DALLAS — The city of Dallas has been struggling with a permitting problem for years now.
And while some minor progress has been made since Mayor Eric Johnson created a special working group to address the issue, the delays are still dramatic and it’s costing the city business and angering residents.
“So, the short term is basically getting those days that you’re waiting for a permit down. And we’re looking at 42 days now, which is still not acceptable,” council member Paula Blackmon said on Inside Texas Politics.
The Real Estate Council says $9 million in city revenue is lost for every three months in delay. District 9 council member Blackmon chairs the working group and says she’s aware of those numbers and they’re accurate.
“There is a serious economic issue that’s at hand,” said Blackmon. “It’s problematic, especially from a city who makes money on property taxes. That’s how we fund services.”
Watch the segment below:
The councilwoman says bureaucracy is not the root cause, but one of many that have led to the problem.
“It’s a big city. Our zoning laws are complex. We’ve had personnel issues, that, you know, people have left the city that we haven’t filled,” she said. “And so, when the pandemic hit, it really put the spotlight on the issue.”
Blackmon says the city has been busy hiring personnel and outsourcing to three vendors. And she says the city is looking to add a fourth vendor to help with the process.
And while many employees were hybrid, working from home and the office, she says all employees will return back to the office after a remodeling project is complete.
“We are looking at anything and everything to cut those days down. 42 is still a long time. It really should be one or two or three days for a simple renovation,” she said.