Permit Activity Stalls Under Broadnax

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax | Image by NBC DFW

Dallas’ building permit department reported a reduction in single-family permit activity in December, closing out 2022 with little quantifiable difference in performance from the previous year.

The building permit process in Dallas is managed by the City’s Development Services Department (DSD), overseen by City Manager T.C. Broadnax. DSD is responsible for processing, reviewing, approving, and issuing residential, multi-family, and commercial construction permits.

In December, Development Services took longer and issued fewer new single-family (NSF) permits than the month prior, according to the department’s January newsletter, sent via email.

DSD processed a total of 111 NSF permits in December, a 3% decrease compared to the previous month and the lowest number of permits created since November 2021.

In terms of the department’s cycle times, DSD took six days longer to issue an NSF permit than in November, according to the newsletter. The average number of days DSD took to issue an NSF permit rose from 43 days in November to 49 days, a nearly 14% increase month-over-month.

In the last 15 months, DSD only had four other months where turnaround times were higher than December’s 49-day reading. These included October with 50 days, July with 58, June with 55, and December 2021 with 58 days, according to a year-to-date comparison of permit activity found in DSD’s January newsletter.

DSD has not published its January newsletter online, but available newsletters can be found here.

Despite the City of Dallas hiring Andrew Espinoza as its new chief building official and DSD director last June, permit backlogs and holdups have remained a persistent and prevalent issue, as shown in ongoing reporting by The Dallas Express.

This was especially the case toward the end of 2022, when application totals dwindled lower and cycle times crept higher. During DSD’s best-performing years — prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns — the department was able to issue NSF permits in less than a week, with typical turnaround times averaging around three days in 2019, historical permit data shows.

In some cases, DSD’s monthly newsletter has been filled with incorrect entries or metrics, which has disrupted The Dallas Express’ ability to effectively track and report on fluctuations in DSD building permit activity.

For example, DSD claimed it saw a 15% “increase” in permit activity in November 2022. In reality, the department experienced a 15% decrease during the month, according to DSD’s December newsletter, which has yet to be updated with the correct language.

To consolidate residential permit data into one central location, DSD announced the launch of its new Residential Permit Activity Dashboard, which provides in-depth permit metrics relating to NSF permit activity in Dallas — partially resolving the department’s transparency problem, but leaving the backlog and sclerotic processes in place.

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  1. Karla

    Not surprised considering WHO is in City Hall. Inept fools!

  2. Pat

    I bet he will qualify for another Raise!!

  3. Betsy Whitfill

    After giving Mr. Broadnax a raise and a vote of confidence, this news suggests it may be time to fill this critical position with a more responsive person.

  4. Lanie

    I guess the city council doesn’t care that the city is losing money on on keeping businesses and residential living in the city and don’t mind paying these two individuals money for not doing their jobs.

  5. fed up with Dallas County

    We have to ask ourselves if the City of Dallas is deliberately slow-walking permitting in order to accommodate UN Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 objectives. Our City Council woke clowns and Sustainable Development office are declaring war on gas-powered lawn mowers due to UN CO2 edicts. Outdoor grills and fireplaces are next, then gas stoves and after that elimination of residential natural gas service. Not allowing you to build – by not issuing permits to discourage developers – seems to follow these UN objectives. Our Mayor is a Harvard-educated Globalist and no one on the City Council can be trusted to act in the interest of residents.

    The stated goal is to “eliminate Carbon” but the “Carbon” they want to eliminate is you. The global elites that our City Council blindly serves want all of us dead. They view us as a cancer on “their” planet. The Dallas City Council and their wokeness is the real cancer.

  6. Jeffrey

    The real problem is that T.C. Broadnax keeps giving council members Cash for Projects to keep them on his side. The Mayor wanted him fired long time ago.



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