Officials in one North Texas city are giving developers the green light to build.
By laying out an easy path for development and removing barriers to construction, officials in Anna — located about 45 minutes northeast of Downtown Dallas — are sending a clear message to builders that the city is open for business and eager for growth.
“If you want to do a project in Anna, the answer is yes. We always start with a yes,” said Anna Mayor Nate Pike, according to The Dallas Morning News.
While not all projects end up receiving approval, Pike said the city tries to do whatever it takes to facilitate a successful development — as long as the project fits the city’s culture, vision for the future, and comprehensive plan.
Anna’s whatever-it-takes approach stands out against some of the more cumbersome development protocols maintained in cities like Dallas, where various district requirements and committee endorsements are needed to obtain a construction permit for a legal building site, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Even if a developer in Dallas has met all the district requirements and completed all the prerequisite steps for City approval, they must also contend with the financial drawback related to unexpected permit delays on the part of the Development Services Department (DSD) under City Manager T.C. Broadnax.
According to former Dallas Builders Association (DBA) Executive Officer Phil Crone, builders are often stuck paying an extra $200 to $300 in expenses each day a construction permit is delayed. While Dallas offers several ways to expedite the construction permitting process, many of them require paying substantial fees.
Despite the different policy approaches employed by Anna and Dallas, both cities have conveyed the importance of attracting development projects.
Still, even though Anna has been called the next North Texas boomtown, not everyone in the city is as excited about the rapid changes and explosive growth, at least according to resident Mindy Godwin.
“A bunch of us want our hometown back. It’s not the same anymore,” said Godwin, per the DMN.
Godwin said she believes the city’s small-town identity is at risk of being lost in the name of progress.
“My grandparents’ house is 120 years old. They’ll be wanting to tear it down next,” Godwin suggested, the DMN reported.
Godwin’s sentiment toward growth was also shared by her brother, Glen Reno.
“When I graduated from high school, there were only 500 people in this town. … We don’t need all of this in Anna,” Reno said, according to the DMN.
The Dallas Express reached out to Anna’s chief building official, Nader Jeri, for more information about the city’s development process and how it handles permitting. No response was received by press time.