Land Use

Future Land Use

The Southeast Community Area Future Land Use Plan supports the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, Multimodal Transportation Plan, and Sustainability Plan. It also draws on recommendations from the SA Corridors Strategic Framework Plan and implements the Vision, Goals, and Plan Framework for the Southeast Community Area. The Future Land Use Plan encourages growth and increased density at various scales in mixed-use centers and focus areas and along key transit and community corridors.


The following sections describe the general future land use patterns of the Southeast Community Area. Recommendations for implementing the Future Land Use Plan follow, and the full catalogue of land use categories (including descriptions and allowable zoning districts) adopted in the Unified Development Code (UDC) Chapter 35 are found at the bottom of the page.

Residential Areas


Neighborhoods and residential areas account for roughly 70% of the Southeast Area land use and consist primarily of single-family detached dwellings. These areas are generally quiet, stable, and have limited traffic volumes. Residential areas range from older neighborhoods such as Highland Park, Pecan Valley, and Pasadena Heights, to newer subdivisions including Foster Meadows and Blue Rock Springs. Generally, the Southeast Community Area should retain a lower density residential composition and appearance.

For the Southeast Area future land use map, existing neighborhoods are designated either Low Density Residential or Urban Low Density Residential. Urban Low Density Residential is appropriate in the western portion of the plan area, including Highland Park and Pasadena Heights, as these areas are characterized by smaller lots and neighborhood-scaled commercial uses embedded within. 

Urban Low-Density areas allow for multiplexes as well. Two- to four-story garden-style apartment complexes are located near the intersections of Gevers Street and Fair Avenue, and Southcross Boulevard and Pecan Valley Drive. Additional apartments are scattered along certain corridors, including Southcross Boulevard, South WW White Road, and Rigsby Avenue.

Adjacent to New Sulphur Springs Road are two manufactured housing communities. These communities are usually oriented with dwelling units located closer together on smaller parcels.  

Medium and High Density Residential Uses

Medium Density Residential land uses should not to be located within established residential neighborhoods, as they would detract from the existing character and scale of those neighborhoods, which typically consist of single-family, detached residential dwellings. However, Medium Density Residential may be appropriate along the perimeter of lower density neighborhoods as a transition to mixed-use areas or along identified transit corridors, such as along Fair Avenue, Roland Avenue, or South WW White Road. High Density Residential is not recommended in the Southeast Area. However, if residential development exceeding Medium Density Residential is desired, it is more suitable in areas designated Urban Mixed-Use, to ensure housing units have accessibility to food and dining options, retail, public amenities, and other services.

Mixed-Use Centers and Corridors

Urban Mixed-Use

To further stimulate economic development, create healthy, walkable communities, and encourage higher density residential uses, Urban Mixed-Use should be located around major intersections and along corridors that can accommodate higher traffic volumes, as well as properties near public transit routes and facilities. Higher density residential development should occur in a mixed-use context in the Southeast Community Area.  Urban Mixed-Use is designated in several key areas, including along Highway 87 and South WW White Road, which are major corridors in the Southeast Community Area. Specifically, in the focus area identified at Highway 87 and Lakefront Drive, the Urban Mixed-Use designation encourages a mixed-use town center development that accommodates a multigenerational community facility, commercial uses along Highway 87 frontage, apartments, townhomes, open space, and recreational connections to Tealer Park and Rosillo Creek. At the intersection of South WW White Road and Southcross Boulevard, Urban Mixed-Use has been designated to encourage infill of vacant or underutilized lots and to allow a mix of uses at a potential transit facility along the South WW White Road premium transit corridor. Urban Mixed-Use is also designated at the intersections of Gevers Street and Fair Avenue, near McCreless Shopping center; Pecan Valley Drive and Southcross Boulevard, which complements adopted land use patterns in the adjacent Brooks Area Regional Center Plan; Rigsby Avenue and South WW White Road; and South WW White Road and Loop 410.

