UTSA Area Regional Center Plan Administrative Draft (PDF 52.8 Mb)

The Planning Department is accepting public comment on this Administrative Draft until June 26, 2019 - the day before the Planning Commission Hearing. Please submit your comments to The UTSA Area Regional Center Plan will be presented for a briefing to the Comprehensive Plan Committee on May 14, 2019; for a briefing to the Planning Commission on June 12, 2019; for Planning Commission Hearing on June 26, 2019; and for City Council Hearing on August 15, 2019.

How Your Voice Matters - - UTSA Area Regional Center

Establishing Vision and Goals

The success of the SA Tomorrow Sub-Area Plans depends on broad participation from area stakeholders. To ensure this success, City Staff worked with a wide range of community members throughout the planning process. These include neighborhood associations, business and property owners, residents, employers, educational and cultural institutions, public and nonprofit organizations, and other City departments to create a realistic and implementable plan for the UTSA Area .

The planning process was designed to be iterative, creating a “feedback loop” between the City and the community as the plan was developed. This approach ensures that the Sub-Area Plan reflects community values and priorities. A variety of tools and tactics were used to ensure that those interested were well-informed about the SA Tomorrow Area Plans; encouraged to participate in a range of stimulating events and activities; and engaged in providing constructive feedback on a preferred future.

For each public input exercise, this document describes what was asked, how the input was presented back to the stakeholders, and carried forward in further engagement exercises and eventually incorporated into the plan.

Results from the exercises and surveys are available in the website Documents Library and as an appendix to the Plan. In some cases, results have been summarized. Throughout the process, complete raw results from exercises have been posted on the plan webpage.

To facilitate public information and community participation, the UTSA Area Regional Center website was created and made available to the general public on (insert date). The website includes a section for leaving comments which are sent directly to the project manager. These comments can be viewed here.

An initial Planning Team kick-off meeting was held on June 28th, 2017 at San Antonio College, Nursing & Allied Health Complex. At this kick off meeting, Planning Team discussed assets, challenges, opportunities in the UTSA Area as well as strategies for outreach efforts. Results of exercise 1 were posted to the websites Documents Library. This information helped inform draft plan vision elements, priorities & goals.
image of a cumminty exercise

The Planning Team's initial thoughts were recorded on a wall graphic to help inform the plan.

The second Planning Team meeting was held on July 31st, 2017 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Planning Team members started to develop a vision and goals for the UTSA Area Regional Center through an exercise in which the group was presented with a large wall map of the UTSA Area and asked to identify and discuss areas experiencing change, areas with opportunity for positive change, and areas to protect. These preliminary areas of opportunity led into a discussion on how to ensure that growth aligns with SATomorrow’s vision and guiding principles and how those Comprehensive Plan themes can be applied to the UTSA Area .
The Planning Team also broke into small groups to work on a visioning exercise for the UTSA Area . Planning Team members were asked to brainstorm their vision for the future of the area and to complete the sentence “Brooks is…”. Following these group discussions, the large group reconvened for reports from each group. Highlights of these visions were recorded on the large wallgraphic.
Results of exercise 2 were posted to the plan website and presented to the Planning Team at the next meeting. This exercise helped inform the draft plan vision and goals statements.
image of a cumminty exercise

The Planning Team brainstormed ideas that would eventually form the basis of the vision and goals

