Broadnax’s Commercial Permit Times Lag

Paperwork backlog
Paperwork backlog | Image by GBJSTOCK/Shutterstock

Development officials are trying to reduce residential and commercial building permit turnaround times in Dallas, but problems persist.

The Development Services Department (DSD), which is responsible for reviewing and approving construction permits in Dallas, released its latest residential permit data Sunday. The data covered single-family home activity throughout the month of September.

According to the City’s residential permit activity dashboard, DSD issued 180 single-family permits and received 195 submissions in September. Overall activity during the month showed a 12% increase in single-family permit submissions but a nearly 11% decrease in permits issued compared to the prior month.

At the end of September, DSD had roughly 254 single-family permits in its queue, of which 84 were with staff, and 170 were back with the applicant. DSD noted that the permits in the queue consist of applications that have been submitted but have not yet been issued. This count includes all active in-queue permits regardless of the applicant’s submitted date.

Of the 84 active submissions with staff, 16 were in the pre-screen review stage, and 68 were in the department review stage.

An additional 277 permit submissions were listed as inactive, and 67 submissions on paper were not included in the department’s monthly count.

While DSD permit turnaround times for single-family projects have improved since the department transitioned to an online permitting system, turnaround times for commercial permits are still far from ideal under Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

“The last 4 multifamily building permits in the City of Dallas have taken us an average of 7.5 months. … We even paid an expediting fee on the last two which somehow took the longest,” wrote Barrett Linburg, co-founding partner of Savoy Equity Partners, in a social media post from late August.

As reported by The Dallas Express, periodic permitting backlogs have plagued DSD, and related regulations have left Dallas less attractive to developers amid a population and building boom enjoyed by other parts of North Texas. Additionally, other factors have contributed to the unfeasibility of conversion projects in the city.

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