Neighborhood Profiles & Priorities
What is the neighborhood profile and priorities?
San Antonio is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own unique history, qualities and character. Many neighborhoods throughout the City have developed Neighborhood Plans that reflect local values and priorities. These plans, adopted by the City, have guided local investments and improvements for many years and helped strengthen the relationship between residents and the City.
The City is currently in the process of creating Sub-Area Plans to implement the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan. These Sub-Area Plans are intended to provide a more coordinated, efficient and effective structure for planning throughout the City. Although many neighborhoods in the City lack an existing Neighborhood Plan, or a registered Neighborhood Association, or both, the Sub-Area Plans are intended to increase equity citywide by ensuring that all of San Antonio’s neighborhoods have input on future land use and a base level of policy guidance.
How was it developed?
At the time the Medical Center Area Regional Center Plan was developed, the plan area included over 20 single-family residential subdivisions, a handful of duplex and condo developments, and more than 35 apartment complexes of varying size. But, only seven neighborhood, homeowner, or condo associations within the plan area were registered with the City.
Although all registered associations were invited to participate in the planning process, some chose to not participate directly in the development of the plan. Two neighborhood associations actively participated in the planning process: the Dreamhill Neighborhood Association and the Mockingbird Hill Neighborhood Association .The Oak Hills Neighborhood Association also assisted by completing the Neighborhood Profiles and Priorities worksheet during their annual meeting. Planning Department staff also coordinated with the Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development (NNOD), a broad coalition of neighborhoods that represent groups throughout the north side of San Antonio. Although their membership extends far beyond the Medical Center Area plan boundaries, they were able to help summarize strengths, opportunities, challenges, and priorities for neighborhoods and residents across the plan area.
Neighborhood Strengths and Character
The Dreamhill Estates Neighborhood Association was well represented throughout the process. It is located south of the intersection of Babcock Road and Dorothy Louise Drive. The neighborhood has 114 homes, most of which were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. The neighborhood features large lot single family homes. The neighborhood has also created the Dreamhill Estates Education Resource Center (DEERC), a 501c3 Non-Profit corporation to conduct its Intergenerational Education Program including funding the construction of the DEERC in 2019. The DEERC will provide a center for classes and meetings for the neighborhoods in the area.
The Mockingbird Hill Neighborhood Association was also an active participant in the planning process. The neighborhood is a small community with small lot, multi-story single family homes that were constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The neighborhood also features the only city-owned park in the Medical Center Area, Denman Estate Park. Preserving and enhancing the Denman Estate Park is among the top priorities for this small neighborhood.
More conventional subdivisions with medium to larger lot sizes were built throughout the 1980s, and 1990s, as the area grew with the success of the medical Institutions and other employment opportunities in the area. Multi-family developments in the area have increased significantly since the late 1990s, and continue today. In recent years, dense, luxury type multi-family complexes have been constructed in the area.
- Established single-family neighborhoods are well-kept, and residents appreciate amenities such as large shade trees, which enhance the area’s vitality.
- The neighborhoods are located in close proximity to medical services, educational opportunities, and jobs. The area also has convenient access to downtown via Fredericksburg Road or I-10, and access to Loop 410.
- The Denman Estate Park is frequently used by area residents who walk to and from the park throughout the day.
- The neighborhoods are ethnically diverse and offer housing options for residents of various income levels.
Neighborhood Opportunities and Challenges
- Improving connections between residential areas and the commercial nodes, as well as healthcare services within the South Texas Medical Center.
- Encouraging preservation and enhancement of Denman Estate Park.
- Increasing housing affordability through the development of different housing types.
- Reducing the impact of future development by planning for flood control and minimizing the impact on neighboring Leon Valley to the south.
- The construction of the DEERC will provide a center for education for area residents as well as a meeting venue.
- Improving the transportation system to accommodate true multi-modal options, including increasing pedestrian and bicyclist safety throughout and between neighborhoods.
- Maintaining tree canopy and providing increased tree coverage along pedestrian routes and within established neighborhoods.
- Creating more complete neighborhoods that serve all stages of life by providing a variety of housing types and neighborhood services that attract first-time home buyers and allow residents to age in-place.
- Bridging the “technology gap” between neighborhood residents and younger generations moving to the community, to continue community involvement by senior residents.
The feedback received from the Dreamhill Estates Neighborhood Association, Mockingbird Hill Home Owners Association, Oak Hills Neighborhood Association, and NNOD was incorporated and summarized into neighborhood priorities.
Preserve the character of neighborhoods through the use of buffers, setbacks, and appropriate transitions between different zoning districts.
Promote a healthy environment by protecting and maintaining the existing tree canopy. Plan appropriately for storm water runoff and flood mitigation as development occurs along the Leon Creek Tributaries, while minimizing the impact on Leon Valley to the south.
Housing Choice and Affordability
Provide housing opportunities and affordability through the development of a variety of housing types with various densities and increased acceptance of housing assistance programs.
Connected and Safe Transportation System
Improve transportation options for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians by facilitating long-term planning and development of transportation systems, including connections between residential areas and the STMC for safe and efficient bicycle and pedestrian access.
Increase neighborhood participation and support a sense of community identity and ownership by empowering residents to create an active organization or association that will advocate for neighborhood interests.
Support neighborhood initiatives, such as the DEERC, that provide technology education to empower senior residents to continue active engagement and involvement in City plans and other public issues.