Development Services
Land Development

Office & Location

Development Services Department Map

Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center
1901 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78204

Phone:
210.207.1111

Hours:
7:45 am - 4:30 pm (Mon - Fri)
Closed on City Holidays

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LAND DEVELOPMENT in san antonio

Our department works with applicants to guide land development projects within the city limits of the City of San Antonio and properties located within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The ETJ is the unincorporated land between the City of San Antonio City limits and includes all unincorporated territory that is not located in another city’s municipal boundary or ETJ. Whether residential, commercial, multi-family, or industrial, we will work with you to facilitate your project through the development process.

Typical Land Development projects may include Master Development Plans, Plats, Re-zoning, Tree Preservation, and Street Construction. Together we ensure the land is prepped and other key land development infrastructure requirements meet the Unified Development Code.

To keep projects moving forward we also offer online services such as zoning maps and the ability to access your plat status. See our online services for these tools.


The Preliminary Review for land development is the most cost effective way to proactively assess design, construction, and code requirement questions or concerns prior to development permit submittals. These meetings are designed to assist the property owner and/or design team to identify items that need to be resolved or modified before the development plans are formally submitted to the City. This is another tool that enables us to work in partnership with applicants to help them navigate and understand the development process.

To make the most of this meeting, we recommended that the applicant provide a site plan, conceptual elevations, aerial photographs, survey, and any previous development history such as Master Development Plan, Planned Unit Development, Plats, Rights Determination, etc. This information will ensure that the review team is aware of unique or site specific development needs and will provide the applicant with the most accurate information in relation to their project.

Typically this meeting involves attendance by multiple reviewing entities and covers topics that include:

Review Entity* Topic
Development Services (City of San Antonio)

Master Development Plan
Plats
Tree/Landscape
Zoning/Board of Adjustment 
Addressing/Streets/Sidewalk Construction

Transportation and Capital Improvement (City of San Antonio) Storm Water
Traffic Impact Analyst
Parks and Recreation (City of San Antonio) Parks and Open Space Requirements
San Antonio Water System Utility Infrastructure
CPS Energy Utility Infrastructure
Bexar County Applicable to ETJ
San Antonio River Authority Informational only
VIA Informational only
School District (for the proposed project) Informational only
 Military Installations Informational only

*Within this business process we coordinate with other counties for applicable reviews as defined by existing interlocal agreements. 

To arrange for a Preliminary Land Development Review meeting contact the Land Development Division at 210.207.0121.

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In order to construct in the City of San Antonio, your property must be platted and zoned properly. Since the City has a variety of zoning districts, the first step is to verify that the zoning of your land allows for its intended use. For more information please see the Examples of Permitted Uses in Zoning Districts or refer to the UDC (Chapter 35 Article III, Sec. 35-310.01, Tables 311-1/311-1a and Tables 311-2/311-2a).

Please be aware that for each zoning district, your project will need to comply with the required building setbacks; the minimum distance from the property lines that a structure must be located. Please refer to UDC Chapter 35, Article 3 for detailed information regarding these requirements.

To check your property's zoning, use the City’s One Stop Zoning Map

Basic OneStop Zoning Map Directions:

  1. Click & Accept Terms
  2. Use top menu to navigate the map.
    One-Stop MenuExample: If you want to move the map left to right, push on the One-Stop Icon icon
  3. If you know the property address, choose the One-Stop Mailbox icon and enter the property address. If you do not know the address, zoom in to the general location or street intersection.
  4. After locating, check the zoning district on or near the parcel.
  5. Zoning Code Information: Push the  . A box on the right hand side will pop up. At the bottom of the box, choose Zoning for a complete description of all codes.
  6. Explore the map. It has some great features for you.

For directions on using the One Stop Zoning Map review the Zoning Map User Guide

For plat information please review the Land Entitlement Tab in this same section for additional information. If you require a Zoning Verification Letter please refer to the Zoning Verification Letters.

If you have a question about your zoning designation, contact Development Services’ Call Center at 210.207.1111. 

If you are unsure if your property is platted correctly, contact the Land Development Division at 210.207.0121.

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The City of San Antonio, in collaboration with neighborhood and community organizations, has established certain districts in an effort to preserve and recognize special and unique neighborhoods and corridors.

