Thursday, April 27, 2017

VNNA II Special Called Meeting 2 May, 2017, 6pm, at the Church of Reconciliation Main Hall

There is a special called meeting of the VNNA II at 6pm 2 May, 2017, at the Church of Reconciliation, in the main hall, to talk about the re-zoning of lots on the south side the Swans Landing.  If you want to have a voice, please be there.

Marc Levesque
President, VNNA II

SA City Development Insight April 2017

Partnering with our community to build and maintain a safer San Antonio  |  April 2017

In This Issue

Quick Links

Development Services Department

Michael Shannon
Interim Director

Development & Business Service Center 

Main Address:
1901 S. Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78204 

Office Hours:
7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Mailing Address:
PO Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

Zoning 101 
The Zoning Section is one component of the Land Development Division that is a part of the City of San Antonio's Development Services Department. The Zoning team assists residents, businesses, and developers in navigating the City's zoning ordinances. As such, this group is responsible for enforcing zoning codes, facilitating plan amendment, rezoning, variance applications through appropriate processes, registering nonconforming uses, and assisting customers with their development concerns.

Zoning Team, Land Development

When building in the City of San Antonio, the 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. 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.

Zoning regulations are designed to promote orderly development in our City, and to minimize adverse impacts to community development and quality of life created by incompatible land uses.  It also protects the health and safety of our residents. The zoning classifications are generally grouped into three broad categories:  Residential (both single- and multi-family), Office/Commercial and Industrial zones. Having the proper zoning ensures the appropriate use of the property and helps avoid costly fines, which can be issued by Code Enforcement. Fines range from $20 to $300 for the first violation, $250 to $500 for the second, and $500 to $1,000 for the third. These violations can also be presented in Municipal Court as Class C misdemeanors.  

The City has multiple Overlay districts including Historic, Military, Neighborhood Conservation and Corridor Districts that could affect your design. Overlay requirements are reviewed along with your permit application. 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.  San Antonio has established a Joint Land Use Program with our Military community that includes the Military Sound Attenuation Overlay District, Military Airport Overlay Zone, and Military Lighting Overlay District.  For more information about the Military Overlays, visit our website.

A rezoning changes the zoning classification of the property, resulting in a change in 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. Note that a request to rezone a property may require a plan amendment, which entails an additional public hearing before the Planning Commission prior to going to Zoning Commission and City Council.

Property owners requesting a change in zoning for their property must complete an Application for Change of Zoning, and submit it to the Zoning Section. Planners in the Zoning Section will then review the application to make sure it's complete and all additional required documents are provided. It is a good idea to speak with a Planner prior to completing and submitting a zoning change application to determine the zoning required for a proposed use.

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. 

The Zoning team is available to help you with questions regarding the overlay guidelines, rezoning, zoning verification letter process, and regulations. Melissa Ramirez, Assistant Director, Land Development, oversees the Zoning section and supports the team of 15 including the Zoning Manager, Catherine Hernandez, and her team of Planners and Senior Planners. For more information, visit the Zoning section online, or come by the One Stop to visit the Zoning team. 

You are Invited to a Tree Discussion

The Development Services Department will host a "tree discussion" meeting to talk about topics relevant to the tree ordinance and processes. These meetings will be held quarterly unless needed more often. 

The first meeting is scheduled for May 9, at 10 a.m., in the Board Room at the Cliff Morton Development and Business Service Center, 1901 S. Alamo St. 78204. 

At the meeting, the City Arborist will provide an overview on the of the tree review requirements, process, and applicability in the City limits and the ETJ.  It is our goal to have open lines of communication with our development community and customers, and to ensure a certainty in the tree review process. 

We look forward to this opportunity to clarify inconsistencies.  If anyone has any recommended topics of discussion please email Sandra Gonzalez at

Online Resources

The latest  Information Bulletins (IB) are provided below: 
The application embedded in IB 126 was updated to include additional questions regarding existing fire alarm system and sprinkler questions; there was no update to the information bulletin. 

The backyard square footage requirement is not relevant if there is an open space or public right of way behind or on the side of the townhome lot. 

For a complete list of resources, visit the following sites:  

Performance Measures - FY 2017

The complete Performance Measures report is available online.

Permit Activity

SEP-HCP Web Page Now Available
Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ivy Taylor at SEP-HCP Signing, April 18.
As shared last month, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County entered into an Inter-Local Agreement to Implement the Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan (SEP-HCP). Development Services is the administrator for the newly adopted SEP-HCP.  The goal of the program is to streamline the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Endangered Species permitting process.  

The program is being managed by the Policy Administration team and any questions regarding the program should be emailed to the DSD SEP-HCP Team

For more information on the program, visit the SEP-HCP web page. 

City Holiday - San Jacinto
Development Services, City Hall and most municipal offices will be closed on Friday, April 28, to observe the Fiesta San Jacinto holiday.  
For a list of available services during the holiday closure, visit the City Services web page. 

SABCA Training is Coming
This summer's SABCA Training will be held at the Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center.  The topic will be: 2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC).

The same training will be held on  two separate dates, May 24 and June 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So save the date that works best for you.

More details will be available as it gets closer to registration. 

LID Training - May 1 & May 2

Other Department News
- Customer Comments, New Hires, Recognition and more

Here's what you said about us...

All of Them!
The employees at Development Services have been overall very helpful for the many years I have been using their services. Thank you!

John Anglin, Residential Combination Inspector, Field Services

Jackie Corona, Management Analyst, Plan Review
I don't know how I would get my projects done without Jackie's assistance. Jackie's knowledge of permitting is amazing, and she is such an asset not only to Development Services but also to my company.

Kayla Leal, Planner, Erica Greene, Planner, Nyliah Acosta, Planner, Angela Cardona, Planner, Zoning,
Land Development
I have been accessing the DSD website and exploring. There are planning/zoning cases that affect our neighborhood. The case managers have been helpful in explaining the process of how our community grows and what I, as a voting citizen, should learn to effectively participate in a constructive manner.

Roger Lopez, Plans Examiner I, Veronica Guerrero, Meet and Greet, Plan Review and Diana De Los Santos, Finance
Roger walked me through the process; Veronica date stamped and put in appropriate file. Diana, then processed payments, etc. and I was on my way. So smooth of a process, no time wasted, very, very efficient. I would like to take a moment and thank all three of these City Of San Antonio employees for their diligence.

Lisa McKenzie, Graffiti Program Coordinator, Graffiti Abatement, Field Services
Thank you for coming to visit the Pat Neff Middle School.  I believe you gave our students some much needed direction about Graffiti Abatement and something to think about so they may take action.  You went above and beyond and I appreciate it and so do the students.  I hope to stay in touch for next year. 


Congratulations to our DSD employees who received the following certifications: 

New Hires


Job Opportunities

Development Services is recruiting for the following positions.  To learn more, or apply online, visit the DSD jobs at the City of San Antonio Career Center.

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City of San Antonio, Development Services, 1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204