Making Sense of San Antonio's Infill Development Plans

San Antonio is changing, and the city's land use regulations aren't living up to the desires of the city's communities, according to one local architect and planner.
August 22, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"These days, infill projects are everywhere in the collar neighborhoods [of San Antonio]," according to an article by Jim Bailey. Collar neighborhoods (i.e., "the ring of historic streetcar suburbs around downtown), like Lavaca, Dignowity Hill, and Tobin Hill are under the greatest price-point pressure, but infill is found in many other neighborhoods and could continue to spread.

According to Bailey, "[w]ith our population expected to increase by 1 million people over the next quarter-century and a renewed interest in living the good life in non-auto-dependent, economically integrated neighborhoods, these pressures will continue to mount."

While all this infill pressure is building, Bailey writes that battles between developers, neighbors, designers, and planners are getting ugly. To answer the question of why that is, Bailey proposes the following answer: "There is a disconnect between our desire for walkable traditional neighborhoods and what our development code was designed to accommodate."

The article then goes on to provide more insight into the workings of San Antonio's Unified Development Code, its 2015 Comprehensive Plan, and the overlays and exceptions in the code responsible, according to Bailey, for some of the planning and development confusion in the city's communities. 

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Published on Thursday, August 10, 2017 in Rivard Report
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