This post has been a long time coming. A number of weeks ago we went to visit some friends in San Antonio. Not being a native Texan, I don't have a great deal of familiarity with San Antonio, outside of hearing about it from others. I've visited a few times, but certainly not enough to gather all of what is happening in the city. Certainly Houston takes the cake when it comes to flash, glitz and pace of life, but San Antonio by all impressions seems to be a bit more laid back (I mean, even the Spurs seems laid back compared to other NBA teams). It strikes me as a city of neighborhoods and families.
Beacon Hill has a great housing stock, as well as an active neighborhood association. (Which, by the way, has an incredibly detailed and informative neighborhood newsletter.) As previously mentioned, the craftsmen-style bungalows that line the streets of Beacon Hill reminded me of the Houston Heights, except that there were no Houston-style townhouses. Of course, the development and continued development, of the Beacon Hill neighborhood is influenced by development codes.
Beacon Hill is equipped with a Neighborhood Conservation District, an historic district-lite type regulation, something with elements of a form-based code. (Here is the Beacon Hill NCD document). The intent of the NCD is listed as saying:
While there are a number historical styles that exist in the neighborhood, the intent of the design standards is not to replicate the styles, but ensure the historically common site/building configurations are perpetuated in the future. Substantial porch areas located in the front of the primary structure, walkways that lead directly to a entry space from the street, garages located to the rear of the primary dwelling structure, regular building setbacks across block faces, and vertically oriented windows are some of the common site and building features that are regulated through the Residential Design Standards.
|While this particular property lies just outside the Beacon Hill NCD, it is representative of the housing stock of the area.|
For non-residential uses the NCD addresses lot sizes (no larger than 1 acre in Beacon Hill), building lines (no more than a 25 foot setback in Beacon Hill), as well as building height. Other design guidelines included are related to fencing, parking, signage, tree preservation, building materials, among other things.
Finally, Beacon Hill can look forward to The Impact Guild, which will be a coworking community in the neighborhood exploring how they can use their vocations to work together for the good of the community. The Impact Guild is being housed in a former building supply company building, which is coincidentally shaped like a lighthouse, appropriate for any neighborhood with the word "beacon" in its name. The building is currently being remodeled, and you can keep up with its progress on The Impact Guild's Instagram account.