Growth and city form
Goals and policies
The goals and policies for Growth and City Form show a willingness to consider new, progressive approaches that will ensure San Antonio grows and develops in ways that benefit our existing and future residents, our businesses and our environment. These goals and policies are linked with the other important directives in the following chapters. The policies that can create higher-intensity, mixed-use developments align with policies to leverage the unique polycentric pattern of our regional economic centers, improve transportation options, attract young, skilled workers and provide environmental enhancements for air quality, water conservation and stormwater management.
The eight goals address the key issues identified above and provide the framework for the policies and actions the City will take as a result of SA Tomorrow. The policies are not associated with specific goals, but are grouped by common theme.
Growth and City Form Goals
- GCF Goal 1
Higher-density uses are focused within the city’s 13 regional centers and along its arterial and transit corridors.
- GCF Goal 2
Priority growth areas attract jobs and residents.
- GCF Goal 3
Strategic annexation benefits existing and future city residents and does not burden the City fiscally.
- GCF Goal 4
Sustainable infill and mixed-use development provide walkable and bikeable destinations for all residents.
- GCF Goal 5
Growth and city form support improved livability in existing and future neighborhoods.
- GCF Goal 6
Growth and city form support community health and wellness.
- GCF Goal 7
Development practices that minimize, mitigate or avoid negative impacts on the city’s natural resources, water supply, water quality, surface waterways and air quality.
- GCF Goal 8
Students throughout San Antonio have enhanced educational access and perform at a high level. (See also PFCS Goal 4)
Growth and City Form Policies
GCF P1: Incentivize the development of housing and employment uses in the city’s priority growth areas.
GCF P2: Identify and support catalyst projects which include a mix of housing types for a range of income levels and which attract additional employment.
GCF P3: Invest in neighborhood amenities and infrastructure (including green infrastructure) that will attract new residents to priority growth areas.
GCF P4: Create subarea/corridor plans for the city's regional centers, major arterials, and transit corridors to ensure maximum coordination of land use, transportation and other infrastructure in support of higher-density development.
GCF P5: Invest in needed amenities and infrastructure that will facilitate higher-density development in the city’s priority growth areas.
GCF P6: Align land uses and infrastructure improvements in regional centers with employment uses and jobs best suited for each center’s unique assets.
GCF P7: Ensure employment centers provide a variety of land uses and infrastructure that will allow the city to remain economically competitive.
GCF P8: Continue to focus on the revitalization of neighborhoods adjacent to downtown and extend these efforts to regional centers, urban centers and transit corridors.
GCF P9: Allow higher-density and mixed uses in portions of, or adjacent to, single-family residential areas to encourage shopping, services and entertainment amenities in closer proximity to housing and where appropriate.
GCF P10: Develop a plan to preserve and maintain affordable housing within revitalizing neighborhoods and along transit corridors.
GCF P11: Continue and bolster incentive programs for infill development in priority growth areas.
GCF P12: Develop programs to encourage and incentivize adaptive reuse.
GCF P13: Evaluate commercial and industrial land use and zoning designations in the core of the city, regional centers, urban centers and primary transit corridors to determine areas that could be converted to residential or mixed-use.
GCF P14: Establish appropriate buffers and transitions (land use, form and/or landscaping) between residential neighborhoods and surrounding higher-density development.
GCF P15: Work with AACOG (Alamo Area Council of Governments), AAMPO, and other regional partners to determine a consistent approach for forecasting growth in the region and develop a strategic, proactive approach to annexation that is consistent with the adopted growth forecast.
GCF P16: Ensure the City’s annexation policy supports desired city form.
GCF P17: Ensure that newly annexed residents of the city receive the same level of service as current residents.
GCF P18: Ensure that annexation decisions do not create an undue fiscal burden on the City or utilities providers, SAWS and CPS.
GCF P19: Ensure that the City's growth and annexation plan provides guidance for growth plans and policy decisions made by the major utility providers, SAWS and CPS.
GCF P20: Work with VIA Metropolitan Transit to develop a long-term transit plan that increases transit connectivity to employment centers.
GCF P21: Work with VIA Metropolitan Transit to develop a long-term transit plan that facilitates transit-supportive development.
GCF P22: Encourage development types and designs that promote and support water conservation practices.
GCF P23: Implement stormwater infrastructure management best practices that balance well-developed and well-maintained regional and site-specific stormwater infrastructure (i.e., gray and green infrastructure). (See also NRES P17 and PFCS P13)
GCF P24: Incentivize developments in or near the recharge and contributing zones and in areas identified by the watershed master plans of the Bexar Regional Watershed Management Consortium to use low impact development techniques, to meet minimum standards for pervious area and to develop natural resources mitigation plans.
GCF P25: Explore incentive and enforcement programs for Low Impact Development (LID).
GCF P26: Encourage land intensive development patterns to locate outside of the Edwards Aquifer recharge and contributing zones and along preservation reaches of rivers and creeks. (See also CHW P36 and NRES P11)
GCF P27: Purchase undeveloped land within the Edwards Aquifer recharge and contributing zones and along river and creek corridors for public open space.
GCF P28: Incentivize development that is consistent with recommendations within the watershed master plans of the Bexar Regional Watershed Management Consortium.
GCF P29: Develop and promote incentives and other tools to facilitate development types and designs that promote and support water conservation practices.
GCF P30: Develop and promote incentives and other tools to facilitate development types and designs that protect natural resources, water quality, surface waterways and air quality.
GCF P31: Promote development that leverages and protects the public’s investment in major green infrastructure and natural resources projects (e.g., the San Antonio River Improvements Project and other creek and trail restoration projects). (See also PFCS P9)
GCF P32: Support the efforts of and collaborate with appropriate governmental entities to monitor, protect and ensure water quality within the Edwards Aquifer. (See also NRES P17 and CHW P41)
GCF P33: Support and invest in existing schools and their neighborhoods.
GCF P34: Promote innovative educational opportunities within priority growth areas of the city to drive market demand for housing.
GCF P35: Help provide land, facilities, and/or entitlements that can be used to establish schools that attract a broader spectrum of families with children.
GCF P36: Collaborate with and provide support to underperforming independent school districts to enhance access and improve performance.
GCF P37: Increase funding and support for early childhood education programs in underperforming school districts.