Economic development in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) has been central to Gov. Abbott’s plan to keep Texas competitive. Still, until Dallas gets a firm handle on its building permit process, opportunities for growth in the region will continue to be stymied.
It took what seemed like ages, but problematic delays with Dallas’ permit approval process finally caught the attention of state officials in Austin. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Cody Harris of District 8 have prioritized finding a solution to the matter during Texas’ 88th Legislative Session.
While Dallas is an example of significant building permit delays in Texas, many municipalities in the state have also struggled to trim down their approval times.
In Dallas, a typical single-family permit used to receive approval in only 3-5 days. However, as of February 2023, the average approval time for a single-family construction permit had jumped to 27 days, an 800% increase on the top end and a more than 500% increase on the bottom end, according to historic permit data from DSD, previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Regarding the various Development Services Departments (DSD) throughout North Texas, those in Dallas, Irving, Celina, and Denton draw the most ire from their respective development communities. Pressure from these communities over long delays recently spilled over, prompting a discussion panel with DSD directors from each city.
A comprehensive solution to the problem failed to materialize during the discussion panel, but a new bill – HB14 – introduced by Rep. Harris in March, is meant to streamline the approval process by requiring Departments that fail to meet the deadline to utilize a third-party reviewer.
While the proposed House Bill is a potential first step in establishing a working permitting solution for Texans, Abbott wants to go one step further and consolidate each municipality’s permitting process under a unified state-wide process that eliminates unnecessary ambiguity.
“[If] you’re holding a piece of property for 30 months, incapable of building on it because you lack a permit, that’s costing you a lot of money,” Abbott said during a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon attended by The Dallas Express.
It would be a game changer if Texas passes legislation that reforms the state’s building permit procedures, he said. Abbott claimed that businesses and cities must navigate challenges at a swift and responsive speed – and that’s what this regulatory proposal sets out to do.
Texas’ 88th Legislative Session began on January 10 and runs through May 29. This means state Legislators have fewer than two months left to pass regulatory reform before the session ends. If the session ends without the formal approval of HB14 or Abbott’s unofficial proposal, the responsibility of finding a permitting solution will remain on Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax to handle.
Broadnax pledged to fix Dallas’ permitting approval process in 2022, and despite being paid a bloated annual salary, he has skirted responsibility and accountability, as demonstrated when the City Council considered “taking appropriate action related to the performance of the city manager including discipline or removal.”
The Dallas Express will be tracking HB14 as it moves through the legislative process.
These permitting delays are a backdoor means to stymie development without overtly doing so in order to facilitate UN Agenda 2030 goals.
Dallas – the city that can’t – should have hired third-party inspectors years ago if they were truly serious about solving this problem. But Dallas’ focus is on eliminating gas-powered mowers and thinking about new and innovative ways to alienate and annoy residents. Being useless and annoying are the things Dallas and its’ degenerate City Council truly excel at.