OVERLAYS

The City has a variety of Overlay districts including Neighborhood Conservation and Corridor Districts that could affect your design and these requirements are reviewed along with your permit application. If you have any questions regarding overlay guidelines or requirements, contact a Zoning Planner at 210.207.8208 or 210.207.7395.

Historic Overlays

If the Zoning map shows your property in a Historic District, Local Landmark, Viewshed Protection, or River Improvement Overlay, you must first receive authorization for your project through the Office of Historic Preservation. To reach their offices, or if you have any questions regarding Historic Overlays, call 210.215.9274 or visit the Office of Historic Preservation website.

Military Overlays

San Antonio has established a Joint Land Use Program with our Military community. The information below will help you determine if your property resides in a Military Overlay District and any land use guidelines.

Military Sound Attenuation Overlay District (MSAO)

The City recognizes that noise affects quality of life for various San Antonio neighborhoods and business districts. The Military Sound Attenuation Overlay District (MSAO) includes standards for building construction for noise sensitive structures to mitigate noise generated from military training exercises and aircraft operations. The MSAO was applied to territory within the noise military influence area of Camp Bullis. Adoption of this overlay district was an implementation component of the Camp Bullis Joint Land Use Study (JLUS).

For more information regarding the specific criteria for properties within the Military Sound Attenuation Overlay District, please refer to the City’s Unified Development Code Section 35-339.05.

Military Airport Overlay Zone (MAOZ)

The Military Airport Overlay Zone (MAOZ) was established to identify military airport hazard areas and address the impact around military airport take off and final approach paths. For that reason, the MAOZ includes requirements which limit the density of development and intensity of uses in such areas. The Military Airport Overlay Zones are intended to:

  • Regulate future growth, development and incompatible land uses.
  • Prevent the establishment of any land use which would endanger aircraft operations and the continued use of military airports.
  • Protect the character and stability of existing land uses while protecting the general economic welfare.

For more information regarding the specific criteria for properties within the Military Airport Overlay Zones, please refer to the City’s Unified Development Code Section 35-334.

Military Lighting Overlay District (MLOD)

The Military Lighting Overlay District (MLOD) includes regulations regarding outdoor lighting that impacts military operations within five (5) miles of the perimeter of Camp Bullis/Camp Stanley. Adoption of this overlay district was an implementation component of the Camp Bullis Joint Land Use Study (JLUS). The purpose of establishing Military Lighting Overlay Districts is to address the following:

  • To reduce glare and potential distractions to night time training exercises occurring within this area.
  • To balance the needs of the military, the City of San Antonio, and property owners regarding responsible development including outdoor lighting within this area.

For more information regarding specific criteria for properties that exist within the Military Lighting Overlay District, please refer to the City’s Unified Development Code Section 35-339.04.

For more information regarding the Joint Land Use Studies, visit the Office of Military Affairs website.

If you are located within any of the Overlay Districts, STOP and call 210.207.0121 and ask for a Land Development Specialist, prior to taking any other steps.

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A rezoning changes the zoning classification of the property. Rezoning to another classification changes the uses allowed on the property. This is a formal process that requires an application, public notifications and hearings by the Zoning Commission and City Council.

If the property is located within a neighborhood, community or sector plan, a request to rezone property may require a plan amendment. This process requires an additional public hearing before the Planning Commission prior to going to Zoning Commission and City Council.

If you are interested in rezoning, we recommend you visit our offices Monday - Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and ask to speak with Zoning Staff prior to initiating the process. Our offices are located at the One Stop at 1901 S. Alamo St. or you can call 210.207.0121.

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A Zoning Verification Letter is an optional service that identifies a property's current zoning, based on the zoning ordinance. This is an intensive research process that verifies the zoning of the property. This letter is often used when attempting to acquire or sell property, or for a lender or title company to verify that the zoning use has been formally verified.

If you would like a zoning verification letter, submit the application and research fee. Our department will provide you with a Zoning Verification Letter within 10 working days.

If you have any questions regarding the Zoning Verification Letter process you can visit us at the One Stop located at 1901 S. Alamo St. or call 210.207.0121. 

