Lon C. Hill Building
502 E. Tyler Ave.
Harlingen, Texas 78550
(956) 216-5101
Planning and Zoning Division - Subdivision


Any person dividing or proposing to divide any tract of land situated within the corporate limits of the City of Harlingen or within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) into one or more separate parcels (or changing previously existing legal boundaries in any way) must subdivided. Any person wishing to build on a lot which has not previously been subdivided must also subdivide.


The subdivision planning process consists of two phases. The initial phase is the preparation and submittal of the preliminary plat. This allows for the construction and/or financing of the required public improvements with construction plans approved by the city engineer, and the approval shall be good for a period of 24 months. The final phase is the preparation and submittal of a final plat to be recorded at the County Clerk.


The City of Harlingen provides subdivision review and meet the 3rd Wednesday of every month. The purpose of the Code of Ordinances-Chapter 109 Subdivisions is to promote the public health of the city's residents, to ensure that adequate water and wastewater facilities are provided; to guide the future growth and development of the municipality; to provide safety from fire, flood, and other danger; and to provide adequate and efficient transportation. Along with an application the following will also need to be submitted:


  • 15 copies of the plat and a pdf

  • Two original mylars of the final plat

  • Original Tax Certificates showing county, city, and school taxes have been paid

  • A check payable to the County Clerk for the filing of the final plat (only if inside city limits)

  • Additional requirements as shown on the Preliminary Plat Checklist and Final Plat Checklist 





Is there an exemption from subdividing?

Property that was divided into its current configuration prior to November 1, 1978, and not had a change in boundaries since such time can be exempted if the owner provides proof and submits an application for Exemption Letter of Determination.


For the purpose of selling a property, an application may also be submitted if the property is more than five acres.  


Do I need to subdivide if I own a partial or a part of a subdivision?

A building permit may not be issued to a partial lot. A partial of a subdivision would need to resubdivide or be made whole again. The property description of such a lot could be shown as the North 1/2 of Lot 1, or the East 50 feet of Lot 1, or any legal description that shows a partial of land. 


Is there an exemption from fire hydrants?

Outside city limits, a single family home on a parcel 1 to 9.99 acres in size can submit a notarized Fire Hydrant Exemption.


Can I get a variance to a certain subdivision regulation?

Variances from certain requirements may be recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission and granted by the City Commission when undue hardship will result from requiring strict compliance. The only variance that cannot be granted will be in the area of paving curb and gutter for subdivisions located within the city. The applicant must submit a Subdivision Variance Application at the time the preliminary plat is filed.


How long does the subdivision process take?

Subdivisions need to go through a subdivision review meeting and one public meeting. If the proposed development does not include new infrastructure, then it is typically one month. Preliminary and Final Plats may be submitted concurrently. If new roads or utilities are part of the subdivision, then the time depends on the time of construction.


How do I obtain an address for my property?

Addresses are created during the subdivision process and reference the legal description of the property. If you know where the property is located or know the Property ID, you can use the Cameron County Appraisal District's website to check if there is an existing address. If you need an address verification letter, please email one of our City Planners with the legal description or Property ID.

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