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Exploring Frisco’s Building Permitting Process | Part 1

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A set of open and rolled up blueprints on wooden table background with a pencil, a ruler and compasses lying beside. Engineering and design. Construction projects. Planning. | Image by Gearstd, Shutterstock

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Frisco is the fastest-growing city in Texas due to its surging population growth and decade-long mission to support sociodemographic and economic expansion in the North Texas area.

Frisco’s Development Services Department (DSD) requires a streamlined building permit process to handle the significant influx of people moving to the city and the ensuing uptick in single-family and commercial development projects.

Frisco’s population has increased by 71% since 2010, with roughly 200,500 residents living in the city, according to 2020 census data. Data from the same census showed Dallas had a recorded population of 1,338,846 in 2020. However, it has since declined .98% or 13,155 to an estimated 1,325,691, based on projections from World Population Review.

One potential reason for the exodus from Dallas is the City’s burdensome building permit process that moves at a glacial pace.

Dallas has a backlog of building permits that the City’s DSD director Andrew Espinoza has been working to clear since he accepted the job in June of this year. However, a fumbled transition to an online permitting process in 2020 stalled Dallas’ growth and redirected demand toward neighboring cities like Frisco.

At the height of the home-buying craze in 2020, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the proceeding change in work dynamics, Frisco received more than 2,000 permits for new homes and more than 3,000 for improvements, according to Frisco’s 2021 Development Activity report.

The following year, Frisco saw a modest decrease in residential building permits for new homes but an increase in improvement activity.

“With 20% of our land still undeveloped, residential permit activity is expected to extend into 2030,” the report said, adding that “the City is currently projecting a buildout population of 325,000.”

The current year’s report will be available sometime in 2023.

According to Frisco’s Permit, Inspection, and Miscellaneous Consolidated Fee Schedule, a standard $150 residential inspection fee will be charged to customers outside of regular business hours with a $30 reinspection fee.

Residential building permits in Frisco have a starting cost of $150 for the first 300 to 1,999 square feet plus $0.50 for every extra square foot or fraction thereof. For projects of 7,000 square feet and above, a starting price of $2,590 will be charged, plus $0.26 for each additional square foot.

Like Dallas and Fort Worth, Frisco has an electronic permit and plan review service that provides 24/7 access for customers to submit applications. Electronic submission allows applicants to send all required documents efficiently, view plan review comments and status updates, and pay fees.

According to Frisco’s DSD, a permit is required for any commercial, residential, sign, fence, or other miscellaneous structures, including (but not limited to) anything erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished.

The top five neighborhoods in Frisco for residential building projects are Lexington Country, Park Vista, The Grove Frisco, Estates at Shaddock Park, and Collinsbrook Farms.

The Dallas Express reached out to Frisco DSD for more information on its building permits process but had not received a response by the time of publishing.

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