1% annual chance floodplain, (formerly 100-year floodplain).

The land within a community subject to a one (1) percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. These areas are typically designated as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Zone A, AE, AH, or AO on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM Panels)

Adaptive reuse.

Remodeling an existing building to accommodate a new use or purpose other than what it was initially designed for.

Affordable housing.

Households whose total housing costs are deemed “affordable” to those whom have a median income. Housing Urban Development (HUD) guidelines for housing affordability is that housing costs including taxes, home insurance, and utility costs, do not exceed more than 30% of annual household gross income. Affordable housing programs include HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), and Homeownership Zone Initiative (HOZ).


The legal process by which a city extends its boundaries.

Arterial street.

Streets designed to carry large volumes of traffic and providing for efficient vehicular movement between large areas of the city. (Roswell, New Mexico)

B Corps.

For-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.


Real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Compatible development.

Development that minimizes the effects of commercial, industrial, or intense residential development on nearby residential property (or the effects of new residential development on nearby existing commercial and industrial uses). Compatibility standards typically include regulationof building height, minimum and maximum building setbacks, buffers, building design, and controls to limit the impact of lighting on adjacent properties.

Complete street.

A roadway planned, designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

Cultural heritage.

The reflection of our legacy through physical artifacts and intangible characteristics inherited from our ancestors and passed down from generation to generation.


An objective measurement of the number of people or residential units allowed per unit of land, such as residents or employees per acre.


The diversion of the city's capital investment and other resources away from core neighborhoods, creating areas with an environment that limits many residents' mobility and access to crucial important needs such as education, healthcare, recreation and job opportunities.

Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

That area where the stratigraphic units constituting the Edwards Aquifer out crop, and including the outcrops of other formations in proximity to the Edwards Aquifer, where caves, sinkholes, faults, fractures, or other permeable features would create a potential for recharge of surface waters into the Edwards Aquifer. The recharge zone is identified as that area designated as such on official maps located in the offices of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and the Edwards Aquifer Authority.


The entry of development into an area that was previously occupied solely by another use, usually one that is incompatible with the encroaching use. An example of this is the spread of residential sprawl toward an airport or military base.

Floor area ratio (F.A.R.).

An expression of the amount of development (typically non-residential) allowed on a specific parcel of land. F.A.R. is calculated by dividing the total square footage of buildings on a site by the amount of site square footage

Food deserts.

Areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat milk and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Green buildings.

Buildings designed to amplify the positive and mitigate the negative effects that the built environment has on the natural environment, as well as the people who inhabit buildings every day.

Green infrastructure.

An approach to water management that allows natural features, like trees and wetlands to manage water rather than adding more impervious surfaces and increasing the risk of flood and adding contaminants to the waterways.


Previously undeveloped sites.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA).

A means of assessing the health impacts of policies, plans and projects in diverse economic sectors using quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques.

Housing, low-income.

Housing reserved for occupancy or ownership by persons or households whose annual gross income does not exceed eighty (80) percent of the area median household gross income for households of the same size in the San Antonio metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development in 24 C.F.R., Part 813.

Housing, middle-income.

Housing that is affordable, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for either home ownership or rental, and that is occupied, reserved, or marketed for occupancy by households with a gross household income that is greater than 80 percent but does not exceed 120 percent of the median gross household income for households of the same size within the housing region in which the housing is located. (Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook)

Housing, mixed-income.

Residential developments that promote accessibility to individuals of various income levels to encourage more economically integrated neighborhoods.

Housing, moderate-income.

Housing that is affordable, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for either home ownership or rental, and that is occupied, reserved, or marketed for occupancy by households with a gross household income that is greater than 50 percent but does not exceed 80 percent of the median gross household income for households of the same size within the housing region in which the housing is located. (Growth Smart Legislative Handbook)

Housing, multifamily.

Residential development on a single lot containing separate living units for five (5) or more families.

Infill development.

The development of vacant or partially developed parcels which are surrounded by or in close proximity to areas that are substantially or fully developed. (Golden, Colorado)

Land use.

The way in which a parcel of land is used or occupied.

Mixed-use building.

Development that incorporates both residential and nonresidential uses within a single structure.

Mixed-use development.

Development that incorporates both residential and nonresidential uses within a single project


A connected transportation system that supports different modes of transportation such as private vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, rail, public transit, or watercraft.

Overlay district.

A zoning district prescribing regulations to be applied to a site in combination with a base zoning district.

Polycentric development pattern.

Having multiple dispersed centers of activity or development.

Premium Transit Corridor (also known as Rapid Transit Corridor).

An identified transportation connection between major centers of employment or activity in need of a transit investment, consisting of a bus or train operating in their own lane, allowing for faster travel speeds with more frequent service and fewer stops to avoid interruption by other traffic during rush hour.

Premium Transit Service (also known as High- Capacity Transit or Rapid Transit).

A fast network of buses and trains operating in their own lanes. Rapid transit differs from local bus service by operating at faster speeds with more frequent service and fewer stops without being interrupted by other traffic during rush hour.

Priority growth areas.