The first UTSA Area Community Meeting was held August 24th, 2017 from 5:30-8:00pm at the Kennedy Apartments. Spanish interpreters were available. One of the objectives of this meeting was to develop a draft vision and goals for the UTSA Area Regional Center. Community members participated in several small group exercises facilitated by City of San Antonio Planning Department staff. The vision and goals exercise asked community members to write a statement describing how they envision the future of the UTSA Area . Facilitators encouraged community members to think about elements such as housing, connectivity, mobility, parks and open space, shops, restaurants, employment and other amenities. Small group member identified common themes and words amongst the groups individual vision statements (link to fig 1.3). From these common themes, each group completed a summary (link to fig 1.4) of their ideas which was read aloud by one spokesperson from each group to the entire audience. All group summary images can be seen here. Results of exercise 3 were posted to the plan website. These results directly informed the draft vision and goals statement.
image of a cumminty exercise
image of a cumminty exercise
During Planning Team meeting #3 on September 13th, 2017, Planning Team members were presented with a summary of the community feedback received to date which formed the basis of the draft vision statement. The initial draft vision statement and goals were presented for discussion and comments. Each Planning Team member was asked to take home printed paper versions in order to make specific edits and additional comments. Results of Exercise 4 were discussed at the Planning Team Meeting #4 and incorporated into the revised draft vision and goals statement. Results were included in the meeting summary posted to the plan website. These results further refined the UTSA Area ’s vision and goals statements for the draft plan.
During Planning Team #4, the project team recapped the changes made to the vision and goals to date. The revised vision and goals were reviewed for approval by the Planning Team. Planning Team members were made aware that this revised draft version of the vision and goals would be presented to the public for input during this phase. The revised draft vision and goals were presented, and feedback was gathered from various area stakeholders’ meetings including registered neighborhood association meetings, business groups’ functions and non-profit fundraisers. Planning Team members reviewed resulting vision statement changes based on public feedback from these events. Two alternative draft vision statements were created and put to a vote to both the Planning Team members and the public (see exercise 6). Results of exercise 5 were posted to the plan website here. These results further informed refinement of the UTSA Area vision and goals statements for the draft plan.

Revised Vision Statement

The Brooks Regional Center is a friendly, prosperous, healthy, engaged and educated family. The UTSA Area is strong and supportive, pulling together not only in times of crisis, but celebrating wins - big and small.

Its evolution is a leading example of how quality growth, innovation, equity and environmentally responsible practices paired with strong pride and engagement will have exponential impacts over any one element alone.

The UTSA Area Regional Center cultivvates positive and authetic human experiences and seeks to improve both day-to-day living in conjunction with the long-term quality-of-life for the community.


Belonging, Bonding & Balance

Attachment & Access, Authenticity & Accountability

Reinvestment, Retention & Responsibility

Competence, Collaboration & Collective Resilience

Prioritize Parks, Public Health & preservation of Green

A public community meeting was held on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 from 10am-12pm. Spanish interpreters were available. Participants were asked to comment and vote for their preferred draft UTSA Area vision and goals statement at this meeting. The bilingual exercise asked participants to use colored markers to highlight (or add comments) words or statements of interest to them: Green= Like, Blue = ADD, Red = Dislike. Link to Fig 1.5 Results of exercise 6 were posted to the plan website via the Community Meeting #2 Summary. These results finalized refinement of the UTSA Area vision and goals statements for the draft plan unless further public input is received requesting additional changes.
image of a cumminty exercise

Community members left their comments on the emerging vision and goals for the UTSA Area .

Establishing the Plan Framework and Recommendations

The Plan Framework map includes key physical improvements and strategic concepts that will influence development in the UTSA Area Regional Center. These include priority focus areas for (re)development; pedestrian, bicycle, and street improvements; parks and open space recommendations; and priority areas to encourage mixed-use development.

The UTSA Area Regional Center Plan Framework was developed through a combination of technical analysis and community input. The Framework illustrates and outlines the overall long-term vision for the UTSA Area Regional Center, including areas where new development may be focused, key mobility improvement recommendations, opportunities for more recreation and gathering places, and other “big moves” that will shape the future of the area.

At the beginning of the planning process, the project team developed an in-depth study and analysis of the UTSA Area Regional Center to understand the history, development, and existing conditions of the area. The Planning Team shared their input regarding area assets, opportunities, and challenges to develop a more nuanced understanding of the Regional Center. City staff hosted Community Meetings and workshops to capture the community’s values and priorities from people who live, work, and study in the UTSA Area. Through a series of facilitated work sessions and interactive exercises, the Planning Team and community members provided input and direction that is reflected in the Plan Framework.

