The Planning Division determines where certain developments will occur, and with other departments, state how the improvements desired to the land will create subdivisions, private homes, malls, parks or recreation facilities.

The Port Arthur Planning Division looks forward to more outreach with the citizens as the 20-Year Comprehensive Plan is rewritten for the 21st Century and residents chart a new course for Port Arthur's continued prosperity. 


The use of the land (size, setbacks, bulk of the building and height of the structure) all entails zoning. Subdividing the land is platting it to note the width and depth of the land and how it is described by the Appraisal (Abstract) District. Hence this is where you come to ensure the boundaries of your land as you survey and before you build/place any structure on it. These decisions (zoning/platting) are made by 2 boards - the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Selected members are placed on an agenda by the Mayor, for the Council's consideration and possible appointment. This process is in line with the City's Charter; however, the board's function is in accordance with the Charter and state laws that govern zoning and plat approval.


Planning is presently updating its maps for accuracy as well as easy distribution. In the mean time, thanks to online mapping technology - such as Goggle provides, one is allowed to view one's lot or neighborhood at anytime of day. A website is being worked on so applications along with plat and zoning procedures may also be easily obtained without an office visit.

Leadership Changes

The former director of over 15 years is leaving this month. Although a new Planning Director is in place, it will be another month before most of the community meets her due to present obligations and her becoming accustom to the transitional affairs of the City. Also within a month a new Assistant Director will be on board to help guide and direct a staff of over 40 persons. The Director requests that residents to be patient with us as these changes take effect to yield increased technology and communication.