city of San Antonio

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File #: 19-8452   
Type: Zoning Case
In control: Zoning Commission
On agenda: 11/19/2019
Posting Language: ZONING CASE Z-2019-10700267 HL (Council District 1): A request for a change in zoning from "D AHOD" Downtown Airport Hazard Overlay District to "D HL AHOD" Downtown Historic Landmark Airport Hazard Overlay District on 0.086 acres out of NCB 421, located at 505 East Travis Street. Staff recommends Approval. (Lorianne Thennes, Planner (210) 207-7945, lorianne.thennes, Development Services Department)
Attachments: 1. Location Map, 2. HDRC Exhibits
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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DEPARTMENT: Development Services                     


DEPARTMENT HEAD: Michael Shannon





Zoning Case Z2019-10700267 HL



Current Zoning: "D AHOD" Downtown Airport Hazard Overlay District


Requested Zoning: "D HL AHOD" Downtown Historic Landmark Airport Hazard Overlay District



Zoning Commission Hearing Date:  November 19, 2019


Case Manager:  Lorianne Thennes, Planner


Property Owner: 505 Travis Building LLC


Applicant: Office of Historic Preservation (c/o Jessica Anderson)


Representative: Office of Historic Preservation (c/o Jessica Anderson)


Location:  505 East Travis Street


Legal Description:  0.0867 acres out of NCB 421


Total Acreage:  0.0867 acres


Notices Mailed

Owners of Property within 200 feet:  22

Registered Neighborhood Associations within 200 feet:  Downtown Residents Association

Applicable Agencies:  Office of Historic Preservation, World Heritage Office, Planning Department, Fort Sam Houston


Property Details

Property History:  The property is currently a vacant building. It is within the original 36 square miles of the city and was originally zoned “I” Business District. This zoning district converted to “I-1” Industrial District in the conversion that accompanied the adoption of the 2001 Unified Development Code (Ordinance 93881, dated May 3, 2001); and was rezoned to “D” Downtown District, established by Ordinance 97651, dated May 22, 2003.


Topography: The property does not include any abnormal physical features such as slope or incursion in a flood plain.


Adjacent Base Zoning and Land Uses

Direction:  North

Current Base Zoning:  “D”

Current Land Uses: Apartments, commercial uses


Direction: East      

Current Base Zoning: “D”     

Current Land Uses: Parking lot      


Direction: South    

Current Base Zoning: “D”     

Current Land Uses: Parking garage, commercial uses      


Direction:  West

Current Base Zoning:  “D”

Current Land Uses:  Parking lot, commercial uses      


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.



Thoroughfare: East Travis Street

Existing Character:  Minor

Proposed Changes:  None


Public Transit:  There are VIA bus routes within walking distance of the subject property.


Routes: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 21, 24, 25, 88, 90, 96, 97, 214, 222, 225, 230, 232, 242, 243, 246, 301


Traffic Impact:  A full TIA report is required for this property. East Travis is identified on the City’s Major Thoroughfare Plan as a Secondary Type C (40’-60’ Right of Way). Right of Way dedication may be required.


Parking Information:  There is no minimum parking requirement for the Downtown District.






Current: The current “D” Downtown District provides concentrated downtown retail, service, office and mixed uses in the existing downtown business district. Major/regional shopping centers are permitted, but urban design standards are required in order to maintain a neighborhood commercial scale, to promote pedestrian activity, and to maintain the unique character of the center. Large outdoor sales areas are not permitted. Pedestrian circulation is required as are common parking areas. The "D" district promotes the long-term vitality of the downtown business district.


Proposed: The proposed “D” Downtown District allows all the above in addition to adding a historical landmark overlay.






The property is within a regional center and a premium transit corridor.



Staff recommends 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 Downtown Neighborhood Plan. A finding of consistency is not required for application of a historical landmark overlay.


2.  Adverse Impacts on Neighboring Lands: 

Staff does not find evidence of likely adverse impacts on neighboring lands in relation to this zoning change request. The base zoning of “D” remains the same.


3.  Suitability as Presently Zoned: 

The current "D AHOD" Downtown Airport Hazard Overlay District is an appropriate zoning for the property and surrounding area. The rezoning maintains the base and establishes a historic landmark overlay.


4.  Health, Safety and Welfare: 

Staff has not found indication of likely adverse effects on the public health, safety, or welfare.


5.  Public Policy: 

The proposed rezoning does not appear to conflict with the following goals, principles, and objectives of the Downtown Neighborhood Plan:


                     Preserve and enhance downtown’s character/spirit and celebrate its history and culture. Balance franchises to maintain originality of River Walk.

                     Make downtown easy to travel by foot, bike, car, and public transit. Improve the pedestrian movement way finding signage, parking and transit circulation systems.

                     Geographically balance businesses, entertainment, community facilities, arts, culture and residential projects to enhance downtown’s urban character. Create design standards and a model downtown neighborhood.


6.  Size of Tract: 

The subject property is 0.0867 acres, which could reasonably accommodate a historic landmark.


7.  Other Factors: 

The request for landmark designation was initiated by the owner.


On October 2, 2019, the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) approved a Finding of Historic Significance, identifying the property as historically significant based on criteria listed in Section 35-607 (b) of the Unified Development Code. The criteria identified as being applicable to the subject property are specified below.


HDRC concurred with the applicant that 505 E Travis St met UDC criterion [35-607(b)5], [35-607(b)11], and [35-607(b)13] for a finding of historic significance in the process of seeking designation as a local historic landmark. In order to be eligible for landmark designation, a property must meet at least three of the criteria; 505 E Travis St meets three.

5. Its embodiment of distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, type, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials; the building is an example of a two-part commercial block with ornate terra cotta details, typical of commercial buildings from this era.

9. Its character as a geographically definable area possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of historically, architecturally or culturally significant sites, buildings, objects or structures united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development; the building was constructed in conjunction with the Calcasieu Building, a designated local historic landmark.

16. It is designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark or State Archeological Landmark, or is included on the National Register of Historic Places. 505 E Travis is listed as a contributing structure to the San Antonio Downtown and River Walk Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.