Zoning for Mixed Use Developments, It Doesn’t Have to be Stressful

July 31, 2015 by Russell Yeager

The construction of any type of development isn’t as easy as finding a piece of land and getting to work. Sections of land are classified into zones or zoning districts, which designate what type of developments can be constructed in that area. Moreover, these districts carry with them particular regulations that must be met before the construction process can begin. The most common categories include residential, commercial, retail, and industrial; however, each classification is further divided into more specific districts based on the type of development.

Before the construction process begins, developers must ensure that their site adheres to zoning regulations. These regulations vary depending on the type of development but usually stipulate the square footage allowed, the types of developments (i.e. single-family, two-family) that can be incorporated into the project, and maximum quantity of units that can be constructed. This process can become increasingly cumbersome when managing a mixed use development, which incorporates multiple types of developments into one project. Rather than solely focusing on residential or retail, mixed use development combines both categories into one. These developments help to establish a centralized community within a specific area. These compacted communities ensure that amenities, such as grocery stores, shops, and other facilities are close by and easily accessible.


In San Antonio there are multiple zoning classifications which allow for mixed use development.  Each district has unique challenges and benefits.  When seeking to build mixed use development, finding a site with mixed use district, “MXD”, downtown “D” or infill development zone, “IDZ” zoning is not always an option.  These zoning districts have specific areas of town, design guidelines and special priorities.  It is likely that your development will need to seek a zoning commiserate to your project.  When seeking unique zoning districts, help from local engineering and legal experts is an important part of a successful zoning case.

Ultimately, managing the distinct, zoning regulations of a mixed use development can be overwhelming, especially if the developer is unfamiliar with the specific zoning designations set forth in a particular city. At BIG RED DOG ENGINEERING, we have the expertise as well as the experience to handle any type of zoning requirements, especially in the case of mixed use development. As this is a key component to the preliminary stages of construction, zoning can significantly delay or halt progress.


From start to finish, our BIG RED DOG team can assess your goals and ensure that they coincide with the regulations instituted by law. Additionally, our team will make sure that your project is located within a zoning district that mirrors its intended use, and will manage the process of re-zoning if desired. Rather than multiply hurdles that can arise from a mixed used developments, our team is able to simplify their execution based on their expertise and experience in this area.

If you are seeking to build a mixed use development, reach out to BIG RED DOG to help you navigate the process.


Written by Russell Yeager

Russell Yeager

As Market Director for our Commercial Services practice, Russell Yeager is responsible for managing our Raving Fans and prospective clients, overseeing the performance of our project design teams, steering our brand marketing strategy, and spearheading our community outreach and volunteer efforts. Russell is a proud University of Texas graduate – Hook ‘Em! He and his wife Jordan live in Northwest San Antonio.