The City of Portland plans to utilize SmartGov for our permitting and development software in the near future. SmartGov allows registered contractors and the general public to submit permits and development applications, upload site-plans, pertinent documents, and pay the permit fees online. We will post more information on this exciting new change, here, soon!

Permit Requirements

Permitting is a step in the building approval process and is the tool that the City uses to ensure planned construction meets all applicable codes and regulations. Permits are required to erect, alter or enlarge any structure, including swimming pools and fences, and install, alter, repair or replace any electrical wiring, plumbing or mechanical equipment. Plans must be drawn to scale, dimension and be of sufficient clarity to be easily read. Plans must show the property lines, location of the buildings in relation to the property lines, all easements, and setback lines.

Please contact the Development Services Department at 361.777.4550 or via email at to determine any other information that is required for your specific project.

All permits are obtained through Development Services. However, new construction building plans are reviewed by Bureau Veritas through a professional services agreement the City of Portland has secured. Applications and plans should be submitted to the Development Services Department.

Permit Processing Timelines

  • New residential construction permits may take up to 5 business days to process
  • New commercial construction permits may take up to 10 business days to process
  • Other permits typically take up to 2 business days to process


Resident/Homeowner permit information

Please use the General Permit Application and MEP Permit Application for any of the following work:
  • Signage
  • Carports
  • Foundation Repairs
  • Doors
  • Fencing
  • Pergolas
  • Building a Pools
  • PODs
  • Windows
  • Roofing
  • Mechanical Changes
  • Siding
  •  Solar Panels
  •  Electrical Changes

  • Sheds
  • Driveways
  • Plumbing Changes

  • Patios
  • Concrete Slabs
  • Gas Changes

Most permits will require a review process that may take up to 48 hours to complete for most projects. New residential construction permits can take up to 5 business days to process. New commercial construction permits can take up to 10 business days to process.

Contractor FAQ

Contractor Licenses & Registrations
The permitting process also helps verify that the contractors have the proper licenses or registrations required by city ordinance or state law. Many contractors such as plumbers, irrigators, electricians and air conditioning contractors must have a state license. Contractors must be registered with the City of Portland prior to any construction activities via the Contractor Registration Form.

Current Codes
  • 2014 National Electrical Code
  • 2015 International Building Code
  • 2015 International Energy Conservation Code
  • 2015 International Fire Code
  • 2015 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2015 International Mechanical Code
  • 2015 International Plumbing Code
  • 2015 International Residential Code
Important Notices
  • The State of Texas Windstorm Inspections Program was revised January 1, 2017.  
    Windstorm information for residents and contractors
  • City Council adopted Ordinance 2130 at its February 16, 2016 meeting adopting the 2015 ICC building codes and 2014 NEC.  The codes went into effect on June 1, 2016.  
  • City Council adopted Ordinance 2087 at the May 6, 2014 meeting modifying the Unified Development Ordinance affecting permitted use table, fences, parking lot design, exterior lighting, and definitions.  
  • Ordinance 2082 was approved by City Council at its January 21, 2014 meeting modifying permissible construction times.  
  • City council adopted an Ordinance 2079 at its November 5, 2013 meeting affecting subdivisions, platting, use, turning lanes, surface improvements, fire hydrant access and fees for fire code plan review and inspections.  
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