San Antonio Neighborhoods for Everyone (SANE)
We want to be a city where all neighborhoods are welcome and open to everyone – young and old, rich and poor, renter and homeowner, healthy and frail, citizen and immigrant, migrant and lifelong resident. We want to facilitate connections between people through our cultural, economic, and social fabric.
Land use, housing and affordability
An abundance of diverse housing types
We strive to create enough homes for all needs in our city that will grow by 1.2 Million people in 2040. In order to promote affordability, we need an abundance of housing of all types from smaller apartment buildings and accessory dwellings to larger multi-family apartments. When there is enough housing to accommodate the demand of those that want to live here, both current residents with growing families and migration of people, then housing will be more affordable and housing prices will rise at a slower pace.
An abundance of diverse housing types in all neighborhoods promotes diversity in backgrounds by income, race, and family type, and helps to prevent displacement of disadvantaged residents. Public incentives and subsidies should be focused to those that are most vulnerable.
To cater to the many students that attend UTSA, Alamo Colleges and other local advanced education programming, we encourage more density near campuses through on-campus apartment housing and alternative transportation options, such as walking and biking infrastructure, near and on campuses.
Allow developments to occur without parking requirements
We encourage supporting housing and not supporting private auto usage. Every parking space required with a development takes away from housing units that could be built or green space to be shared. It subsidizes driving and discourages housing affordability.
Parking requirements should be reduced for all citywide commercial and housing developments. Instead incentives could be used for promoting alternative transportation options – biking, walking, rapid transit – and affordable housing units.
Manage historic designations and neighborhood conservation districts
We believe overly strict design standards impede future development and increases housing prices at a faster rate by the reduction of housing supply and creation of high housing demand. Historic preservation should be limited and used only to preserve heritage and our past, not used to limit housing options to certain incomes.
As times change, places change, and we need to move forward rather than dwell in the past. Reasonable limitations on the use of historic preservation are important if we want a city that has neighborhoods that are welcome to everyone.
Engagement of the most vulnerable in decision-making
We believe outreach for policy directions and decisions on land use, housing and transportation needs to focus on homeless, youth, low income residents, communities of color, and renters – groups that are typically not engaged in decision-making. We support an engagement framework that emphasizes social equity and inclusion.
San Antonio is one of the one of the most segregated by income cities in the United States. We support all neighborhoods having abundant housing, reliable public transportation and low barriers to living wage jobs so people of any income have choice and opportunity with where one can live. We support neighborhoods that allow the ability for anyone of any income to move to, if one wishes. The central, inner core of San Antonio should be open to all incomes through mixed-income housing developments in every inner city neighborhood.
"single-family zoning is a socio-economic exclusionary tool, just as redlining was a racial exclusionary tool." Cary Moon
We support citywide policy that reduces sprawl and protects green space, water resources, rural spaces and wildlife habitat. These policies include dense urban development, reliable and vast public transportation, land use that supports less water and electricity usage, infill development rather than suburban green development, low impact development that supports a thorough storm water capture and development, and development that encourages less reliance on the automobile.
We support county and state planning laws and regulations that preserve and protect valued green space, rural lands, and water resources.
We recognize the relationship between transportation and land use, and its impact on quality of life. We believe our transportation network needs to be a catalyst for improving the City and the lives of the people that call San Antonio home. We advocate to prioritize transportation options that enhance the places they serve rather than as a place to pass through in order to arrive at a distant destination.
We support citywide policies that promote and prioritize multi-modal transportation –
- Infrastructure that creates and supports safer environments for people riding bikes and people walking;
- Transportation options for those that live, work, and play here, such as ride share, bicycling, walking, and transit;
- A robust quality public transit system that is safe, accessible, reliable, and affordable for all and;
- Reduction of on-street parking, as a way to appropriate street lanes to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities.
We believe our transportation network must reflect the diversity of our community and provide for every San Antonian, no matter their age, income or ability. In order to achieve this vision, elected officials and policymakers must support policies that prioritize pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders over private vehicles, as well as increase dedicated funding for infrastructure improvements and investments that support walking, biking, and transit.
Our city can promote economic mobility, or it can create barriers to economic opportunity. Extra dwelling units and short-term rentals on single family properties can help San Antonians that are land rich but cash poor prosper. Allowing tourists and visitors to overflow from hotels into local homes gives San Antonians, not just corporate hotels, the opportunity to benefit from the tourist economy. Expanding short-term rentals also means less parking lots and less scarce, urban core land taken for hotel development.
Starting a new, small business in San Antonio can be met with lots of regulations, permitting, zoning changes, onerous parking requirements, and other rules that add up to be costly, and time consuming. More small businesses within neighborhoods improves walkability and livability and reduces the number of car trips necessary to meet the neighborhood residents’ needs. Growth of small businesses can help support access to more and better jobs. We suggest local regulations allow for more than one use for the land, be clear and simple so that businesses can easily comply, and only be imposed if there is a clear public benefit.
SANE Coalition Action
Together, we will urge the San Antonio Council and other civic leaders to make inclusive and equitable land use, infrastructure, policy and funding decisions that will:
- Provide plenty of affordable and diverse housing options in all San Antonio neighborhoods
- Prioritize housing for historically and currently under-served populations
- Prioritize housing for humans over housing for cars
- Allow more people to live in areas with good access to multi-modal transportation, parks, and services, and
- Create and maintain economically diverse neighborhoods
You may not agree with everything SANE supports. We hope if you don't agree that you at least consider our perspective, respectfully.
Please email Dawn for more information or if you are interested in being a member of SANE, firstname.lastname@example.org