City of McAllen Hires New Planning & Zoning Director

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Rio Grande Valley native has experience in various personnel areas

Edgar Garcia is the new Director of Planning & Zoning for the City of McAllen.
Edgar Garcia is the new Director of Planning & Zoning for the City of McAllen.

Texas Border Business

The City of McAllen has hired Edgar Garcia as its new Director of Planning & Zoning. The Rio Grande Valley native has over eight years of experience in municipal work, serving most recently as the Director of Planning & Community Development for Baker County, Florida.  Garcia has a broad range of expertise in project management and development, including long-range and short-term project planning, grant writing and federal funds management.

“The City of McAllen is proud to have Edgar as our planning director, leading the growth and expansion of our city in a smart, strategic direction to maximize the city’s attributes and promote economic development,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.  “He stood out amongst a strong pool of applicants based on his understanding of not only planning and zoningbut the role and function of municipal government in a city’s development.”

Some key accomplishments Garcia implemented while director in Baker County included leading an update of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code, as well as its transition to an electronic permitting system. Additionally, he was a key member of an executive team focusing on economic growth, while simultaneously serving as the County’s Floodplain administrator. 


Prior to Baker County, Garcia was the Assistant Director of Office of Grant Management and Community Development for the City of Brownsville.  There, he was instrumental in overseeing the department’s management of U.S. Housing & Urban Development funds, as well as other state and foundation grants; collaborated with stakeholders to gain support for city-wide community development and neighborhood-specific redevelopment initiatives; and drafted a neighborhood revitalization strategy area plan for one of the city’s historic neighborhoods.  

Garcia began his career as a planning assistant and then senior projects coordinator with Cameron County, gathering and analyzing data to support community development grant applications and managing infrastructure projects totaling over $17 million in federal grant funds.

Garcia earned his Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Brownsville and later earned a Master of Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University as a Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Foundation Fellow and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California at Los Angeles, as a Monica Salinas Fellow and Graduate Opportunity Fellow.  

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While at UCLA, Garcia served as a community economic and development policy fellow at the Latino Politics and Policy Initiative and during his internship at Kirra Consulting, he provided analysis on the impact of new ordinances, legislation and other governmental action that related to client projects.

“I am excited at the opportunity to be a part of the City of McAllen where I will be not only helping my city grow and developbut also, I will be part of the progress the organization will make to continue making an impact in the lives of the citizens of McAllen,” said Garcia. 

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