Commercial Development Overview

Developing in Little Elm

We invite you into our community that prides itself as The Town With A Lake Attitude, we genuinely hope you enjoy your experience, and that begins with outstanding customer service from our department. Welcome and let us know how we can better serve you.

Little Elm is excited to assist with your project and has implemented many internal policies that stream-line the development process, provide predictability, and ensure timely completion of construction. Below is a brief introduction to our values and programs.

Review Process & Procedure

Staff is the final approval authority for most new development. If State law or local ordinance does not require a public hearing, your project will not suffer one. The first step in a commercial project, once a meeting has been conducted with staff, is to submit a Site Plan package, which consists of the site plan, landscape plan, and color elevations.

Once the site plan is reviewed and approved, the applicant is allowed to submit civil construction plans and apply for a building permit. Flexible chronology on these applications is allowed when warranted.


In case easements shift during construction, the Town allows for commercial plats to be filed prior to issuance of a CO instead of issuance of a building permit. The Town will file the plat for the applicant. To file, the Town will need 1 mylar, 2 paper copies, however many copies you and your client need, the original stamped and sealed tax certificates, and a $200 filing fee payable to the Town.

The Town is the last to sign the plat, so please ensure that all signatures are collected prior to delivery to the Planning Department. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Planning at 214-975-0472.

Development Review Committee

The Development Review Committee is led by the Planning Department and comprised of staff members that represent various review departments critical to the development review process. Its primary function is to provide a one stop review process of new development by ensuring compliance with applicable land development regulations and consistency with Town plans and policies. Scheduling a meeting with the DRC is the first step in developing property in Little Elm.

Prior to submitting a formal application, a meeting with the DRC is required in order to familiarize one with relevant Town staff, codes, and procedures. Conducting a general review of a conceptual site plan can help identify layout issues, efficiency opportunities, and other problems that may arise if the plan were to move through the development process.


Open - Planning Manager
Open - Town Engineer
Cruz Hernandez - Building Official
Christan Smith - Fire Prevention Specialist
Lisa Reich - Planner
Barbara Hoskins - Development Services Coordinator
Jason W. Laumer, P.E. - Director of Development Services

DRC meetings are held every Wednesday between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon. They are scheduled for one hour time slots. To schedule a DRC meeting, please call the Planning Department at (214) 975-0472.

Little Elm's System

Core Beliefs & Values:

  • Be accessible and responsive
  • Distinguish between State law, local ordinance, and internal policy
  • Results driven, not process driven
  • High quality, functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing development
  • Relaxed process, high design standards
  • Be less use focused, more form focused
  • Ordinances should be constantly monitored for improvement
  • Pragmatic minor waivers at the staff level
  • Achieve voluntary enhancements and upgrades where practical
  • Relax antiquated and arbitrary regulations when possible
  • Phase out and consolidate redundant and obsolete zoning districts
  • Proactive Town-initiated rezoning cases
  • Great landscaping, signage, and architecture cures most visual ills
  • Placemaking matters
  • Commercial Site Integrity program
  • Be willing to evolve