New zoning regulations near SA Missions rake in mixed reviews

City leaders hope to revitalize area; residents fear being pushed out

SAN ANTONIO – There is a looming concern for small businesses that surround the San Antonio Missions, such as auto shops and convenience stores. Business owners fear down-zoning regulations recently passed by the City Council unanimously will push them out.

“These places have been here for decades,” said Alberto Jacinto. “You need these small businesses because they take care of the neighborhood.”

District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said the change is intended to revitalize the area, encouraging new housing and developments to be built, but less dense than what was allowed in the past.

Viagran said shop owners don't have to worry about changing their existing businesses because they're grandfathered in.

Raul Ortiz, who grew up in the area, appreciates the idea of development but has some reservations.

“This has to be a compromise. This is a tourist attraction. The missions are here, and that’s nice,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz has concerns for homeowners.

“People always struggle with property taxes. If it's going to make the property taxes go up, there’s always an argument there," he said.

Those who voted for the change insist it will be good for the community.

In a statement sent to KSAT 12, Viagran said: "Residents expressed a desire to balance the reverence of the San Antonio Missions with the opportunities for growth ... This is an opportunity to rectify the unsuitable zoning of years past and do what's right for the district."

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