NTCAR, along with the Texas Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors, is working to keep you up-to-date on legislative issues affecting the commercial real estate industry.
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- BUILDING INSPECTION/ZONING: Building Inspection Enterprise Fund Committee met on May 12th. City staff proposed additional zoning fee adjustments that included fee increases opposed by NTCAR and other private sector groups. These fees were considered by Council’s Economic Development Committee on May 16th agenda, but the Committee deferred the item until the larger budget issues can be resolved for FY2012 and beyond. The goal is to stop the subsidization of non-paying projects and eliminate indirect costs. By freeing up these dollars in the Enterprise Fund, the City can invest in hiring additional employees and purchasing the most current technology/software to digitize the permitting process, which will expedite the process for tenant improvements.
- DALLAS BUDGET PROCESS: The City of Dallas continues to work on the FY2012 budget. Budget workshops will continue throughout the summer. The City Manager will recommend her budget on August 8th and town hall meetings will be held in August and September. A final budget must be passed by September 28th to be effective on October 1st. Dallas may face up to a $79 million budget shortfall.
- NEW ZONING RULES FOR PAYDAY LENDERS: Dallas City Councilmembers presented a unified front last week as they unanimously agreed to impose zoning regulations on payday loan stores. The ordinance aims to limit the proliferation of payday and car-title lenders by requiring the businesses to obtain special-use permits and by restricting where they can locate.
- MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Dallas municipal elections took place on May 14th. All council incumbents won except for David Neumann who was replaced by Scott Griggs for District 3 in Oak Cliff. Monica Alonzo won for District 6 in West Dallas. Mike Rawlings won 41% against David Kunkle’s 31% and Ron Natinsky’s 25%. Rawlings and Kunkle will be in a runoff on June 18th. Sandy Greyson (47%) and Donna Starnes will face a runoff for District 12, also on June 18th. A 50% majority is required to win outright. NTCAR members are encouraged to help get out the vote on June 18th. The new council will be inaugurated on June 27th.
EARLY VOTING: June 6 – June 14
NOTE: NTCAR members doing business with the City of Dallas should be familiar with the new ethics rules regarding a prohibition of campaign contributions if you have a zoning or public subsidy matter that is pending before the Council.
- PARKING REFORM: The City of Dallas Zoning Ordinance Committee continues the discussion regarding parking reform. Retail parking reform is on the agenda for Thursday, June 2nd at 9:00am at Dallas City Hall, Room 5ES. This meeting is open to the public. Macey Davis will attend and provide a summary of the highlights at the next board meeting.
- iSWM: City of Dallas convened a task force on May 18that City Hall Room L1FN C from 4-6pm to help navigate the pros and cons of mandating the Integrated Storm Water Management (iSWM) manual that was adopted last year as a voluntary measure. If NTCAR members would like to participate, please contact Macey Davis.
- SPECIAL SESSION: The Texas Legislature would normally adjourn on June 1st, but the Governor has called a special session that could last up to 30 more days. Still awaiting consideration are bills that must be passed in order to make the budget work. Overall, the session was a winner for businesses avoiding a tax increase and regulatory fees.
- EDUCATION: Public education is expected to face a $4 billion budget cut based on the tenuous compromise between the House and the Senate. This is the first time ever in state history that lawmakers did not pay for growth in the student population.
- REDISTRICTING: If the state legislature does not redraw the maps before the close of the special session, the matter will go to the courts to decide.