Alabaster’s Comprehensive Plan Update Wins Award from the American Planning Association

The Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association has honored the City of Alabaster with the 2016 Outstanding Planning Award for a Comprehensive Plan for its Alabaster Forward: City of Alabaster Comprehensive Plan Update. The city contracted with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to update the city’s 2005 comprehensive plan.

Alabaster has grown to over 31,500 residents, and has 1.1 million square feet of retail space off of I-65, with a trade service area of over 100,000 people. With this type of growth, the City of Alabaster recognized that it is at a crossroads. The choices it makes in terms of location, type and character of new development (and redevelopment) will have a profound influence for decades to come.

Residents in the largest city in Shelby County and the fourth largest in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area want more choices available to them in the future. They want to see new cultural amenities, mixed use developments, additional restaurant options and entertainment venues. What if the Medical Mile became a destination hot spot that is able to attract a crowd after 5pm? Imagine taking a local shuttle from the Senior Center to the U.S. 31 Medical Mile for a doctor visit or to the Promenade to go shopping?

The Alabaster Forward Comprehensive Plan is meant to be a living document that focuses on the city’s physical development and expectation of growth for the next 25 years.  In addition to the Future Land Use Plan and a Comprehensive Transportation Plan, the plan includes over 90 recommended actions that the City could undertake as it relates to improve and expand economic growth, quality of life, infrastructure and community services. To learn more, click here to view the 5-minute overview video and visit alabasterforward.com.

During the planning process, two priority redevelopment areas within the City of Alabaster were identified. Design concepts were created for the Siluria Mill area and the U.S. 31 Medical Mile.
Click here to view the overview video of design recommendations for Siluria Mill, and click here to view the overview video of design recommendations along the U.S. 31 Medical Mile

The Plan was adopted by the Alabaster City Council on March 14, 2016 and is now being aggressively implemented. Two of the top priorities that emerged from the Plan were to create overlay districts along the U.S. 31 Medical Mile and State Route 119 corridors.

In April 2016, the City created the Medical Mile Overlay District with the intent of establishing “uses for the unique area that are compatible and complementary with the medical businesses located there.” Today the Medical Mile is home to 20% of businesses and 73% of the jobs in Alabaster.

In addition, the City is again working with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to create the State Route 119 Overlay District and Design Guidelines. The overlay district is intended improve the architectural and visual character of new development and redevelopment on State Route 119 from U.S. 31 to Mission Hills Road (County Road 80).