Areas where we can strategically focus employment and housing growth, aligning land use planning and infrastructure investment with economic development. Areas identified by the city include regional employment centers, mixed-use centers, areas of high land capacity for growth, underserved areas of the tity, land near the City Center, premium transit corridors and key arterial corridors.

Regional centers.

The major activity and employment centers that are 1.5 to 15 square miles in size; currently have or are planned to have a total employment of at least 15,000 jobs; contain significant economic assets and/or major employers; and major City-initiated redevelopment or specific project plans. SA Tomorrow includes three (3) types of Regional Centers: Activity Centers, Logistics/Service Centers, and Special Purpose Centers.


The capacity for individuals, neighborhoods, and whole systems to not only survive but thrive despite disruptions and stresses. Resiliency refers to the ability of people, the places where they live, and the infrastructure they rely upon to withstand and quickly recover from a natural or other hazard.

SA Tomorrow.

A three-pronged planning effort established to implement the SA2020 vision through 2020 and beyond, and includes three concurrent and complementary plans: the updated Comprehensive Plan, a Sustainability Plan, and a Multimodal Transportation Plan. These plans all work in concert to guide the city toward smart, sustainable growth.


A community vision and movement born from a series of public forums in 2010 to develop goals for improving San Antonio by the year 2020.


The SPARK School Program works with schools and neighborhoods to develop community parks on public school grounds. SPARK Parks are available for public use during non-school hours and on weekends.


The flow of water which results from a rainfall event. (Temple Terrace, Fla.)


Community use of natural resources in a way that does not jeopardize the ability of future generations to live and prosper. (California Planning Roundtable)

Transit-Supportive Development (also known as Transit-Supportive Land Use).

Live-work-play style development organized around key transit stations with buildings designed for the pedestrian, numerous neighborhood amenities and services, and well-designed pedestrian, bicycle and transit friendly infrastructure. This walkable compact form provides residents choices on how they live and access their daily services, work and entertainment destinations.

Underutilized properties.

Sites, uses and buildings that do not meet current market demand.

Unincorporated land.

Land area that is not within the boundary of an incorporated city or town; and therefore, is under County jurisdiction.

Urban centers.

Larger commercial and mixed-use centers with fewer than 15,000 employees that can vary in size and serve as community destinations for more than one neighborhood and are connected by attractive multimodal corridors, many of which include premium transit service.

Vacant land.

Lands or buildings that are not actively used for any purpose. (California Planning Roundtable)


A request for permission to vary or depart from a requirement of the Municipal Code where, due to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the requirement will result in an unnecessary hardship. Variance requests from the zoning text and the sign ordinance are heard by the Board of Adjustments. The Planning Commission hears variance requests from the subdivision ordinance.

VIA Vision 2040.

VIA Metropolitan Transit’s Long Range Plan (adopted 8/23/216). Serving as a blueprint for the future of public transportation in the region, the plan outlines the community’s vision for transit development and underscores the importance of the region becoming multimodal to remain economically competitive.

Vision Zero.

A street safety policy that strives for the elimination of traffic fatalities for all transportation modes.


Characteristic of an area that is accessible or friendly to pedestrians. Factors that contribute to a walkable environment include comfortable and connected sidewalks or footpaths, leading to meaningful destinations that can be accessed by foot, wheelchair, or other mobilization device that is not classified as a vehicle. A walkable community will have a mix of land uses in close proximity.


The ways in which people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place through the use of effective signage.


Alamo Area Council of Governments


Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing


Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization


Affordable Care Act


Americans with Disabilities Act


Accessory Dwelling Units


Air Forces Cyber Command


Assessment of Fair Housing


Base Closure and Realignment Commission


Bus Rapid Transit


Bexar Regional Watershed Management


Build San Antonio Green


Capital Improvement Program


Cultural Landscape Inventory


Comprehensive Plan Advisory Group


Comprehensive Plan Committee (City Council Subcommittee)


Comprehensive Planning Program


U.S. Department of Defense


Edwards Aquifer Protection Program


Office of Sustainability's Energy Management Division


Extraterritorial Jurisdiction


Floor Area Ratio


Historic and Design Review Commission


High Occupancy Vehicle


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Installation Complex Encroachment Management Action Plan


Institute for Cyber Security, University of Texas at San Antonio


Joint Base San Antonio


Joint Land Use Study


Low Impact Development


Level of Service


Light Rail Transit


Lone Star Rail District


Military Airport Overlay Zones


Military Influence Areas


Military Lighting Overlay District


Memorandums of Understanding


Metropolitan Statistical Area


Military Sound Attenuation Overlay


Military Transformation Task Force


North America Free Trade Agreement


Neighborhood Conservation District


National Highway Traffic Safety Association


Office of Historic Preservation


Pavement Condition Index


Plan Element Working Group


San Antonio Flood Emergency


San Antonio Housing Authority


San Antonio River Authority


San Antonio Water System


Single Occupancy Vehicle


Students Together Achieving Revitalization


Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan


Solid Waste Management Department


Southwest Regional Institute


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality


Transportation & Capital Improvement Department


Transportation Demand Management


Transit Oriented Development


Unified Development Code


United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization


Union Pacific Railroad


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Vehicle Miles Travelled