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Published on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Council completes review of Infill Development, votes unanimously in favor of three changes

CONTACT: Justin Renteria, 210-207-0900


SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 15, 2018) - Today, the City Council voted unanimously to approve three amendments to Chapter 35 of the City’s Unified Development Code (UDC). The amendments, made by the IDZ Task Force, involved changes to the Infill Development Zones (IDZ), Mixed Used District, and Single Family Residential District. The Task Force was convened as a result of a Council Consideration Request jointly filed by District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño and former District 7 Councilman Cris Medina in April 2017. The policy request received support from District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval as well.


The first amendment breaks Infill Development zoning into 3 categories. Each category will have different standards and application requirements based on use and size of parcel. The changes help developers working on small–scale projects as they will not be subject to the scrutiny large-scale intensities face.


“While infill development zoning can been unpredictable, especially in District 1, this amendment provides clarity and consistency for neighborhoods and applicants as each will know what is expected up front,” stated Treviño. “Furthermore, building standards for IDZ will now be more explicit.”


Mixed Use Districts allow residential and commercial uses to be built on one parcel. The changes to Mixed Use Districts improve site plan requirements and relax setbacks to open up the zone for development outside of Loop 410, where IDZ is not available.


“Mixed-use developments are becoming more popular as they provide more walkable, sustainable environments,” said Treviño. “This update provides alternatives to IDZ for communities and builders.”


The third amendment creates R-1 and R-2 Residential Single-Family Districts. Currently, there are many homes in the inner city that are incorrectly zoned, due largely to zoning conversions over time. Typically, these homes are the small, cottage style communities that are around 100 years old. Before the vote today, the code to correct them did not yet exist making IDZ the only option for these communities.


“Without the correct zoning, homeowners who have lived in their home for generations are unable to pull permits to improve their properties, which leads many older homeowners who are on fixed-incomes to sell,” said Treviño. “The policy put forth today will help to fill this gap by creating smaller residential zoning categories that can be applied to these important communities.”


Over a dozen community and neighborhood leaders from District 1 and around San Antonio, including Dr. Christine Drennon, Director of Urban Studies at Trinity University, came out and commented in favor of the three amendments citing that they provide more structure and address inequities in the UDC for older, lower-income communities.


“Thank you to all the residents, developers, staff members, and my colleagues who helped shape this policy,” stated Treviño. “Together, using a methodical process, we created more options to allow for more compatible developments and took down a longstanding barrier which made housing renovations impossible for low-income homeowners in older neighborhoods.” 

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