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Permit Requirements
Permitting is the second 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.

All permits are obtained through the 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 as usual.

Resident/Homeowner FAQs

What Form Do I Use?
Please use the General Permit Application for any of the following work:
  • Windows
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Water Heaters
  • Electrical Changes
  • Patios
  • Pergolas
  • Driveways
  • Concrete Slabs
  • Fencing

Most permits submitted will require a review process may take up to 48 hours to complete; please contact the Development Services Department at 361-777-4553 or via email at to determine any other information that is required for your specific project.

Contractor FAQs

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.  Click here for updated 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 will go into effect on June 1, 2016.  Any projects that have applications on file prior to June 1 may use either the 2006 or 2015 codes (as long as the applications are moving through the review process).  Any local amendments are scheduled to be determined before June 1, 2016.
  • City Council adopted ordinance 2087 at its May 6, 2014 meeting modifying the Unified Development Ordinance affecting permitted use table, fences, parking lot design, exterior lighting, and definitions.  Please click here to see the ordinance.
  • Ordinance 2082 was approved by City Council at its January 21, 2014 meeting modifying permissible construction times.  To see the approved ordinance click here.
  • City Council adopted a fee schedule at its June 18, 2013 meeting affecting fees for signs, re-inspections and work started prior to permit issuance   Please click here to see the fees.
  • City council adopted an ordinance 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.  Please click here to see the ordinance.

Which Form Do I Use?