Extra Territorial Jurisdiction

Real Estate Agent with David Tracy Real Estate #555994

Extra Territorial Jurisdiction



Just what is an ETJ?  ETJ is the acronym for Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and is the legal ability to exercise municipal authority by the nearest town or city's form of government.


Not all states practice this jurisdiction but Texas does. An ETJ is measured from any city limit line to a mile out or more, depending on the population of that town or city. Should the population of the town or city experience a growth spurt then the ETJ may be effected.


The distant measurement is determined by the government census. The town I live in has a population of just over 32,000 so that means that my city's ETJ is one mile from any city limit line.


In my municipality the removal or merging  or spitting of any lot lines of any property in the ETJ requires the submittal of a plat by a registered professional surveyor. This plat must be presented to the Planning Commission for recommendation to City Council who has final approval of any lot line changes.


If you are a large land owner and sell off 20 acres out of a larger tract of land to a commercial or residential developer you must also adhere the the city's guidelines. Some city laws indicate that the seller must plat the property prior to sell. However, as in all sales the contract determines who is paying for what. Just be sure to contact the local city to see what your legal responsibilities may be.



Realtor beware, different cities govern different things in their ETJ's. Be sure to contact the local municipality to see if splitting property or adding some property from an a contiguous lot is legal to do without addressing the requirements of the local government. Never for get to ask if there are any variances to any ordinances that may effect what you are doing.

Posted by


Sussie Says…

Representing Buyers and Sellers in Friendswood, Clear Lake, Pearland, Webster, City of League City, and the Houston / Bay Area.

Call Me  Your Realtor at ...713-822-1655.

Website: http://www.sussiesuttonrealtor.com/

Email Me: sussiesutton@yahoo.com








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Comments (8)

TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good evening Sussie. At first I thought your post said extra terrestrial jurisdiction. I was thinking weird...

Jun 19, 2015 10:52 AM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

This is great information, Sussie! You are the go-to girl when it comes to information about city regulations and guidelines. 

Jun 19, 2015 12:12 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe


Not in our jurisdiction...

Call this department....

I am retiring soon talk to my replacement......


Jun 19, 2015 12:17 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Sussie, thank you for teaching me something new about our home state!

Jun 19, 2015 03:23 PM
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


 Great blog and I learned things I did not know, I love learning new things!

Jun 20, 2015 03:21 AM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Sussie Sutton 


Really informative post Sussie. Thanks. Have a wonderful weekend. 

Jun 21, 2015 06:42 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

Michael Thornton how do you know we are not extraterrestrial?

Thanks Rose King ! I do miss the ole gang but not enough to get up at 5:30 everyday and work the desk until 6p.m. each night.

Sam Shueh that's right I was retiring and what a whirl wind was that!


Jun 21, 2015 11:13 PM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

Your welcome Sharon Parisi !  Each city or town is a tad different where ordinances are concerned. Dallas is a big place so checking in every now and then would be a great thing to do.

Thanks Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert ! It is amazing how fast Houston has moved out to Katy and enveloped it. I remember when Bellaire Texas was a place of its own now it is enveloped by Houston.

Thanks Alan Kirkpatrick ! I bet your area has some guidelines too!


Jun 21, 2015 11:19 PM