So you are looking at a perspective property zoning and you find out its SF-4. But what does that mean. Below we go through the different zoning categories in Austin. Let's first look at the single family zoning categories.
Single Family Zoning
SF-3 - Single Family. This is by far the most typical zoning in Austin. If you don't know the zoning for your house in Austin you most likely have SF-3. Although alot of people and some poorly informed agents think you can build 3 houses it doesn't. It just means single family class 3. The minimum lot size for SF-3 is 5750 square feet. But if your lot is zoned SF-3 and is 7000 square feet are more you can build a duplex in most neighborhoods.
SF-2 - This is a more restricted single family zoning. Basically the minimum lot size is 10,000 instead of 5750. The city basically doesn't want intense use on this lot. It's likely the lot is in an environmentally sensitive area like the edwards aquifer recharge zone.
SF-4 - This is kind of the opposite of SF-2. The minimum lot size here is 3,600. The city has decided that they want intense use on the land. This zoning is usually seen close to the city center and is intended to increase population density in certain areas.
MF-1 - The lowest density single family zoning. A developer can build 17 units per acre and can build up to 40 feet.
MF-2 - When a lot moves up to MF-2 a developer can build 23 units an acre.
MF-3 - A developer can build up to 36 units an acre.
MF-4 - This is probably a bigger jump. A developer can build up to 36-54 units per acre depending on the lot and can build up to 60 feet.
Mf-5 - Similar to MF-4 except a developer can build up to 54 units per acre
MF-6 - A developer can build up to 90 feet.
LO - Light office - Generally this zoning can be used for offices where people make appointments instead of walk in clients. So for instance a lawyer or an account could be located in property zoned LO but a convenience store or a clothing store could not.
GR - Community Commercial - GR zoning allows more usages than LO. While allowing the uses of LO you can also have a business that would rely on walk in traffic. For instance with GR you could have a convenience store or an automobile rental location.
CS - Commercial Services - The holy grail of commercial zoning. You can generally due just about anything with CS zoning. So for instance you could have a Drop-Off Recycling Collection Facility with CS but you could not have it with GR.