Neighborhood Mixed-Use

Neighborhood Mixed-Use supports small-scaled businesses that service two to three surrounding neighborhoods and accommodates housing ranging from single-family dwellings to small multiplexes.  Neighborhood Mixed-Use is designated at the intersections of Roland Avenue and Rigsby Avenue, and along Rigsby Avenue from Clark Avenue to Amity Road. Portions of Fair Avenue, Gevers Street, Southcross Boulevard, and Loop 410 have been designated Neighborhood Mixed-Use, to serve as transitions from higher intensity land uses to Low Density Residential. This designation has also been applied to South WW White Road between Rigsby Avenue and Southcross Boulevard, complementing existing commercial uses along this premium transit corridor.

Employment/Flex Mixed-Use

Employment/Flex Mixed-Use is assigned to properties along Sinclair Road, situated between South WW White Road and Rosillo Creek. This local arterial includes several industrial uses and has freight delivery traffic. Employment/Flex Mixed-Use along this corridor discourages conventional industrial uses and promotes future adaptive reuse of industrial sites. Employment/Flex Mixed-Use is also assigned to parcels near the intersection of Roland Avenue and Rigsby Avenue to provide a transition between Light Industrial and Neighborhood Mixed-Use areas.

Business/Innovation Mixed-Use

Business/Innovation Mixed-Use accommodates light industrial uses with office, commercial, and residential uses, all within a cohesive setting.  It is intended for larger parcels or campus-style development, where industry, office and certain residential projects could co-exist. Both Business/Innovation and Employment/Flex Mixed-Use areas are designated along Loop 410 on industrial sites and in business parks to encourage an employment and innovation corridor that also includes options for housing on-site. Heavy industrial uses are not permitted.  Business/Innovation Mixed-Use is designated at the current location of HOLT CAT San Antonio, located southwest of the Southcross Boulevard and Loop 410 intersection, in place of Heavy Industrial land use. Business/Innovation Mixed-Use is also located along Loop 410, north of the Regional Commercial area at the Loop 410 and Southcross Boulevard interchange, which includes General Commercial, Light Industrial, and General Industrial zoning districts.

Commercial Areas

Regional Commercial allows for higher intensity commercial uses, can attract large scale businesses, and can draw in residents citywide.  Its expression should be limited to interstate frontages and major freeway intersections.  Regional Commercial is designated near the Southcross Boulevard and Loop 410 interchange. This area currently consists of several vacant properties that are zoned C-2, C-3, I-1, or R-5.  There are also small areas of Regional Commercial at the Fair Avenue and I-37 interchange, and Loop 410 and Rigsby Avenue.


Community Commercial land use is located along South Hackberry Street, Southcross Boulevard, and Rigsby Avenue. These corridors provide several unique and longstanding businesses that offer services and goods to surrounding neighborhoods.

Industrial Areas

Within the Southeast Community Area, Heavy Industrial land use is discouraged and has not been assigned to any parcels. Light Industrial land use is located on property owned and operated by the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and is used for a transportation base for school bus storage and fleet maintenance. Light Industrial is also located near the intersection of Loop 410 and South WW White Road, where there is a building materials supplier, sign shop, and truck equipment, all having industrial zoning. Other industrial uses can be accommodated in areas classified as Business/Innovation Mixed-Use, which permits Business Park, Mixed Industrial, Light Industrial, and General Industrial zoning districts.

Parks / Open Space and Agricultural Areas

Parks / Open Space is designated to City- and Bexar County-owned parks and recreational facilities, including Southside Lions Park, Tealer Park, Highland Park, Comanche Park, and Covington Park. Parks /  Open Space land use is also located in and around newer subdivisions east of Loop 410, including Blue Rock Springs, Riposa Vita, and Foster Meadows. Although not indicated on the future land use map, Parks and Open Space is recommended along linear creek systems, which include Salado Creek and Rosillo Creek. This recommendation is intended to encourage future investment for nature trails, trail-oriented development, recreational activity, alternative routes of mobility, and environmental and floodplain conservation.

