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File #: 19-1917   
Type: Zoning Case
In control: City Council A Session
On agenda: 3/7/2019
Posting Language: ZONING CASE # Z-2018-900069 (Council District 1): Ordinance amending the Zoning District Boundary from “RM-4 H AHOD” Residential Mixed Lavaca Historic Airport Hazard Overlay District to “IDZ-3 H AHOD” High Intensity Infill Development Zone Lavaca Historic Airport Hazard Overlay District with uses permitted in “C-2” Commercial District and Multi-Family not to exceed 73 units on Lot 29, Block 8, NCB 708, located at 600 East Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. Staff and Zoning Commission recommend Approval, pending Plan Amendment. (Associated Plan Amendment PA-2018-900022)
Attachments: 1. Location Map, 2. Site Plan, 3. Zoning Minutes, 4. Draft Ordinance, 5. Ordinance 2019-03-07-0193
Related files: 19-1676, 19-2257

DEPARTMENT: Development Services                     


DEPARTMENT HEAD: Michael Shannon





Zoning Case Z-2018-900069

(Associated Plan Amendment PA-2018-900022)



Current Zoning:  “RM-4 H AHOD” Residential Mixed Lavaca Historic Airport Hazard Overlay District


Requested Zoning:  “IDZ-3 H AHOD” High Intensity Infill Development Zone Lavaca Historic Airport Hazard Overlay District with uses permitted in “C-2” Commercial District and Multi-Family uses not to exceed 73 units.



Zoning Commission Hearing Date:  February 5, 2019


Case Manager:  John Osten, Sr. Planner


Property Owner:  San Antonio Housing Authority


Applicant:  San Antonio Housing Authority


Representative:  Brown & Ortiz, P.C.


Location:  600 East Cesar E Chavez Boulevard


Legal Description:  Lot 29, Block 8, NCB 708


Total Acreage:  0.9553


Notices Mailed

Owners of Property within 200 feet:  20

Registered Neighborhood Associations within 200 feet:  Lavaca Neighborhood Association; Downtown Residents Association

Applicable Agencies:  Office of Historic Preservation


Property Details

Property History:  The subject property was in the original 36 square miles area annexed into the City of San Antonio dated April 19, 1905. The property was zoned “D” Apartments District by Ordinance 19584, dated September 17, 1953 and to “R-2” Residence District by Ordinance 74924, dated December 9, 1991. The property converted from “R-2” to the current “RM-4” Residential Mixed District with the adoption of the 2001 Unified Development Code (UDC), established by Ordinance 93881, on May 3, 2001.


Topography:  The property does not include any abnormal physical features such as slope.


Adjacent Base Zoning and Land Uses

Direction:  North

Current Base Zoning:  “D”

Current Land Uses:  Hemisphere Park, Federal Building, Entrance to the Tower of Americas and Institute of Texan Cultures


Direction:  East

Current Base Zoning:  “IDZ”

Current Land Uses:  Vacant Land


Direction:  West

Current Base Zoning:  “O-2”

Current Land Uses:  Parking Lot


Direction:  South

Current Base Zoning:  “RM-4”, “MF-33”

Current Land Uses:  Single-Family Residences, Vacant Land


Overlay and Special District Information:


All surrounding properties carry the "AHOD" Airport Hazard Overlay District, due to their proximity to an airport or approach path.  The "AHOD" does not restrict permitted uses, but can require additional review of construction plans by both the Development Services Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.



The surrounding properties are located in the Lavaca Historic District, which was adopted in 2001.  Historic districts do not regulate use of the property, but do enforce building exterior design standards meant to maintain the architectural character or cultural significance of the designated area.  Building plans and permit applications will be subject to review by the Office of Historic Preservation and the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) prior to any permits being issued.




Thoroughfare:  East Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard

Existing Character:  Primary Arterial Type B

Proposed Changes:  None Known


Public Transit:  VIA bus routes 26, 30, 230 operate on East Cesar E Chavez Boulevard


Traffic Impact:  A Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) is not required for “IDZ-3” base zoning districts.


Parking Information:  The minimum parking requirement of 1.5 per unit and 1 per 300 square feet for a typical retail use has been reduced 50% by the “IDZ-3” district.






Denial of the requested zoning change would result in the subject property retaining the current zoning district of “RM-4” which permits up to four dwelling units with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet.






