The City of San Antonio is proposing an ordinance to help regulate the use of homes as short-term rentals (STRs), often known as Air BnBs or Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO).  The purpose of this ordinance is to “establish regulations for the protection of the health and safety of occupant(s) of short term rental properties and to protect the integrity of the neighborhoods in which short term rental properties operate.” The city formed a 25-person task force in May, 2017 to evaluate the proposed ordinance and to make recommendations.  The city task force is comprised of short-term rental owners, concerned citizens and neighborhood association representatives. The King William Association has a representative on the city-wide task force and also formed a neighborhood task force to look at parts of the ordinance that were of particularly interest to the neighborhood and to make recommendations to the King William Association Board of Directors. 

You may have noticed the new landscaping at the former Monterey restaurant (1127 S. St. Mary’s St.), which closed in 2015. The location was rebranded this year as The Monty with the Ivy Hall and Gardens, the “container house” that sits behind and beside the former restaurant.  The L-shaped property for the container house (1119 S. St. Mary’s St.) backs up to houses on Cedar Street. 

Together, these two properties are zoned IDZ with uses permitted by C-2 and MF-25 zoning.  Amplified sound is permitted under C-2, which is a form of commercial zoning.  MF-25 allows multi-family housing with a maximum density of 14 units per acre.

A new District 1 Zoning Commissioner, Sophia Lopez, has been named by Councilman Treviño.  She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Temporary storage containers were designed to be placed in driveways on private property.  To place a temporary storage unit on a street or sidewalk, the City requires a permit, which is available from the “One Stop” facility at Alamo St. and Flores St. 

Please note that the storage container must have reflective barricades.  More information about the City’s Right of Way Ordinance is available on the City’s website. 

- Rose Kanusky

Every five years the City reviews its Unified Development Code (UDC) and reviews input from staff and citizens. KWA requested adding a noise restriction to commercial properties similar to the “no alcohol” restriction. After review by many commissions, City Council approved adding NR as part of the UDC update.

Two zoning cases went before City Council on August 4: 1009 S. Alamo and 1811 S. Alamo, using the NR (noise restriction) to prohibit any outdoor amplified noise.

The King William Association is a registered neighborhood association with the City of San Antonio.  This means the Association receives notifications regarding zoning requests within our boundaries and can make comment reading the zoning change.  I have often been asked why some places need to rezone and others do not.  Below is an interview with Catherine Hernandez, COSA Zoning Manager.

Cherise Bell: What does “change of use” mean?

Catherine Hernandez: A “use” is defined as the legal enjoyment of property for a specific purpose.  A “change of use” is an action to make the use of the property different from its previous use.  

Sidewalks and curbs

How about the sidewalk and curb area right in front of your home? This area is considered city right-of-way, used for public passage and for the installation of curbs, sidewalks and utilities.
However, it’s the responsibility of the adjacent homeowner to keep the right-of-way free of obstructions including any type of debris, grass and weeds, and other plants that impede the passage of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This includes weeds growing out of the sidewalk or curb, that are along the street pavement. In addition, the correction of major cracks and unlevel surfaces along the sidewalk is also the responsibility of the property owner (City Code Ch. 29-11a).

KWA submitted an amendment proposal on the City’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regarding external sound systems for commercially zoned properties. Every five years the public can submit UDC amendment proposals and comments as part of a public process. City staff reviews the requests and makes recommendation to various City Commissions, which make recommendation to the City Council. City Council then votes on which changes to incorporate into the UDC. The process takes over a year to complete, so any changes adopted at the end of the current 2015 update program would not become code until 2016. Furthermore, the new codes only affect those projects started in or after adoption of the changes. Established properties or projects started in 2015 retain their previous “rights” and are considered “grandfathered.”

Why Should I Apply for a Permit?

Permits must be obtained prior to starting a building project so that the City can make sure it complies with the building safety codes. Most construction and remodeling work requires a permit (even if you’re doing the work), with the exception of minor repairs such as painting, wallpapering, carpeting and tiling. Electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and most plumbing work requires that a licensed trade professional do the actual work in addition to obtaining a permit. They are also required for: re-roofing, fences (including repair or replacement of over 25% of existing fences), carports, room additions, demolition, repairs affecting the structural components of a building (walls, foundations and roof system to include replacement of windows and doors), replacement or alteration of public sidewalks, curbs and driveway approaches, storage sheds over one story or over 120 square feet in size and most decks, new installation or major alteration of plumbing, HVAC or electrical systems. All new structures exceeding 120 square feet also require a permit.

Zoning is a tool a city has to regulate land uses, including the size and shape of development. The City of San Antonio Unified Development Code is flexible in order to accommodate the changing neighborhood and conditions that may necessitate a zoning change. The City of San Antonio has many zoning districts, of which 2 are featured below: BASE districts and OVERLAY districts.