Agricultural land use is limited in the Southeast Community Area and only located on a large parcel along Roland Avenue, which is the site of the Granieri Farm.

Development in the Southeast Community Area has followed the history of development for the City as a whole, with density decreasing as one moves eastward from I-37 past Loop 410. As infill development and redevelopment occurs, new uses should be compatible with existing development, in terms of building height, lot sizes, and uses, in order to preserve the character and identity of established neighborhoods. For the most part, infill development should not disrupt pre-existing patterns and should be compatible in use and scale of existing development. The major exception to this would be the land along Loop 410, South WW White Road, and areas along Rigsby Avenue/Highway 87, where the plan indicates that mixed-use is the preferred future land use.

Southeast neighborhoods historically have been developed as single-family dwellings on a single lot. Future residential development should aim to maintain this pattern, however, medium density residential and mixed-use residential are encouraged, where applicable. When applicable, neighborhood scaled commercial uses are encouraged in more compact neighborhoods closer to the Downtown urban core, including Highland Park and Pasadena Heights.

Non-residential land uses embedded in existing neighborhoods should encourage diversity amongst retail and food options and should be appropriately scaled to not detract from the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

The use and development of properties near neighborhoods and residential areas has an impact on the lives of the people who live in the plan area. Transitional buffers are needed to ensure that commercial and industrial activity will not adversely impact existing neighborhoods and residential areas. Neighborhood Mixed-Use, Medium Density residential, Parks / Open Space, and Employment/Flex Mixed-Use are examples of land use categories that serve as effective buffers between residential and non-residential uses.

Additionally, the nature and scale of commercial uses should be compatible with the density of surrounding residential areas. This is more effective for transportation demand management and minimizes conflict between residents and businesses.

To help ensure new development is compatible with the surrounding residential uses, buffers and transitions should be integrated between varying densities and uses, which can be accomplished through landscape buffers and zoning districts. To preserve the single-family residential character of the Southeast Area neighborhoods, higher densities should be concentrated along major transit corridors and intersections, and taper down in density, scale, and use when approaching adjacent single-family residential neighborhoods.

In the Southeast Community Area, Loop 410 provides transportation access, visibility, and land availability for project-scale development and redevelopment. Industrial areas along Loop 410 have been reimagined as employment and innovation hubs, creating more jobs closer to nearby neighborhoods, which could assist with reducing commute times. These areas could include food production and distribution, modern manufacturing, technological districts, design and media centers, culture, gourmet food and beverage, hard goods manufacturing, craft studios, start-up incubators, creative hubs, breweries and distilleries. These areas should be energetic environments for smaller startups to larger companies.

Major cross streets of Loop 410, such as Southcross Boulevard, Highway 87, and South WW White Road, create further accessibility for this corridor to allow for economic opportunity that extends beyond the freeway frontage. Existing activity in the area includes larger scale industrial and commercial use, with limited single-family encroachment of freeway-accessible space. More commercial activity is encouraged along Southcross Boulevard between Loop 410 and South WW White Road, to establish a community shopping strip or center that includes retail, restaurants, and other community services and amenities for surrounding neighborhoods and supports nearby employment areas, subsequently creating more jobs closer employment options to residents.

To encourage mixed-use development oriented toward technology and innovation, residential opportunity should be limited to multi-family and mixed-use projects within the areas close to Loop 410. Regional commercial activity should be concentrated at one or two major intersections, and properties that are designated as Business/Innovation Mixed-Use should be zoned so that the desired development forms are permitted.

Properties along Loop 410 that are in closer proximity to existing neighborhoods have been designated as either Employment/Flex Mixed-Use or Neighborhood Mixed-Use, in order to allow for commercial and multi-family development, while providing a better transition and appropriate scale of commercial uses adjacent to surrounding neighborhoods.

Properties located adjacent to or near transit stations should be mixed-use, and developed at a higher intensity than the surrounding area. First floors should be primarily commercial in nature, with signage, lighting and parking areas oriented toward the pedestrian and the transit rider, P to improve connectivity between residents and their destinations. Near entrances to Southside Lions Park, particularly in mixed-use areas, trail-oriented development should be encouraged, and enhanced bike facilities should be incentivized.

