Dallas’ Building Permit Activity Report Months Behind Schedule


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Dallas’s push to become a hub for business has long stumbled over a backlog of building permits, but despite the promises of new leadership, the permit activity reports have not been released for months.

In June, Andrew Espinoza took over the director role for Dallas’ Development Services Department (DSD) with the intention to solve the City’s extensive backlog of building permits. To get the building permit process back on track, Espinoza vowed that his department would work diligently and be more available and transparent with customers.

Although the slow and costly process is not fixed yet, Espinoza and his team have implemented several social and educational initiatives that they claim will improve long-term relationships, community trust, and average turnaround time.

“Our team is working hard to regain the trust of the development community,” Espinoza told The Dallas Express last month. “The steps we are taking to improve the City’s permit process are ongoing, but I am hopeful the actions me and my team are taking will start to show down the road,” he said.

Even with transparency a top focus for Espinoza, Dallas’ DSD has not released the past two months of Permit Activity reports. The latest report by Espinoza’s department was released in August, with permit data from July.

Permit data for August and September have remained unpublished.

Espinoza had previously told The Dallas Express in August that each report would be “scheduled for release around the first week of each new month.” The Dallas Express reached out to Espinoza for clarification on the missing reports but has not received a response.

To date, the missing Permit Activity reports are two months past due based on Espinoza’s timeline.

According to the last report published in July 2022, approximately 157 permits were created in Dallas, with an average turnaround of 33 days. The number of permits created in July 2021 was 110, nearly 30% fewer than in the current year.

The average number of building permits created in August and September of 2021 were 188 and 206, respectively. The missing reports will contain data on whether Dallas created more or fewer permits in August and September and what the average turnaround time was after the permits were initiated.

Phil Crone, executive director of the Dallas Builders Association, has praised Espinoza’s “customer-first mindset” and his willingness to tackle the problem head-on. Still, Crone has also highlighted the strenuous relationship developers and builders have with Dallas’ bottlenecked building permit process.

Crone explained that builders and developers regularly have to wait three to four months for a single-family permit to get issued. “The delays can cost builders $200-$300 per project, per day,” he suggested.

Without access to the missing Permit Activity Report for August and September, there is no way to gauge whether or not Espinoza and his team have made progress on the number of permits issued each month. Nor can developers know their relative turnaround time.

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Darryl Baker
Darryl Baker
5 months ago

By my math, these delays can cost a project $24K to $36K additional with NO VALUE ADDED!

The impact this has on BORROWED MONEY IS TREMENDOUS!

5 months ago

I have been waiting for a permit to do work on my house since June.