Planning Department

The City of McAllen Planning Department guides and manages the growth of the City and its environs through policies, decisions and regulations adopted by the Mayor and City Commission. The Planning Department implements these guidelines through planning documents such as Foresight McAllen: A Growth Management Guide, Annexation Plan, and Historic Preservation Plan; development codes and ordinances such as zoning, subdivision, landscaping, parking, and signs, special studies and other planning documents. The Planning Department promotes a high quality of life, and a positive community environment through orderly growth that is healthy, and safe.

Daily functions of the Planning Department include coordinating and processing development projects with annexation, subdivision, rezoning, conditional use permits, site plan and building permit reviews.  Responsibilites also include inspections of development sites and miscellaneous structures or uses, and land use surveillance in the extraterritorial jurisdiction.  The Department prepares and supports meetings and public hearings for the Board of Commissioners, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals, and the Historic Preservation Council.

Staffing includes, planning professionals certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP),  technical positions in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) activities, and admnistrative clerical support.

On going activities include zoning studies, maintaining thoroughfare plans in cooperation with the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), current, advance and neighborhood planning activities, and coordination with neighboring cities and the Hidalgo County Planning Department.


The City of McAllen is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Plan. The plan will help the City maintain its character, enhance the quality of life for its residents and support economic development. The Comprehensive Plan sets a vision for growth for the next 20 to 30 years. This plan will help guide decisions related to:

- Transportation
- Infrastructure
- Land use
- Parks
- Economic Development
- Community Identity
- Development Standards and Incentives
- Implementation

Throughout the planning process, the City will host a variety of community meetings, surveys, and engagement opportunities to allow the community to help shape the vision for McAllen. Visit this site regularly for updates and new engagement opportunities!