Goals and policies

The City of San Antonio supports the preservation of San Antonio’s natural resources and environment through the reduction of impacts caused by human activity. The eight Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability goals address the key issues identified above and provide the framework for the policies and actions the City will take as a result of the SA Tomorrow process. The policies are not associated with specific goals, but are grouped by common themes.

The City developed eight goals to address the key issues identified as part of the Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability element.

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Goals

  • NRES Goal 1

    San Antonio protects the natural environment and ensures sustainable land use and development.

  • NRES Goal 2

    San Antonio balances environmental goals with business and community needs.

  • NRES Goal 3

    San Antonio maintains a sustainable balance between the conservation, use, and development of the city’s energy and natural resources.

  • NRES Goal 4

    San Antonio has an adequate, diversified, high quality water supply and is a national leader in water conservation.

  • NRES Goal 5

    San Antonio is a leader in energy conservation and providing clean, renewable energy for residents and businesses. (See also PFCS Goal 5)

  • NRES Goal 6

    San Antonio is a national leader in stormwater management best practices and low impact development (LID) design.

  • NRES Goal 7

    San Antonio’s air quality is better than state and national standards. (See also CHW Goal 7)

  • NRES Goal 8

    San Antonio is a model for innovative recycling and solid waste diversion programs that deliver ongoing benefits to the community. (See also PFCS Goal 6)

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Policies

  • NRES P1: Develop ordinances that preserve the integrity of natural settings in neighborhoods, communities, open spaces and parks and develop specific procedures for enforcement.

  • NRES P2: Develop a growth and annexation plan that reduces negative environmental impacts of new development.

  • NRES P3: Develop programs to attract environmentally sensitive industries to San Antonio and encourage local industries to adopt conservation measures and minimal impact technologies in their operations.

  • NRES P4: Implement policies that encourage infill development and higher-density development outside environmentally sensitive areas.

  • NRES P5: Plan and implement policies that protect and conserve native flora and fauna and iconic regional landscapes.

  • NRES P6: Plan and implement policies that allow for the natural movement of wildlife.

  • NRES P7: Continue to reduce per capita water consumption through conservation and other efforts.

  • NRES P8: Support continued water conservation investment to include education, incentives, and implementation of reasonable regulation, with particular emphasis on high volume users.

  • NRES P9: Support and incentivize rainwater harvesting and reuse (in accordance with Texas HB 3391 (2011)).

  • NRES P10: Support and incentivize xeriscape and other non-lawn alternatives through programs such as SAWS WaterSaver Landscape Coupon program.

  • NRES P11: 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 GCF P26 and CHW P36)

  • NRES P12: Protect the Edwards Aquifer recharge and contributing zones and the preservation reaches of rivers and creeks.

  • NRES P13: Jointly work with SAWS and CPS to determine the impact of utility service area expansion by coordinating the providers' service areas with the City's Comprehensive Plan and growth policies. (See also CHW P39)

  • NRES P14: Support and coordinate with the SARA Watershed Plan effort.

  • NRES P15: Continue to support SAWS plans and programs to diversify San Antonio’s water sources.

  • NRES P16: Develop new and utilize existing partnership programs between public agencies and a diversity of residents, community groups and organizations to monitor the city's water quality. (See also CHW P40)

  • NRES P17: Support the efforts of and collaborate with appropriate governmental entities to monitor, protect and ensure water quality within the Edwards Aquifer. (See also CHW P41 and GCF P32)

  • NRES P18: 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 GCF P23 and PFCS P13)

  • NRES P19: Continue to manage the capacity and transmission capabilities of the storm drainage network to prevent degradation of natural resources. (See also PFCS P14)

  • NRES P20: Encourage preservation of 100-year floodplains as natural drainage ways without permanent construction, unnecessary straightening, bank clearing or channeling.

  • NRES P21: Require or incentivize new development to manage stormwater using best practices and green techniques such as clustered and LID.

  • NRES P22: Explore effective impervious surfaces standards and guidelines.

  • NRES P23: Upgrade existing City infrastructure with green stormwater management solutions. (See also PFCS P15)

  • NRES P24: The City should address the impacts of stormwater run-off from public facilities and schools to protect adjacent neighborhoods.

  • NRES P25: Support policies and incentives to improve energy efficiency as one strategy to reduce energy consumption.

  • NRES P26: Support continued energy conservation investment to include education, incentives, and implementation of reasonable regulation, with particular emphasis on high volume users.

  • NRES P27: Increase the amount of local renewable energy production, with 30% of energy use from renewable sources by 2025 and 40% by 2040.

  • NRES P28: Support the creation of aggregated “solar assets” that can be deployed in the same manner as central station, fossil-fueled generation assets.

  • NRES P29: Promote policies and regulations which maximize the energy efficiency of all City buildings and facilities. (See also PFCS P31)

  • NRES P30: Evaluate existing development standards related to green building and green infrastructure and create a pilot incentive program to encourage incorporation of green building standards and green infrastructure in new development.

  • NRES P31: Create policies requiring all existing City of San Antonio-owned buildings be updated to green building standards by 2040. (See also PFCS P32)

  • NRES P32: Incorporate the transportation mode split of building’s daily occupants and users as a green building criterion.

  • NRES P33: Promote and expand weatherization programs for existing buildings. (See also PFCS P33)

  • NRES P34: Implement policies to achieve air quality levels within the thresholds established by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), with particular reference to automobile and truck emissions and CPS emissions. (See also CHW P30)

  • NRES P35: Continue to enhance programs and policies (including incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 50% by 2040. (See also CHW P33)

  • NRES P36: Implement policies that help support and expand the tools and incentives encouraging alternative fuels and vehicles in AACOG’s Clean Cities program.

  • NRES P37: Continue to collaborate with and implement the recommendations of the Clean Air Plan developed by the multi-jurisdictional Air Improvement Resources (AIR) Committee formed under the auspices of the AACOG.

  • NRES P38: Develop new and utilize existing public/private partnership programs with public agencies and a diversity of residents, community groups and organizations to monitor the city’s air quality. (See also CHW P32)

  • NRES P39: Enhance San Antonio’s tree canopy and develop a robust street tree program. (See also CHW P31).

  • NRES P40: Expand safe pedestrian and bicycle networks and transit options/access to encourage non-automobile travel alternatives. (See also TC P7)

  • NRES P41: Recruit and incentivize more green industries and businesses that are low emitters of pollution to become a larger part of the regional economy.

  • NRES P42: Establish regulations to minimize waste generation through effective waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. (See also PFCS P26)

  • NRES P43: Prioritize the purchase of recycled materials in City facilities and programs. (See also PFCS P27)