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Subdivisions in the Extra-Territorial Zone

The Extra-Territorial Zone (ETZ) is a five-mile planning and platting boundary around the City of Las Cruces formed in 1989 by the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County for joint city and county planning, zoning, and subdivision approval. Joint planning is necessary due to the rapid suburban growth outside cities.

The City of Las Cruces Community Development Department, in cooperation with the Doña Ana County Community Development Department, oversees subdivisions (dividing a parcel of land into two or more parts or to eliminate or adjust lot lines between two or more existing parcels) within the ETZ.

The required information and the steps to be taken vary and depend on certain characteristics of the proposal, such as the desired number of lots, the intended use of each, the location and legal description. Subdivisions come in a variety of shapes, sizes, uses and locations. Many require the construction of streets, sidewalks or other improvements to serve the lots created; while some utilize existing infrastructure. More information about the requirements can be found in the ETZ Subdivision Ordinance on the Codes and Ordinances Page.

No matter which type of subdivision you may be proposing, the basic process is the same. The subdivision plat must be prepared by a surveyor licensed to practice in the State of New Mexico. Typically, the first step in the subdivision process is hiring a surveyor or attending a mandatory pre-application meeting with one of our planning professionals to discuss the details of your request and answer any questions you may have. At the meeting, staff from the City and County will provide you with the application (which is also available on the Forms, Applications and Fees page) and a submittal checklist which details all the submittal requirements. To schedule a meeting with staff you may do one of the following:

  • Call or come by our office and request to speak with the Planner of the Day (POD) at (575)528-3043.
  • Drop in our weekly pre-application meeting held at City Hall every Wednesday from 1:30pm to 2:30 pm in meeting room 1158. Walk-ins are welcome.

After an application is submitted, the proposal is distributed to various City and County departments and other governmental agencies for review and comment. These comments, if applicable, are returned to the consulting surveyor to be addressed. Once all comments have been addressed, the proposal will be scheduled for approval consideration by the appropriate body. Depending on the type of subdivision, the approval consideration may come from the Subdivision Administrator or the ETZ Commission.

Once the final plat is approved, you can proceed to construct any required improvement necessary to allow the plat to be filed in the Dona Ana County Clerk’s Office, located at 845 N. Motel Blvd. It is possible to provide a form of financial security to cover the cost of the required improvements in order to file the plat before completing roads and utilities. The City's Subdivision Administrator will oversee the proposal from the time it is submitted until the plat is filed and/or all improvements are constructed.

For zoning questions, please contact Doña Ana County Planning Department at (575) 647-7350 or visit their website.