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City reviewing hundreds of properties that may be incorrectly zoned

City reviewing hundreds of properties that may be incorrectly zoned

SAN ANTONIO – The city plans to review hundreds of properties near downtown that may be incorrectly zoned, having a domino effect on development and property values.

With all the growth near downtown spurring zoning change requests, leaders started discovering a big problem with the system.

"Beacon Hill is one of those downtown neighborhoods,” resident Cynthia Spielman says. “We have become a desirable neighborhood for development and for young people to move into."

Through her neighborhood association, she helps homeowners navigate the zoning process.

"People woke up one day when they tried to do repairs and pull permits, that their single-family homes, they didn't have the appropriate zoning so it was hard for them to work with the city,” Spielman says.

For example, properties with one home were zoned multi-family. Councilman Roberto Trevino identified a commercial corridor zoned industrial.

He says the city took a closer look and discovered the problems date back several years, when the city switched to a new system.

"And when it changed, it translated some of the existing or previous zoning designations over to the new zoning designations. We call those translation errors,” Councilman Trevino says.

His district includes growing neighborhoods near downtown like Beacon Hill, Alta Vista and Monte Vista where hundreds of properties now need to be reviewed.

Councilman Trevino is assembling a task force right now to get to work.

"Nobody's property will be re-zoned without their consent,” he promises.

But homeowners do need to be aware, because an incorrect zoning can cost you.

"The higher your zoning, the higher your taxes are,” Spielman says.

Leaders also hope the review process will lead to better planning and more collaboration with developers.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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