Key mixed-use corridors, such as Rigsby Avenue and South WW White Road, should incorporate higher-density development oriented toward the corridor to minimize impact on single-family residential areas. Land uses along these corridors should preserve existing businesses and incorporate new and diverse businesses while integrating a variety of housing options. Where appropriate, the highest densities should be concentrated within walking distance to transit stops and facilities. Adaptive reuse and infill development are encouraged for vacant or underutilized parcels and buildings.

These corridors should provide a quality public realm that is accommodating to multiple modes of mobility. When applicable, parking areas should be located behind buildings to create a more intimate connection between sidewalks and buildings.

Future Land Use Categories

As described above, the Southeast Community Area Plan includes a range of land use designations that represent the unique character of the area, while encouraging and supporting development patterns that reflect the goals of the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan and the preferences of the Southeast community. Listed below is the full list of land use categories adopted by City Council into the Unified Development Code (UDC), Chapter 35, on October 11, 2018. Each category listed includes a description, general guidance on where the land use designation is most appropriate, and a list of allowable zoning districts.

Residential Estate

Includes large lot single-family detached houses on individual estate-sized lots or in conservation subdivisions. This form of development should be located away from major arterials, and can include certain nonresidential uses such as schools, places of worship, and parks that are centrally located for convenient neighborhood access. Permitted zoning districts: FR, R-20, RE, and RP.

  • Typical densities in this land use category would be up to 2 dwelling units per acre.

Low Density Residential

Includes single-family detached houses on individual lots, including manufactured and modular homes. This form of development should not typically be located adjacent to major arterials. This land use category can include certain nonresidential uses such as schools, places of worship, and parks that are centrally located for convenient neighborhood access. Permitted zoning districts: R-4, R-5, R-6, NP-8, NP-10, and NP-15.

Regional Mixed-Use

Contains residential, commercial and institutional uses at high densities. Regional Mixed-Use developments are typically located within regional centers and in close proximity to transit facilities, where mid-rise to high-rise buildings would be appropriate. Typical lower floor uses include, but are not limited to, offices, professional services, institutional uses, restaurants, and retail including grocery stores. The mix of uses may be vertically or horizontally distributed, and there is no requirement that a single building contain more than one use. Live/work housing options are permissible in Regional Mixed-Use areas to ensure access to housing options and services within close proximity for the local workforce. Where feasible, development is ideally built at the block scale, with minimum building setbacks. Parking requirements may be satisfied through shared or cooperative parking agreements, which can include off-site garages or lots. If parking requirements are satisfied on-site, structured parking is encouraged. Pedestrian spaces are encouraged to be generous in width and lighting, with streetscaping and signage scaled to pedestrians. Regional Mixed Use projects encourage incorporation of transit facilities into development. Permitted zoning districts: MF-33, MF-40, MF-50, MF-65, O-1.5, O-2, C-2, C-3, D, ED, FBZD, AE-1, AE-2, AE-3, and AE-4.
  • IDZ, PUD, MXD, TOD and MPCD may be considered consistent with this land use category, provided the permitted uses included on the zoning site plan and zoning ordinance are consistent with the uses and densities outlined above.

Employment/Flex Mixed-Use

Provides a flexible live/work environment with an urban mix of residential and light service industrial uses. Uses include smaller-scale office, retail, art studio warehouses, art-oriented fabrication, creative businesses and work spaces, and cottage industrial and fabrication uses. Adaptive uses of vacant or underutilized structures are encouraged to provide residential urban infill and appropriate employment opportunities within or in close proximity to neighborhoods. Buildings have a smaller footprint and can closely resemble campus-like development across multiple sites or with several multi-functioning buildings on one site. Permitted zoning districts: RM-4, MF-18, MF-25, MF-33, O-1, O-1.5, C-1, C-2, L, AE-1, AE-2, AE-3, and AE-4.
  • IDZ, PUD, MXD, TOD and MPCD may be considered consistent with this land use category, provided the permitted uses included on the zoning site plan and zoning ordinance are consistent with the uses and densities outlined above.