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The Master Development Plan (MDP) is a conceptual development plan that showcases the overall view for a proposed project. The MDP is used to determine if the proposed development is in compliance with current regulations and the City's Master Plan. A MDP is required in all instances when a tract of land within the City or its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) requests subdivision plat approval in which the entire property will be subdivided in two or more plat phases or units. These types of projects are designed to be platted over a number of years.

The process begins with the applicant submitting the application along with supporting documents, for technical review and paying the applicable fees. The assigned MDP number is used to track the progress of the application while in review. The Technical Review is complete once the applicant has secured approvals from applicable Certifying Agencies:

Certifying Agency Type of Review
Development Services Trees, Streets, Land Entitlements, Zoning
Transportation and Capital Improvements Drainage, Storm Water, Traffic Impact Analyst, Disability Access Office
Parks and Recreation Open Space and Park Requirements
Office of Historic Preservation Historic
San Antonio Water System Aquifer, as applicable

*Within this business process we coordinate with other counties for applicable reviews as defined by existing interlocal agreements.

Following approvals from the Certifying Agencies, the MDP application will be approved administratively by the Development Services Director. An MDP application must be approved two years from a complete application submittal.

After the MDP is approved, the project is to comply with the applicable Validity requirements of the Unified Development Code 35-412. The MDP is a flexible plan that may be amended by the applicant as needed. Each amendment will undergo a review process.

Should you have any questions contact the Land Development Division at 210.207.0121.

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Planned Unit Development (PUD) Plans are required for sites with PUD zoning within the City Limits. A PUD plan is a detailed plan for a proposed site that delineates land uses, street layout and dimensions, conservation, and open space areas. A PUD plan allows for flexibility in the planning and development of a project by allowing a combination of uses developed in accordance with an approved plan. A PUD can also include private streets and a gated community.The process begins with the applicant submitting the application, and supporting documents, for technical review and paying the applicable fees. The assigned PUD number is used to track the progress of the application while in review. The Technical Review is complete once the applicant has secured approvals from applicable Certifying Agencies:

Certifying Agency* Type of Review
Development Services Trees, Streets, Land Entitlements, Zoning
Transportation and Capital Improvements Drainage, Storm Water, Traffic Impact Analyst, Disability Access Office
Parks and Recreation Open Space and Park Requirements
Office of Historic Preservation Historic
San Antonio Water System Aquifer, as applicable

*Within this business process we coordinate with other counties for applicable reviews as defined by existing interlocal agreements. 

Following approvals from the Certifying Agencies, the PUD application is approved by the Planning Commission and minor amendments are approved administratively by the Development Services Director.  A PUD application must be approved two years from a complete application submittal.

After the PUD is approved, the project is to comply with the applicable Validity requirements of the Unified Development Code 35-413. An approved PUD plan remains valid for six years from the date of the last recorded plat or if there are no recorded plats, validity begins at the date the PUD was approved.

The PUD is a flexible plan that may be amended by the applicant as needed. Each amendment will undergo a review process.

For additional information about the PUD process please see Chapter 35 of the City Code - Unified Development Code Section 35-413.

Should you have any questions contact the Land Development Division at 210.207.0121.

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The platting process is required, per State Law 212 for the subdivision of land, extension of the city’s streets (traffic impact analysis), major thoroughfares, parks, and public utilities and must be completed prior to the issuance of building permits and/or public utilities. Platting applies to all properties within the City of San Antonio and properties within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), unless the property is eligible for a plat exception, as noted in the Unified Development Code Chapter 35-430.

The tables below provide a listing of  the various type of plat applications and plat application variables.

Plat Applications
Major Plat – Any plat other than a minor plat or development plat.
Minor Plat – Four (4) or fewer lots; fronting on existing street; not involving creation of new street; not involving extension of municipal utilities.
Re-plats
Vacate
Vacate and Re-subdivide
Building Setback Line (BSL)
Amending Plat
Redline Amending
Rescind a Plat
Plat Variables
Plat Deferral
Time Extension
Public Improvement Extension
Administrative Exceptions
Variances
Certificate of Determination

For a list of current fees please refer to the Fee Schedule.

