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The City of Dallas has introduced a new plan to deal with backlogs in its building permit department.

This is something the city has been talking about and not fixing for over two years now.

This time, the Dallas city manager answered questions from council members directly.

Some solutions to be debated were whether additional outside help was needed or salary increases for existing staff.

For the first time since permit delays began in Dallas, City Manager TC Broadnax has taken a lead role in resolving the issue that has dragged on for about two years now.

“I will be honest and upfront as a city manager. I am also frustrated with the speed at which we have gone from acknowledging challenges to removing those challenges,” he said. “I pushed the staff to improve the system. It’s up to me not to deal with these issues, but I have capable people.”

Two years later, the city of Dallas is still struggling to get its building permit backlog under control

City council members are frustrated that builders are still facing delays.

“I still get emails every day,” Councilman Chad West said.

Deputy city manager Majed Al-Ghafry presented a detailed plan on Wednesday with solutions ranging from hiring a third-party examiner to higher compensation for employees, but he did not give a timeline. He tried to temper expectations.

“It can’t be fixed in a month. Some things will be fixed in a month, but we have to prioritize,” he said.

Al-Ghafry and the city manager also questioned the impact of the backlog.

“Developers aren’t leaving Dallas. We have 6,500 permits a year. It’s phenomenal,” they said.

Dallas residential building permit backlog cleared, city officials say

Dallas Builders Association President Phil Crone says the problem is real.

“Our association covers 10 counties in 100 cities. There is exactly one right now that has had licensing issues for any length of time, let alone 26 months right now,” he said.

Crone says what takes 2-3 weeks in other cities takes another 10-12 weeks in Dallas in some cases, costing builders and their customers hundreds of dollars a day.

“When are we going to get out of this?” he said.

On Wednesday, no promises were made.

“I make sure we hold ourselves accountable and have days full of people hiring staff instead of the cloud we’ve had for a year and a half,” Broadnax said.

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