The Junta de Andalucía regional parliament has unanimously agreed to Fuengirola council's request for the town to be designated as a 'large population municipality' (municipio de gran población) and therefore have its status upgraded.
The vote took place on Wednesday and the mayor of Fuengirola, Ana Mula, was in Seville for the occasion.
The new legal status means Fuengirola can take advantage of more sources of funds from national government and also divide up its area into districts, with more structured localised decision making by neighbourhood.
According to Andalusian regional rules, qualifying towns are those with between 75,000 and 175,000 residents that have special economic, social, historical and cultural characteristics.
The council applied for the designation in December and the regional government approved it in June, pending the regional MPs' vote this week.