The process begins with the submittal of the plat application and payment of the applicable fees. The project is assigned a plat Identification number. The plat number is used to track the progress of the plat while in review. Thereafter, the applicant’s engineer provides the technical information that is required by the Unified Development Code (UDC) and the Technical Review begins by the following agencies:

Agency Type of Review
Certifying Agency
Development Services Trees, Streets (Infrastructure), Land Entitlements, Zoning
Transportation and Capital Improvements Drainage, Storm Water, Traffic Impact Analyst, Disability Access Office
Parks and Recreation Open Space and Park Requirements
Office of Historic Preservation Historic
CPS Energy Easements, Utilities
San Antonio Water System Sewer, Water, Aquifer, as applicable
Time Warner Easements, Utilities
AT&T Easements, Utilities
Office of Military Affairs Informational
Military Installations Informational
San Antonio Aviation Department Informational
San Antonio River Authority Informational

Following approvals from the Certifying Agencies, formal consideration of plat approval is through either the Planning Commission or the Director of Development Services Department and public hearings are held, as applicable.

A plat application has two years from the date the application was submitted to be approved. For additional information about the platting process please see UDC Section 35-430.

Should you have any questions contact the Land Development Division at 210.207.0121.

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The City of San Antonio has spent a large amount of effort and funding to build and maintain the infrastructure of our community. In order to keep up with the growth and development, our City has established certain standards that developers must meet to ensure the City’s infrastructure is properly designed and maintained.

Should you have any questions contact our Engineering Staff at 210.207.6310.

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Performance Agreement

When site improvements, other than gas and electric lines are required in conjunction with a plat, a Performance Agreement shall be executed by the applicant and filed with the City together with the plat to ensure construction of the site improvements will be completed within three years of the date of plat approval. Approval of the plat shall expire after three years from date of approval unless either all site improvements have been accepted by the City and the plat recorded, or a time extension for plat recordation has been requested and approved.  See below for Performance Agreement Form.

Performance Guarantees

In accordance with Chapter 35 of the Unified Development Code, a Performance Bond, Trust Agreement, Letter of Credit and Cash or Cashier’s Check for amount equal to the cost estimates for site improvements must also be submitted and approved by the City to allow the plat to be recorded before the site improvements are completed. The performance guarantee will be released after final inspections are completed and passed and a Certificate of Completion is issued by San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS). Developers must submit a request in writing to the Development Services Department for release of performance guarantees.  Please see below for a list of forms and applications required for this process.

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Development Services shall release for recordation an approved plat in the deed and plat records, provided the property owner consents in writing, outstanding liens imposed by the city (on sites cleared of debris, removal of health hazards, over growth and/or the razing of unsafe building(s)) are resolved and the plat meets applicable conditions:

  • No site improvements are required
  • All required site improvements have been completed and approved by Development Services
  • A performance agreement and a guarantee of performance have been filed with and approved by the City
  • All required impact and drainage fees have been paid

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Streets and Drainage Inspections

Development Services offers courtesy inspections for developers prior to approval of a plat by the Planning Commission. The developer must have submitted all Public Infrastructure site improvement plans, including streets, drainage, trees and traffic impact analysis, prior to the approval of the courtesy inspection request. Please see the Courtesy Inspection Request Form located below in Forms & Applications.

In addition, inspections and approval of infrastructure improvements will be performed by Development Services staff. After the final construction inspection of the infrastructure improvements for a subdivision has been approved by Development Services, public streets and drains must be maintained by the developer for a minimum of one year and until a final acceptance of infrastructure improvements has been passed by the City or County, as applicable. The completed improvements must comply with the requirements of the approved plans and specifications.

Streets and Drainage Acceptance

After the City has passed the final inspection and the warranty period has been completed, a re-inspection will be conducted by Development Services staff and if approved, a Final Infrastructure Acceptance Letter stating acceptance of infrastructure improvements will be provided by the City. This will also allow the release of any maintenance warranties. At that point, streets and drainage within public roadway right-of-ways shall be maintained by the San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements Department.

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Extended Warranty Bonds are required for a period of one year after the Final Infrastructure Inspection Letter has been issued by the City for all subdivisions requiring public streets and public drainage improvements. The purpose of the bond is to guarantee workmanship of the improvements that will become part of the public domain. Developers must provide the City with an extended warranty bond issued by a corporate surety company. The bond will equal 10% of the construction estimate or $25,000 whichever is greater as determined by the Development Services Department. See Information Bulletin 535 for more information.  See below for forms and applications required for this process.

Please note that this process is only required for plats located within the City limits.

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