Dallas City Council members are set to consider a proposal that would reduce local lot sizes while simultaneously increasing the number of housing units allowed on each lot.
The development proposal is scheduled for discussion on December 6 and is the latest strategy by council members to make housing more affordable in Dallas.
Council Member Chad West (District 1) has been the biggest proponent of the proposal, and he has managed to get four other council members on board to at least get the discussion started. Those council members include Jaime Resendez (District 5), Adam Bazaldua (District 7), Paula Blackmon (District 9), and Jaynie Schultz (District 11).
According to West, people from the East Coast and the West Coast are moving to the region for its favorable economy. According to NBC 5 DFW, he said, “It’s too expensive to live here, and it’s actually getting worse.”
“If we want to welcome them in our city and not just keep perpetuating urban sprawl, we’ve got to do something about providing housing initiatives,” he said.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, home sales nationwide have been dampened by surging mortgage interest rates and stubbornly high home prices. However, buyer demand has been robust in Texas.
Development Services Department officials in Dallas have been turning out residential building permits for single-family homes quicker than in previous years. Still, overall building permit activity under City Manager T.C. Broadnax has been down year over year, likely due to the periodic delays and operational backlogs the agency has become known for.
In order to boost housing inventory in the city, West wants to allow duplexes and fourplexes in residential neighborhoods. However, such developments would be restricted to vacant or undeveloped lots under his plan so as not to encourage investors to demolish existing single-family homes, which has been a common criticism of the proposal.
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, who represents District 8, said he was unsure about the proposal and its long-term impact on the city.
“We’ve got to be sure this does not encumber a lot of people, residents,” he said, per NBC 5. “The community’s got to be involved. They’ve got to say, ‘in my community, I like it, in another community, I don’t like it.”