Business/Innovation Mixed-Use

Accommodates industrial uses with office, commercial, and residential uses, all within a cohesive setting, on a larger scale and within larger footprints than the Employment/Flex Mixed-Use category. Industrial arts workshops, high tech fabrication, processing and assembly, and other industrial uses are permitted, in addition to commercial uses. Vocational training, technological learning centers, medical campuses, and research/development institutions are also appropriate for these spaces. Additional environmental performance standards should be employed for properties designated as Business/Innovation Mixed-Use, such as hours of activity, loading, noise levels and lighting, to ensure that the intensity of the industrially oriented uses is comparable to that of the other non-residential uses. The mix of uses may be either vertically or horizontally distributed. Live/work housing options are permissible in Business/Innovation Mixed Use areas to ensure access to housing options and services within close proximity of business innovation areas for the local-workforce. Business/Innovation mixed use should incorporate transit and bicycle facilities to serve the training and employment base. Permitted zoning districts: RM-4, MF-18, MF-25, O-1.5, O-2, C-2, C-3, L, I-1, MI-1, BP, AE-1, AE-2, AE-3, and AE-4.

  • IDZ, PUD, MXD, TOD and MPCD may be considered consistent with this land use category, provided the permitted uses included on the zoning site plan and zoning ordinance are consistent with the uses and densities outlined above.

Light Industrial

Includes a mix of manufacturing uses, business park, and limited retail/service uses that serve the industrial uses. Industrial uses should be screened and buffered from adjoining non-industrial uses. Any outside storage should be under a roof and screened from public view. Examples of light industrial uses include drug laboratories, furniture wholesalers, lumberyards, food production, and warehousing. Permitted zoning districts: L, I-1, MI-1, and BP.

  • IDZ, TOD, and MPCD may be considered consistent with this land use category, provided the permitted uses included on the zoning site plan and zoning ordinance are consistent with the uses and densities outlined above.

Heavy Industrial

Includes heavy manufacturing, processing and fabricating businesses. Heavy industrial uses shall be concentrated at arterials, expressways, and railroad lines. This category is not compatible with neighborhood-scaled categories or those that permit residential zoning. Heavy Industrial should be separated from non-industrial uses by an allowable land use or a significant buffer. Examples of heavy industrial uses include auto manufacturing, battery manufacturing, and petro chemical bulk storage. Permitted zoning districts: I-1, I-2, MI-1, MI-2, QD, and SGD.


Includes crop agriculture, ranching, and related agribusiness practices. Single-family detached houses and detached accessory dwelling units are permitted on agricultural and ranch lands at very low densities or in conservation subdivisions that will not interfere with agricultural operations. Limited commercial uses directly serving agricultural and ranching uses, such as farmers markets, nurseries, stables, bed and breakfasts are permitted. To maintain scenic qualities, natural vegetative buffers, deeper setbacks, increased signage control, earthen drainage channels, and more restrictive access management standards are desired along major scenic corridors. Floodplain protection and buffer zones along creeks and rivers are instrumental in retaining rural character. Permitted zoning districts: RP and FR.

Parks/Open Space

May include, but is not limited to, large, linear, or unimproved land where conservation is promoted and development is not encouraged due to the presence of topographic constraints or institutional uses on the site. Parks/Open Space may include utility corridors and public or private land uses that encourage outdoor passive or active recreation. Examples include city owned and/or operated pocket, regional, or linear parks, as well as private parks associated with subdivisions and neighborhood associations.

City/State/Federal Government

Includes areas owned and operated by a federal, state, or city agency. Examples may include government offices, public service facilities such as libraries and police stations, military bases, state colleges, and federal courts. This category does not apply to properties owned by a public agency but leased to and operated by another party.