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San Antonio Unified Development Code. Group 17. Numbering and Referencing The numbering system is consistent with the system used throughout the City's Code of Ordinances. Each section and subsection is keyed to the chapter, article and division as follows:

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San antonio unified development code

San AntonioUnified Development Code

Group 17

San antonio unified development code

Numbering and Referencing

The numbering system is consistent with the system used throughout the City's Code of Ordinances. Each section and subsection is keyed to the chapter, article and division

as follows:

Outside the section. When a reference is to text outside of the same section, the reference number starts with the chapter number (that is, 35), and continues to the appropriate

level for the reference. For example, 35-402(a) refers to subsection (a) of Section 402 in Article IV of Chapter 35. The names "UDC" and "chapter" are used if the reference is to the entire ordinance or chapter.

Within the section. When a reference is to text within the same section, the name of subsection, paragraph, or sub-paragraph, as appropriate, is used, and the reference "number" starts with the appropriate subsection letter. For example, "See subsection (b)(2), below" refers to paragraph 2, of subsection (b), of the same section of the UDC.

Purpose Statements. The beginning of most articles, divisions and sections includes an italicized purpose statement. The purpose statement summarizes the master plan policies that the section is designed to implement, other relevant public policies, and fact-findings governing the section. These purpose statements provide the basis for the development standards, but are not standards. In other words, an application for approval of a development cannot be denied because of a conflict with the purpose statement. However, an application will be denied where it conflicts with the standards.


The UDC implements the master plan's policy to encourage public participation and to protect neighborhoods. Incentives for pre-application meetings with neighborhoods are provided for Master Site Plans (section 35-411). A new Neighborhood Conservation District overlay is added (section 35-335). Section 35-420 establishes procedures for registering neighborhood associations and establishing neighborhood plans. And, notice requirements are established which go beyond the minimum requirements of state statutes in order to inform the public about pending applications (section 35-403).

San antonio unified development code

  • Determining the Regulations for a Specific Site

  • To determine the regulations of the UDC applicable to a site, the user must first find the site on the Official Zoning Map. The appropriate map will show the base zoning district that is applied to the site. It will also show if the site is subject to any overlay districts or special districts, and if the site contains a historic landmark.

  • The user should then look up all the corresponding regulations. Start with the base zoning districts (in Article III). The base zoning districts state whether a use is allowed by right, allowed as a special exception, or prohibited. The Dimensional Matrix contains the setback and building height standards that apply to the uses that are allowed. In addition, the user should consult the Supplemental Use Regulations (Article III, Division 7) to see if additional requirements apply to the use he is contemplating.

  • It is important to note that the zoning regulations do not apply to the unincorporated areas of Bexar County which adjoin the city and which are subject to the city's subdivision approval authority. These areas are known as the extraterritorial jurisdiction ("ETJ"). By state law, the city cannot regulate the use or density of land within the ETJ. However, an applicant may voluntarily choose a Use Pattern which may be restricted through a Master Site Plan coupled with restrictive covenants. By choosing to do so, the applicant may develop under alternative infrastructure standards as described in Article V.

  • Determining Where a Specific Use May Locate

  • To determine in what base zoning district a specific use may be located, the user must first determine what land use category it is in. Use the definitions in Use Matrix to look up a specific use. These are listed by category (for example, retail sales or heavy industry) rather than types of business. If there is a question as to how the use is defined, the Land-Based Classifications (LBCS) published by the American Planning Association should be consulted. The LBCS is a comprehensive classification system for land uses which is cross-referenced in the UDC.

  • Then, look at the Use Matrix, which is located in section 35-311, to see the status of the particular land use. Land use categories may be allowed by right, allowed with special limitations, allowed only as a special exception (with additional conditions possible), or prohibited. You should also check base zoning district regulations for Supplemental Use Regulations because some uses are subject to special standards.

  • Finally, although a base zoning district may allow a use, a specific site may be subject to additional regulations from an overlay district or special district. The regulations of the overlay district or special district supersede the regulations of the base zoning district and may affect the uses allowed and conditions required, so those regulations should also be consulted.

  • Determining Which Procedures Apply

  • Each section of Procedures (Article IV) which contains a permitting process includes a subsection entitled "Applicability." This subsection describes the situations where a particular process is needed. If the section applies, the reader should then consult the following subsections, which describe how an application is initiated, how an application is processed, the criteria for review, and cross-references to other parts of the UDC. In addition, most sections have a subsection entitled "Scope of Approval" which describes the rights granted to an applicant by the issuance of approval of the permit. Keep in mind that not all permits entitle an applicant to begin construction. In fact, most simply permit an applicant to proceed to the next step in the approval process.