140 Code Violations Disrupt City Dept.’s Office Relocation

7800 N. Stemmons | Image by Andrew Terrell/The Dallas Express

Dallas’ Development Services Department has paused the transition to its new northwest district permit office at 7800 N. Stemmons after the fire marshal closed the building due to numerous code violations.

In mid-March, the Development Services Department (DSD) director, Andrew Espinoza, said during an Economic Development Committee meeting that more than half its staff had already moved to the new location. The transition was expected to wrap up by the end of the month, as reported by The Dallas Express.

However, it appears that the relocation process has hit some speed bumps.

During April’s Economic Development Committee meeting, District 14 Council Member Paul Ridley cited 140 code violations at 7800 North Stemmons, a concern he shared with Espinoza.

Espinoza responded that the City’s Bond Office has been “working hard to assess the ongoing needs of that particular property.”

“It is a used building, I believe, built in the 80s, so there are some maintenance issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “I assure you that Development Services is partnering with the Bond Office to get those issues addressed.”

In addition to coordinating with the bond office and its contractors, Espinoza said DSD was not allowing any of its team members to occupy any floors that are potentially unsafe or that do not have approval from the Fire Marshal’s office to be occupied.

The Dallas Express filed an open records request with the fire marshal’s office to find out which code violations had led to the building’s closure but has not yet received the documentation.

DSD told DX that it did not have an official statement regarding the closure at this time.

According to Assistant DSD Director Vernon Young, the department was on the last leg of its transition to 7800 N. Stemmons and was wrapping up phase three, design, which includes the delivery and installation of furniture on the building’s third floor.

Young said the building’s third floor will house DSD’s land development team, arborist team, drainage and paving, and GIS Management.

The building’s fourth floor is slated for completion at the end of April, but it is unclear if the closure will impact that target.

The office relocation was intended to create an enhanced work environment for the department’s various team members and a one-stop shop for builders and contractors.

The hope is that with a new and improved workspace, DSD will be able to streamline services and accelerate building permit turnarounds.

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