Development Regulations

The Department of Planning and Development regulates land development in Houston and within its extraterritorial jurisdiction, ETJ. The City of Houston does not have zoning, but development is governed by ordinance codes that address how property can be subdivided. The City codes do not address land use.

The Department checks subdivision plats for the proper subdivision of land and for adequate street or right-of-way, building lines and for compliance with Chapter 42, the City’s land development ordinance.

Development site plans are checked for compliance with regulations that include parking, tree and shrub requirements, setbacks, and access. See https://www.houstontx.gov/codes/ for other ordinance regulations.


Development Ordinances

Municode.org hosts municipal codes and ordinance regulations for City of Houston. Various chapters are relevant to Houston’s land development process, including:

Houston Public Work’s regulations are also listed on municode and their HPW program web pages, including Chapter 19 - floodplain management


Applications and Fees

Plat Tracker is the platform used to submit applications for subdivisions plats, subdivision variances, Public Hearing - C3N items, Name Changes, Extensions of Approval requests, and Recordation applications.

See more information and sign up on the Plat Tracker home page at https://plattracker.houstontx.gov/edrc/login.aspx.

View the Finance Department’s Fee Schedule for the Planning and Development Department. The new fee schedule becomes effective January 1 of each year. The new fees apply to applications submitted on or after the effective date.


Recordation

The Planning Department has implemented a few changes to better serve you, our customers:

  • As of June 1, 2021, all recordation appointments are conducted in person.
  • Mylars are now accepted and reviewed at the time of the recordation appointment only.
  • For health and safety reasons, we request applicants remain in the lobby area for the duration of the appointment while the mylar is reviewed by the recordation planner.
  • Applicants should be prepared to answer questions and have the authority to make minor corrections to the mylar if necessary.
  • Mylars that are dropped off will not be collected, reviewed or stored by the department

Recordation Appointments:

  • Recordation appointment scheduling and amending plat payment information is posted on the Subdivision Plat Recordation webpage.
  • Cancellation fees will be charged for appointments cancelled without 48 hour advance notice, no shows, and for late arrivals of more than 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time.
  • All payments will be accepted online through the Plat Tracker system with the exception of amending plats payments which are payable by phone or email.

Visit the Subdivision Plat Recordation webpage for complete plat recordation information.

  • If a recordation appointment time is not available on the online booking system above and you are in urgent need of an appointment, submit your recordation application and fee payment in Plat Tracker and request an appointment by filling out a recordation appointment scheduling form. One of our team members will contact you to provide assistance.

Addressing and Street Naming

Click here to view the addressing and street naming guidebook. This guidebook is designed to serve as a helpful tool in better understanding the street naming and site addressing requirements used by the City of Houston.



Site Plan Review

Located at the Houston Permit Center, 1002 Washington Avenue, the Planning and Development Department Site Plan Review is one of the steps in the building permit process. Plan Analysts review plans for new structures, additions and remodels to ensure compliance with lot size requirements, building setbacks, parking, and landscaping.

  1. Site Plan Process Flow Chart
  2. Submittal Requirements
  3. Fees
  4. Additional requirements for site plan review:
    1. Off Street Parking Ordinance – Chapter 26
    2. Landscape Requirement
    3. Multifamily Residential Review
    4. Development Plat Variance Form
    5. Residential Buffering Ordinance
    6. Access Agreement Required – Chapter 10.8 
      • Access Agreement Form
    7. Sidewalk Guidelines and Forms for Modification New!
  5. Forms
  6. Expedited Plan Review Rules
  7. Master Review for Site Plans
  8. The master review process is changing as of October 27, 2020. Beginning March 1, 2020, any master planned residential development located within a single recorded subdivision was reviewed in its entirety upon the first permit application. Subsequent applications within the permitted master planned residential development were exempted from additional Planning Department review. Click here to view the March 2020 Master Plan Review User Guide. If you have questions, please contact Hector Rodriguez at 832-393-6575 or call 832-394-8849 for general assistance.


Other Resources Can't find what you need?

If you don't find the information you need or if you have questions about the information presented here, please call the Development Services Planner of the Day at 832.393.6624 or site planning at 832-394-8849.