Applications, Fees, and FAQs
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19,
City Hall is not accepting walk-ins.
Building Division & Code Enforcement
Please submit building permit applications, contractor registrations, and code enforcement complaints online using the ePortal. Fence, roof, and swimming pool permit applications can be submitted via email. ePortal user guides are available below.
Coastal Resources & Planning Divisions
Staff can be reached by phone or email.
ePortal User Guides
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Do I need a permit? This inquiry is often avoided out of fear that the answer will be "yes." It is crucial that all property owners contact the respective department(s) to receive accurate information. The property owner is responsible to obtain all required permits. Please keep in mind we are here to help you throughout your projects.
Who do I contact with questions about the permit application process? When in doubt, check with the Building Division at (409) 797-3660. Construction without a permit will result in double or triple permit fees, and may result in corrective action through Municipal Court.
What are the fees associated with building permits? Each department has its own fee schedule. For example, the Building Division's fees are determined as a percent of the total amount (in dollars) of labor and materials. The Planning Division's fees are above.
What are bulk regulations and why are they necessary? Bulk regulations are a combination of land use controls which include: lot standards, setbacks, building height, parking, landscaping, and more. Bulk regulations vary depending on the zoning district.
Where are my property lines? There are two ways to locate your property lines. The first requires a metal detector and patience. If you property was recently platted (within the past 30 years) use the metal detector to find the property pins. On the other hand, hiring a Land Surveyor can be more accurate. These professionals analyze points, angles, and distances to precisely locate the property lines.
What is a site plan? The purpose of a site plan is to illustrate the scope of a project. For example, if you want to build a shed in the backyard you must submit a site plan that shows where the work is going to be done. More importantly, the plan must show the dimensions between the property line(s) and the proposed structure.
What does LDR mean? The LDRs (i.e. Land Development Regulations) establish specific standards for all development and redevelopment proposals. Ultimately, this document acts as a checklist to guide responsible development.
Can a short term rental operate in my neighborhood? Article 2 of the Land Development Regulations provides information to help determine if specific land uses (such as short term rentals) are permitted or prohibited within your district. Currently, short term rentals are allowed in every district on the island with the exception being R-0. Click here for more information about the operation of short term rentals.
Can I rent golf carts from my business? Currently, golf cart rentals are only allowed in the Commercial (C), Central Business (CB), Light Industrial (LI) and Heavy Industrial (HI) zoning districts. If your property is zoned Commercial (C) or Central Business (CB), you will need to fill out a Limited Use Sworn Affidavit (available in our office) and adhere to additional standards. Additionally, all golf carts need to be registered with the Galveston Police Department. Click here for more information about golf cart registration.
Where can I find my zoning district designation? Click here to view the online zoning map. The zoning map is also available under the Maps & GIS tab to the left.
Can properties be rezoned? Yes. The application to do so can be found above. Change-of-zoning requests must be reviewed by the Planning Commission and approved by City Council.
Can I remove a tree on my property? Tree removals are approved on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Planning & Development Division at (409) 797-3660 for more information.