Short Term Rentals and Infill Development Zoning

The Monte Vista Historical Association has recently been asked by the City of San Antonio to participate on task forces to review current code and also research best practices for Short Term Rentals (STRs) and Infill Development Zoning (IDZ). This was prompted by two Council Consideration Requests submitted by Councilman Mike Gallagher (STRs) and Councilmen Roberto C. Trevino and Chris Medina (IDZ) and passed by City Council.

Websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey, VRBO where homeowners list bedrooms, accessory dwellings or whole houses for temporary rental (STR) have changed the landscape of residential neighborhoods. There are documented benefits and problems with short term rentals in San Antonio. Tourists who are able to rent in local neighborhoods outside of the traditional hotels bring an economic benefit to both the homeowner and the local economy. On the flipside, this growing transient rental industry has increased crime, noise, parking, and traffic and has changed the overall complexion of residential neighborhoods. Under the current codes, the short term rental business is an unregulated industry in the City. The role of the STR Task Force will be to draft a city ordinance and code procedures for the permitting of short term rentals and collecting of hotel occupancy tax revenue. In addition, the STR Task Force will be addressing public safety, density, and zoning/land use issues. It will also submit recommendations on the administration of short term rentals in the City. A formal draft is to be presented to City Council for review by the end of the year. All task force and update meetings are open to the public. The schedule is posted on the City of San Antonio website.

On the subject of Infill Development Zoning, the IDZ Task Force will review current IDZ zoning and submit recommendations to the City’s Neighborhoods and Livability Committee to assure “community compatibility” under the Unified Development Code Section 35-343. The IDZ designation was instituted to promote and facilitate development of vacant and underutilized lands as well as development of underutilized buildings and structures in inner city neighborhoods such as Monte Vista. To stimulate inner city redevelopment, the requirements for setbacks, parking and buffer zones have been minimized by IDZ. This type of zoning has stimulated development in the inner city but has also stressed older neighborhoods with increased traffic and lack of parking, as well as with reduced setbacks and increased density unsuited to older neighborhoods. In many cases, our historic neighborhoods are being encroached on by high density development that lacks any architectural or spatial connection with its historical surroundings. MVHA expects that the Task Force will support and protect historic neighborhoods through revised IDZ zoning and thanks the City of San Antonio for its outreach. The IDZ Task Force’s first meeting will be held in late September. Questions or comments about this article can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Monte Vista Historical Association
PO Box 12386
San Antonio, Texas 78212