The subject property is located within a Regional Center and it falls within ½ of a mile of the Commerce-Houston Metro Premium Plus Transit Corridor



Staff Analysis and Recommendation: Staff and Zoning Commission (10-0) recommend Approval.


Criteria for Review:  According to Section 35-421, zoning amendments shall be based on the approval criteria below.


1.  Consistency: 

The subject property is located within the Lavaca Neighborhood Plan and is currently designated as “Parks/Recreational” in the future land use component of the plan. The requested “IDZ-3” base zoning district is not consistent with the future land use designation. The applicant is requesting a land use amendment from “Parks/Recreational” to “Mixed Use” to accommodate the proposed rezoning. The Planning Commission recommendation is pending the February 13, 2019 hearing.


2.  Adverse Impacts on Neighboring Lands: 

Staff finds no evidence of likely adverse impacts on neighboring lands in relation to this zoning change request.


3.  Suitability as Presently Zoned: 

The current “RM-4” base zoning district is not appropriate base zoning for the property. The area, especially along East Cesar E Chavez Boulevard, is predominantly high-density residential and high intensity non-residential uses.


4.  Health, Safety and Welfare: 

Staff has found no indication of likely adverse effects on the public health, safety, or welfare.



5.  Public Policy: 

The subject property is located within the Lavaca Neighborhood Association and the ongoing Downtown Regional Center Plan area. The property is currently undeveloped and sits at the intersection of Labor Street and E Cesar Chavez Blvd. The proposed zoning change is requested to allow a mixed-use infill development.


Relevant Goals and Policies of the Comprehensive Plan may include:


GCF Goal 5:                     Growth and city form support improved livability in existing and future neighborhoods.


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.


H Goal 3:                      Housing choices are available in walkable and bikeable neighborhoods located near transit, employment, retail, medical, and recreational amenities.


H Goal 6:                      Infill development and revitalized neighborhoods provide a range of housing choices near the city center.


H P30:                      Ensure infill development is compatible with existing neighborhoods.


Goal 2 of The Lavaca Neighborhood Plan specifically establishes a housing goal to “improve the overall quality of housing while maintaining the historic character within the Lavaca Neighborhood.” Objective 2.1 states “Maintain the existing character of the historic residential buildings and encourage compatible infill housing within the neighborhood.” And, Action 2.1.2 states “Encourage compatible infill housing on vacant parcels throughout the neighborhood. Compatible housing will maintain the historical and architectural integrity of the neighborhood and help to better utilize vacant and/or unkempt properties.”


The proposal is generally consistent with the above listed goals and policies of the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan as well as the Lavaca Neighborhood Plan.


6.  Size of Tract: 

0.9553 Acres


7.  Other Factors: 


Infill Development Zone (IDZ) provides flexible standards for developments.  IDZ is to encourage and facilitate development on vacant, bypassed lands, or the redevelopment of underutilized buildings of structures, within existing built-up areas. IDZ may be approved as either a base zoning district or an overlay zoning district.  Standards required in an IDZ district shall apply to either IDZ base zoning or the IDZ overlay district except where otherwise specifically stated.  Typically IDZ gives flexibility to parking requirements, lots sizes, and setbacks.

                     The applicant’s request meets the Master Plan’s Policy for Growth Management - Policy 1g, because it makes physical improvements on an inner city property encouraging redevelopment and infill development.

                     The applicant’s request the Master Plan’s Policy for Neighborhoods - Policy 1a, because it rezones vacant or underutilized property in and around neighborhoods to encourage redevelopment that is compatible in use and intensity with the existing neighborhood.

                     The applicant’s request the Master Plan’s Policy for Urban Design - Policy 1c, because it develops zoning that allows mixed-use development (i.e. residential and commercial) to be placed in the same building.

                     The applicant’s request the Master Plan’s Policy for Urban Design -  Policy 1d, because it develops criteria and procedures for infill development which will enhance the character of neighborhoods.


This property is located within the Lavaca Historic District. Any new construction requires approval from the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC). The HDRC, on December 19, 2018, issued conceptual approval to construct a 4.5 story, multi-family residential structure on the vacant lot located at 600 E Cesar E Chavez Boulevard as well as four, two-story townhouse structures. The proposed development will feature ground floor retail space, approximately 216 residential units and approximately 260 off-street parking spaces.  Conceptual approval is the review of general design ideas and principles (such as scale and setback). Specific design details reviewed at this stage are not binding and may only be approved through a Certificate of Appropriateness for final approval.