FOLEY – Planners want to know what residents feel are the biggest challenges and opportunities for Foley as the city continues to grow and develop over the next five years.

The city of Foley is developing a strategic plan to prepare for the continued growth expected in the community. As part of the effort, residents, members of the business community and other stakeholders are being asked to take part in a survey and public meetings to gather information for the plan.

A link to the survey is available at the top of the city’s website:

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said this plan is different from guides prepared for the city in the past.

“We have always been very good about planning for the future in Foley,” Hellmich said. “We have comprehensive land use plans. We have comp plans that our Planning Commission uses. We have a really good one.”

Hellmich said the new plan will combine more information, including public opinions, in an effort to develop a guide for the next five years.

“We have never had in Foley, a strategic plan other than the vision of the council and the mayor,” Hellmich said. “We’ve laid out a good vision at the beginning of this term and we’re implementing it, but Foley needs a strategic plan and that puts everything together to take us where we will go over the next five years.”

In the last two years, Foley has grown faster than any other city in Baldwin or Mobile counties. The city’s population increased  by 2,979, a growth rate of 14.47%, according to census reports. The change was the largest numerical increase in the Mobile Bay region and the largest percentage of any major city.

The city’s population is now about 25,000, according to census estimates. In the 2020 census, the city had 20,335.

As part of the effort to develop a strategic plan, the survey asks participants what they would like to see in Foley in the next five years. The survey also asks respondents about their priorities in areas such as growth and development, business and economy, public safety, parks and recreation, city infrastructure and housing.

Planners will also conduct three public meetings in February. The meetings will be Feb. 7 through 8. Feb. 7 will be 6 p.m. at the Graham Creek Nature Preserve Interpretive Center. Feb. 8 will have two meetings: the first will be 11:30 p.m. at the Foley Senior Center and the second will be 6 p.m. at Foley United Methodist Church.