Planning & Zoning

The Planning and Zoning division manages the planning and development issues of importance to Little Elm and the surrounding region by being the primary liaison between the town and developers, administering award-winning development regulations, supervising special projects, originating future plans, drafting ordinances, and providing staff support to Town Council, the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, and other ad-hoc citizen advisory committees.

Planning and Zoning ensures functional, high quality, and aesthetically pleasing development that is sustainable, coordinated, and protects Little Elm's long-range tax base. Strong urban planning affords Little Elm the ability to choose how it evolves, grow its tax base, survive change, plan for synchronized development, determine how it looks and feels, and improve overall quality of life for residents.

Documents & Ordinances

Awards & Recognition

American Planning Association, Texas Chapter

  • Chairman Michael McClellan was named the 2012 Planning Commissioner of the Year. This prestigious and competitive honor is awarded to only one (1) commissioner in the State each year by the Texas Chapter.
  • The American Planning Association, Texas Chapter, with an all-time record number of applicants, honored the Town of Little Elm with the Current Planning Award for its 2009 Commercial Design Standards Report.

Planning Excellence Award

  • The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association honored Little Elm with a Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence award during the following years:
2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Urban Forestry

  • The Arbor Day Foundation designated Little Elm a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry for 3 straight years (2011-2013).
  • In 2013, the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council presented Little Elm with a Bronze Leaf Award for its commitment to urban forestry initiatives.


  • The Dallas Business Journal selected McCord Farm as a finalist for its 2012 Suburban Multi-Family Deal of the Year award. McCord Farm includes three phases of luxury multi-family developments along the FM 423 corridor and McCord Park, a wooded 38 acre public park along Cottonwood Creek donated to the Town of Little Elm and constructed by the developer.
  • In 2008, the Town of Little Elm completed its first Comprehensive Plan.
  • In 2010, Little Elm's Planning Department won the Texas Emerging Communities scholarship in recognition of its colossal 610% growth rate, modernized development standards, aggressive tree preservation regulations, and Town Center project.