Over several months, project staff and the Planning Team worked collaboratively to build upon the Framework, identifying key priorities, improvements, and strategies to shape the Sub-Area Plan, and guide growth, development, and investment in the UTSA Area Regional Center. A series of draft recommendations on several topics were developed for stakeholder feedback and are reflected in the Plan.

At their first meeting, the Planning Team discussed assets, challenges, and opportunities in the UTSA Area. At the second Planning Team meeting, staff presented existing conditions related to demographics and employment, land use, transportation and mobility, public investment, amenities and access, and natural systems within the UTSA Area. These conversations provided a foundation for future discussions related to the Plan Framework. The existing conditions presentation was also shared at the first UTSA Area Community Meeting, where attendees completed a mapping exercise that was incorporated into the framework diagram.

image of a community exercise
image of a community exercise
image of a community exercise

UTSA Area Community Meeting #1 PARK Exercise

The objectives of the third UTSA Area Planning Team meeting included developing key plan concepts such as focus areas and mixed use corridors, as well as identifying potential parks, open space, plazas, trails, and gateway locations. Meeting attendees split into two groups to create their own framework diagrams by drawing these elements on trace paper over the transportation and amenities map. The Planning Team’s diagrams were synthesized by City Staff to create the base for the plan framework diagram.

At Planning Team Meeting #4, the group further refined the focus areas by discussing the preferred purpose, future character, appropriate scale, and transitions for focus areas and mixed-use corridors. The groups’ discussions were illustrated on maps, as well as recorded on flip charts. A similar exercise was completed at Community Meeting #2, where participants were able to review the Planning Team’s work and provide their own thoughts.

The subjects of focus areas, mixed-use corridors, and catalytic sites were revisited by the Planning Team at their seventh meeting. The discussion included review of public input received at the second Community Meeting, as well as any additional final thoughts on the proposed focus areas.

image of a community exercise

UTSA Area Planning Team #4 Discussion Results Example

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UTSA Area Community Meeting #2 Feedback Example

Mobility was also discussed at Planning Team #3, as part of drafting the plan framework. A variety of transportation options were considered for planning the UTSA Area. Trails, transit routes, bicycle routes, streetscape improvements, pedestrian safety, and traffic congestion were discussed as potential means of creating a layered multimodal transportation network.

At Community Meeting #2, participants were asked to complete an activity to help City Staff prioritize different routes for different types of transit. Major corridors were identified on the mobility framework diagram. Participants then voted using stickers with bus, car, and bicycle icons to symbolize what mode of travel they thought needed to be prioritized on each street.

Draft mobility recommendations were presented to the Planning Team at their eighth meeting, along with an updated Mobility Framework Map. Participants discussed the draft recommendations, and clarified the concepts that should be included in the draft Plan.

image of a community exercise

UTSA Area Community Meeting #2 Mobility Exercise

The Planning Team discussed amenities and infrastructure at their seventh meeting. Participants were first briefed by staff on what elements make up a complete neighborhood such as social spaces, healthy access to food, pedestrian safety, stormwater management, low impact development, signage, and public art.

After seeing examples of the elements that create complete neighborhoods, Planning Team members discussed which elements were most critical and should be prioritized to create complete neighborhoods in the UTSA Area. After thoroughly discussing and prioritizing amenities, Planning Team members worked together to create an amenities and infrastructure framework diagram.

