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.
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
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
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
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
We look forward to this opportunity to clarify
inconsistencies. If anyone has any recommended topics of
discussion please email Sandra Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest Information Bulletins (IB) are provided
The complete Performance Measures report is available online.
SEP-HCP Web Page Now Available
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
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
City Holiday - San Jacinto
Development Services, City Hall and most municipal
offices will be closed on Friday, April 28, to observe the Fiesta San
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
LID Training - May 1 & May 2
Other Department News - Customer
Comments, New Hires, Recognition and more
Here's what you said about us...
The employees at Development Services have been
overall very helpful for the many years I have been using their
services. Thank you!
Residential Combination Inspector, Field Services
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
Kayla Leal, Planner,
Erica Greene, Planner, Nyliah Acosta, Planner, Angela Cardona,
Planner, Zoning, Land
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.
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
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
comments or suggestions regarding the Development Insight