Where do the Candidates Stand on Neighborhoods vs Developers

Scroll down to see the runoff city council candidates' views on neighborhoods versus developers from various forums and town halls leading up to the election.

From District 1 Candidate Forum by the Tier 1 Neighborhood Coalition

Q: Displacement: Studies are showing that D1 residents – homeowners and renters - are being displaced because of property speculation and investment in market-rate developments that are leading to exponential jumps in property tax appraisals and home prices. How will you help prevent displacement of homeowners and renters in our neighborhoods?

Roberto C. Treviño 22:23

Mario Bravo 26:40

Q: Demolition and Historic Designation: In the struggle for housing affordability, it is often said that the most affordable housing is the housing we already have. Yet many investors are eager to demolish our housing stock to make room for higher density developments. Historic and Landmark Designation is one of the few tools that neighborhood residents have to push back against these profit-driven demolitions in legacy neighborhoods. The state legislature has been making it more and more difficult to designate historic neighborhood properties without the owner’s consent. What is your opinion on the rights of private property owners vs. the rights of neighborhood residents when it comes to historic/landmark designation and the protection of our legacy housing stock? 

Mario Bravo 33:19

Roberto C. Treviño 40:25

Q: Incompatible Infill: As housing pressure increases in San Antonio, there are few D1 neighborhoods that do not have examples of incompatible infill development, whether it be tall condos next to modest bungalows or towering garage apartments. It seems that the UDC has been left to open generous interpretation that generally prefers the highest profit over the letter or intent of the code. What will you do to address issues of incompatible infill development and ensure the preservation of our legacy neighborhoods? 

Mario Bravo 42:55

Roberto C. Treviño 47:49

Q: Inclusion: Tier 1 Neighborhood Coalition was formed as citizens struggled with the City to include neighborhood voices and perspectives in the SA2020 Comprehensive Plan. These and other development and policy issues directly affect us. In 2019 city council approved the Public Participation Principles as a policy, but this is often disregarded or forgotten, and is not ordinance. If elected, what will you do to ensure that the community is represented on issues surrounding development, transportation, housing, environment and other important policy issues? 

Roberto C. Treviño 54:05

Mario Bravo 56:08

From the District 2 Questionnaire by San Antonio Heron

Q: What is your opinion of the city’s role in incentivizing large-scale apartment developments in the downtown area and in the regional centers identified in the SA Tomorrow plan? What role do you believe San Antonio should play in incentivizing affordable housing?

Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez written response:

I believe San Antonio should absolutely have a role in the development of affordable housing initiatives. However, it has become abundantly clear that developers are abusing these incentives, and are finding loopholes around development rules to cut corners. Clear examples of this include using affordable housing dollars directed to build 1 bedroom studio apartments for individuals making $80,000 a year, and then claiming to be ideal housing for two teachers raising a family. We all know these units will not be housing teachers, and that a 1 bedroom studio apartment is grossly inappropriate for raising a family.

To shed further light on the issue, it was revealed that over 95% of tree ordinance variance applications were approved by the City of San Antonio due to a “loophole” in the ordinance. Hundreds of trees from projects were cleared on some of these properties and the city just let it happen so the development could continue. This blatant disregard for the community good that is our tree canopy is not what the city should be espousing. We need to ensure that development dollars are being used responsibly and for the benefit of the larger San Antonio community. We cannot allow developer influence on these boards and committees to sway the pendulum to their favor in all instances.

Jada Andrews-Sullivan: no response to questionnaire

From the District 2 Candidate Forum by NOWCastSA

Q: District 2 seems to be ground zero for gentrification and development that leave long-time, low-income residents vulnerable and often displaced. What specific steps will you take to help them about that?

Jada Andrews- Sullivan 1:20:42

Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez 1:23:10

From the District 3 Candidate Forum by the League of Women Voters

Q: Do you worry about gentrification in District 3 and what do you think is the best way to preserve the district’s sense of community as the city grows?

Thomas Uresti 33:18

Phyllis Viagran 1:35:33

From the District 5 Candidate Forum by League of Women Voters

Q: What is your opinion of the recent decision to discard the plan to replace the Alazan courts with mixed income housing?

Rudy Lopez: 7:59

Q: Do you worry about gentrification in District 5 and what do you see is the best way to preserve the District’s sense of community as the city grows? 

Rudy Lopez: 11:21