Planning Commission

Proposed Amendments to Chapter 42

The Houston Planning Commission acted on the proposed amendments to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances, the City’s standards for subdivision platting and forwarded them to the City Council on May 27, 2021.

These proposed amendments will eliminate inconsistencies, clarify and/or codify some requirements and policies, simplify the notification area and provide additional time for notice making the subdivision platting process more efficient.

Following is the list of proposed amendments and refer to the redline documents for the draft language.

Set 1

  1. Subdivision naming standards
  2. Public notification requirements
  3. Requirements for replats
Set 1 Chapter 42 Amendments redline

Set 2

  1. Time period for submitting plat applications
  2. Street Width in Place ordinance boundaries
  3. Clarify the term “nonresidential”
  4. Special Minimum Lot Size and Special Minimum Building Line variance requirements
  5. Temporary access easement for utility facilities
  6. Identifying floodplains on General Plans
Set 2 Chapter 42 Amendments redline

For any questions related to these amendments, call 832-393-6600.

Commission Meetings

The September 30, 2021 Planning Commission meeting will be a hybrid meeting conducted with both in-person and virtual options via Microsoft Teams. Planning Commission meetings have been held virtually since April 16, 2020 to comply with pandemic health and safety recommendations. Texas Open Meeting Meetings Act, Chapter 552 provisions that allowed public meetings to be held solely virtually during the pandemic have been discontinued by the
State of Texas.

Thursday, October 14, 2:30 p.m.

To download the agenda or join the Houston Planning Commission meeting, please see the following options:

(The meeting agenda and details will be posted on this page 72 hours in advance of each meeting.)

Getting Started

Download the Microsoft TEAMs program application for free at Please note that your computer requires speakers and a microphone in order to use Microsoft Teams. A free smartphone version of this app is also available from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Basic Virtual Meeting Instructions

  • Join the meeting via the link or by phone.
  • After joining, stay muted to minimize background disruptions.
  • If you are recognized by the Chair to speak, unmute yourself and consider turning on the app’s video during your speaking time.
  • State your name, spell your last name, and make your comments in the specified time allowed. Say if you are in support, against, or undecided, and conclude when prompted.
  • To mute or unmute yourself on the phone, press *6. On the computer, use the microphone icon.
  • Please turn off your video after speaking. Remember, your image and background are made public.

Public Comments

The public may address the Planning Commission on agenda items. The deadline to submit comments or signing up to speak is 2:30pm, Wednesday before the planning commission meeting. All comments are made part of the public meeting record.

  • Please email all questions and comment to or please use the following link here.
  • You may also call the Planning Department at 832-393-6624 to sign up to speak. This must be done before 2:30pm, Wednesday before the Planning Commission meeting.
  • Speakers will be called on in the order of sign up and can speak for two minutes. See agenda for speaker guidelines.


If you have materials or graphic information for the Planning Commission to consider, submit it via email to 24 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting for it to be included in the final agenda packet.

Concluding the Virtual Meeting

Please hang up or disconnect to leave the meeting.

Questions? Contact the Planning Department at 832-393-6600 or email us at

About the Commission

The Planning Commission, a 26-member board appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council includes citizens, elected officials and the Director of Planning and Development. The Commission reviews and approves subdivision and development plats. The Commission also studies and makes recommendations to City Council on development issues in Houston.

Approval by Planning Commission is often the first step required in the development process. The Commission meets every other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. as posted. The agenda is posted three days in advance on the Department’s web site at Items on the agenda posted as consent are typically considered all in one grouping. Items considered separately include replats requiring a public hearing and variances.

Members of the public can sign up to speak on any agenda item at the meeting. Speakers are usually allowed two minutes see speaker rules for details.

Commission Members

  • Bill Baldwin
  • Commissioner James Noack
  • Daimian S. Hines
  • David Abraham, PhD
  • Honorable KP George
  • Honorable Lina Hidalgo
  • Ian Rosenberg
  • Ileana Rodriguez
  • Kevin Robins
  • Linda Porras-Pirtle
    • Lisa Clark
    • Lydia Mares
    • M. Sonny Garza, Vice Chair
    • Martha L. Stein, Chair
    • Meera D. Victor
    • Megan R. Sigler
    • Paul R. Nelson
    • Randall Jones
    • Rodney Heisch
    • Susan Alleman
    • Zafar “Zaf” Tahir

    Alternate Members

    Ex-Officio Members

    • J. Stacy Slawinski, P.E.
    • Loyd Smith, P.E.
    • Scott Cain
    • Carol Lewis, Ph.D.
    • Carol Haddock
    • Yuhayna H. Mahmud
    • Russ Poppe


    A plat provides for the subdivision of land that can be legally defined (i.e. Lot 29, block 19 of the Happy Trails subdivision). Subdivision plats are required to show how land will be subdivided. The plat must reflect adequate streets and right-of-way for the project. The plat is checked to assure it abides by all development rules as established by Chapter 42, the City’s land development ordinance. By law, the Commission is required to approve plats that meet the requirements of Chapter 42.

    Undeveloped land must be platted before development occurs. If land is platted, it can be replatted to further subdivide the existing subdivision plat or change the use of the property (i.e. from single-family to multi-family). Typically, a replat will make changes to the layout of lots, reserves, building setback lines and easements.

    Plats must be considered and either approved or disapproved within 30 days or state law mandates that the plat is automatically approved if no action is taken. Plats can be deferred twice but action must be taken within the 30 days. Residents who were notified of a public hearing or variance will not receive a second notice if the item is deferred at Planning Commission. The item will automatically come up at the next Planning Commission meeting.

    The Commission’s authority on platting does not extend to land use and therefore cannot disapprove a plat because of the intended use of the property. Other issues applicable to land development such as adequate water, sewer and drainage are handled by other agencies and are not part of the Commission’s authority regarding plat approval.

    A plat must be prepared by a licensed surveyor, land planner and/or engineer and a licensed surveyor or engineer must sign the plat. If the property is located within Fort Bend County, a licensed engineer must sign the plat in addition to a licensed surveyor.

    Replat requiring a public hearing

    A public hearing for a replat is required conditions existed within the original plat boundary. Public hearings are held before Planning Commission during the meeting. Residents within 500 feet of the property replat and within the original subdivision boundary will be mailed letters of notification and a sign will be posted announcing the public hearing date. If there are no variances requested, Planning Commission must approve the replat if it meets all the rules according to Chapter 42 and does not violate state law. If the replat violates deed restrictions, the Planning Commission must disapprove the plat.


    Planning Commission does have discretionary authority if a plat requires a variance or special exception. Residents in the city limits that are within 500 feet of the proposed development will be notified of variances and have a chance to offer input on how the variance will affect their neighborhood or property. A variance is a deviation from the strict compliance of the rules and regulations of Chapter 42. The applicant must document a reasonable hardship for the variance. This usually means that applying the rules of Chapter 42 would make the land difficult to develop without the variance or that the rules applied to the project are contrary to sound public policy.

    2017 PC Training- Platting and Permitting

    Planning Commission Meeting Minutes






























    Last updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 2:44 PM