At Planning Team Meeting #8, the group revisited their discussion about amenities and infrastructure. Staff presented the diagram that had been created from the previous meeting activity, and led a group discussion to determine if the map and recommendations reflected the consensus of the Planning Team.

image of a community exercise

Trace paper map from Meeting #7

image of a community exercise

UTSA Planning Team Meeting #7 Amenities and Infrastructure Activity

The sixth Planning Team meeting was dedicated entirely to the subject of Future Land Use. The meeting began with an overview of the proposed land use classifications to be used throughout San Antonio, the methodology behind the draft maps, and then a presentation of the draft land use map created by City staff. The Planning Team then spent time discussing the draft maps, and their comments and concerns were recorded by staff.

Land Use was revisited at Planning Team Meeting # 7, where staff presented revisions to the land use map based on the comments at the previous meeting. The discussion surrounding revisions to the draft land use map continued at subsequent Planning Team meetings, and included additional land use policy for a longer-term vision of the UTSA Area. Planning Team members and staff had come to a consensus regarding the Future Land Use map and policies.

The draft land use map will be displayed to the public for comment at the third and final Community Meeting in late March, 2019. Participants will be invited to fill out comment cards about the proposed land use designations, recommendations, and strategies. The public will also be invited to review the proposed land use map and submit additional comments through the UTSA Area project website.

image of a community exercise

Methodology of Initial Land Use Maps

Community Meeting #2 included a station related the topic of housing. Attendees were presented with information about different housing types and were asked to identify where such housing options could be incorporated within the UTSA Area.

The Planning Team also discussed housing concepts and strategies during their fifth meeting. After a presentation regarding existing housing conditions such as accessibility and affordability, the Planning Team members discussed key issues, challenges, opportunities, and potential strategies related to housing in the UTSA Area. Notes from the discussion were recorded on a wall graphic.

image of a community exercise

UTSA Area Community Meeting #2 Housing Station and Activity Results

At Planning Team Meeting #5, staff presented additional existing conditions information related to economic development in the UTSA Area such as employment figures and real estate conditions. The group also discussed economic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, as well as potential development policies and implementation strategies. Planning Team members explored key issues and concepts such as major institutions, connections between economic generators, and retention of employers, employees, and students. Notes from the discussion were recorded on a wall graphic.

image of a community exercise

UTSA Area Planning Team Meeting #5 Discussion Notes


Over 100 engagement activities such as interviews, intercepts, & focus groups with stakeholders from the following groups:

Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG)

Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO)

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

Bexar County

Brooks City Base Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) Board of Directors

Brooks Development Authority

Calumet Specialty Products

City Council District 3

City of San Antonio Aviation Department

City of San Antonio Center City Development and Operations

City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

City of San Antonio Development Services Department

City of San Antonio Economic Development Department

City of San Antonio Fire Department, Station 3529

City of San Antonio Neighborhood and Housing Services Department

City of San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements Department

City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation

City of San Antonio Office of Innovation

City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability

City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation

City of San Antonio Police Department

City of San Antonio Public Library, McCreless Library

City of San Antonio Center World Heritage Office


East Central Independent School District



Heritage Oaks

Highland Forest Neighborhood Association

Highland Hills Neighborhood Association

Holy Name Catholic School

Hot Wells Conservancy

Hot Wells Mission Reach Neighborhood Association

Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs

Kennedy Apartments

Lifschutz Companies

Los Vecinos de los Misiones

Met Health Environmental Health & Safety

Mission Kayak

Mission Solar

National Park Service

NRP Group


Parents as Partners

Pecan Valley Neighborhood Association

Pre-K for SA, South

San Antonio Independent School District

Successfully Again and Living in San Antonio (SALSA) – San Antonio Area Foundation

San Antonio Food Bank

San Antonio State Hospital

San Antonio River Authority (SARA)

San Antonio Water System (SAWS)

South Central Alliance of Neighborhoods (SCAN)

Southeast Community Outreach for Older People

South Central Good Neighborhood Crime Watch Group

Southside First Economic Development Council

South Side Lions Senior Center

University of Incarnate Word (UIW)

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VIA Metropolitan Transit

Southside Chamber of Commerce

Woodbridge at Monte Viejo