A central figure representing Dallas’ development community has accepted a new role as vice president of a national association for builders.
Dallas Builders Association (DBA) Executive Officer Phil Crone announced that he is stepping down from his role as executive officer for a position as vice president at Leading Builders of America (LBA).
“Our journey together has been truly fulfilling, and I am profoundly grateful for all that has been afforded to me during my tenure,” Crone said in an email to DBA staff on Monday, the Dallas Morning News reported.
While moving on can be bittersweet, Crone told The Dallas Express that his new role as VP of LBA will allow him to remain in Dallas, where he plans to maintain an active presence and remain “close to the industry and the community.”
“I look forward to seeing the continued progress made toward ensuring that everyone has a roof over their head and an affordable place to call home in our community,” Crone said in the email to staff.
“I’ve been warmed by all the well wishes,” he told The Dallas Express. “On one hand, it can be difficult to move on after 17 years, but on the other hand, it will be good to take on new challenges with the knowledge and expertise gained over the years.”
Founded in 1944, the DBA represents all aspects of the residential building industry in Dallas. The association focuses on enhancing the ability of members to provide “safe, affordable, and quality housing” to local citizens and communities, the Dallas-based organization’s mission statement says.
Crone’s new national role as VP of LBA will begin July 10 and will cover many of the same duties that he covered locally, including permitting oversight as well as environmental and code regulation, he told The Dallas Express.
“I am excited to take the fight to other states with major housing challenges, such as Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, and California. The most difficult part will be getting up to speed with permitting in California, where the specific challenges there are completely alien to the ones here in Texas,” he explained.
Crone has been a key representative for the development community throughout Dallas and has continually advocated for methods that enhance the local permitting process for builders.
While Dallas’ building permit agency — the Development Services Department (DSD) — has accomplished a “noticeable” reduction in residential permitting times in 2023, Crone says he still sees areas needing attention and improvement, particularly on the commercial side. He also highlighted the fragmented nature of the many departments and services operating under DSD.
“The [DSD] should go beyond the recent recommendations listed in the Matrix study and house as many services under Development Services as possible,” Crone told The Dallas Express.
“Too many different departments are interacting with each other during the building permit process, which can leave builders stranded at inopportune times,” he said. “What I want to see is Development Services become the go-to place for all services related to development in Dallas.”
Crone went on to say, “I hope the Department’s new office building will accomplish that.”
DSD will transition staff to the new permitting office at 7800 North Stemmons later this year, Development Services Director Andrew Espinoza said during an April 3 Economic Development Committee meeting.
Crone will assist the DBA hiring committee with choosing a new executive officer for the organization before he starts his new position in July.
“I’m excited to take the lessons learned here and put them to use throughout the nation,” he told The Dallas Express.