pivotal votes the Mobile City Council has made. He also said this vote “tees up” Mobile to have opportunities that would otherwise not exist.
“At the end of the day, I think that has been a very deliberate and successful process despite of what some people said, there’s been ample time for everybody to weigh in. I mean, all the data has been available either in hardcopy or online,” said Mayor Stimpson.
District 5 City Councilman Joel Daves echoed Mayor Stimpson’s message.
“Today, as the mayor said, is a historic day in the city of Mobile,” said City Councilman Daves. “I think it’s once in a generation. I think the importance of this vote today cannot be overstated.”
District 7 City Councilwomen Gina Gregory thanked the citizens of Mobile for coming to Tuesday’s meeting and sharing their opinions.
“We need to grow our city,” said Gregory. “We cannot be boxed in.”
A laundry list of people, both for and against annexation took to the podium at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Until we can take care of what we’ve got we have no business bringing in more people with miles of infrastructure to take care of,” said one resident.
“Getting us to this point is truly appreciated by the people in west mobile as we look for solutions to solidify our fire, EMS and police needs,” said another.
The city is still working on polling locations.
A similar annexation proposal in 2019 was rejected by the council along racial lines. The annexation areas are primarily white. Many in the African-American community oppose the plan despite a recent independent annexation study that concluded that the city will retain a black voting age majority and four or seven black-majority city council districts.
- Airport Corridor Area: south of the Mobile Regional Airport, as far west as Eliza Johnson Road North and as far south as Jeff Hamilton Road extension
- Kings Branch Area: neighborhood north of Bear Fork Road
- Cottage Hill Corridor Area: From Cody Road to the east and Jeff Hamilton Boulevard to the west
- Orchard Estates Area: north of Zeigler Boulevard, Cody Road in the east to Schillinger Road and further west
The City of Semmes will hold their third neighborhood annexation meeting on Thursday, May 11 at Semmes City Hall. The neighborhoods that will be discussed are Torrington Place, Raphael Court, Kendall Brook Drive, Harmony Ridge and Winchester.