New Tool Reveals Size of Broadnax’s Backlog


A screenshot of Dallas' new Residential Permit Dashboard | Image by Dallas City Hall

Dallas’ new online dashboard has shined a light on the local building permit process and revealed exactly how large the city’s residential backlog has grown over the years.

Dallas’ building permit department — Development Services Department (DSD) — launched its Residential Permit Dashboard (RPD) in January as a comprehensive tool to track monthly new single-family permit activity in the city.

The RPD is updated with new single-family permit data at the start of each month and has metrics spanning back to 2020, when DSD first launched the ProjectDox online permitting software.

DSD’s bumpy transition from a paper building permit process to an online process in 2020 was the point at which a number of the department’s problems arose. Since then, DSD has slowly chipped away at the size of its backlog but has made little to no progress on reducing permit cycle times.

In January, DSD issued 213 single-family permits with a median issuance time of 77 days, marking a three-day increase from December and the fourth consecutive monthly increase since September, RPD data show. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, back in 2019 and prior to the pandemic, DSD was able to issue most single-family permits within three days.

A breakdown of the more than 200 permits issued in January shows that out of the 89 single-family permit applications DSD received during the month, 40 were issued by the department at the start of 2023, while 173 were submitted in the prior year. DSD notes that 47 permits were submitted electronically and were not included in the monthly activity analysis.

DSD currently had 466 permits in its queue as of February 28, 2023, with 186 listed as inactive and 64 submitted via paper, which excludes the applications from the department’s activity analysis.

The department’s queue consists of permit applications that have been submitted but not yet issued and includes all active permits regardless of the submitted application date, according to DSD.

RPD historical data show that DSD’s queue began to balloon noticeably in 2021 and really exploded during the first three quarters of 2022. The RPD shows that the department is still sorting through permit applications that were submitted back during the last three quarters of 2020.

With the rollout of Dallas’ RPD — in conjunction with the Office of Data Analytics and Business Intelligence — it will be easier than ever to hold DSD and City Manager T.C. Broadnax accountable for not reducing the department’s median issuance time and the backlog of applications in its queue.

The RPD will receive its monthly update on March 1 with single-family permit data from February.

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23 days ago

Thanks for this report, Andrew.