DSD Logs Steady Increases in Median Commercial Permitting Days

City of Dallas Development Services
City of Dallas Development Services | Image by City of Dallas Development Services/Facebook

The median number of days it has taken the City of Dallas to issue commercial permits has increased significantly over the course of 2024.

According to the City’s commercial building dashboard, which was devised by the Development Services Department (DSD), the “median issued days” for the month of May was 399.

In April, it was 300. The City clocked 339 in March. The median number of days for February was 283, and in January, it was just 168. It is unclear what has caused the ramp-up in median issued days month to month. At present, the dashboard notes that the number of median issued days across the year is 301.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, DSD has previously suffered from permit backlogs, long turnaround times, and various inefficiencies under former City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

“The commercial permitting dashboard reveals that a small number of applications are taking an enormous amount of staff time, with up to nine revisions required prior to issuance,” Assistant City Manager Robin Bentley wrote in a memo. “Rather than continue to dedicate staff time to permit applications that are fundamentally unready for review, DSD will develop plans for two customer service interventions to improve the quality of applications.”

Officials discussed the issue at a meeting of the Economic Development Committee last week, deflecting criticism toward unnamed stakeholders.

“This has been a topic, of course, that’s been a priority for the council for quite some time now,” said Council Member Adam Bazaldua (District 7). “I think it also helps our staff’s ability to navigate what I believe is a pretty high-profile topic that often, the City is to blame every single time. I hope that we continue to take feedback from the stakeholders throughout the process on how we can continue to make this transparent. It provides a layer of sophistication that’s been lacking in our City.”

“It’s usually applicants, but then a story gets told and that’s the story because the perception is the reality,” said Council Member Omar Narvaez (District 6). “The networks and the news, they jump on it and it becomes almost impossible to show what’s going on without pointing out one applicant. Now I can say the dashboard says there’s seven applicants that are outstanding that are over 120 days. Now, what’s wrong with these seven?”

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