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Ervin Gaffield spreads gravel at a J.W. Fowler Co. omesite Monday.
October 09, 2012
DALLAS -- Dallas City Council will consider extending a temporary systems development charge (SDC) discount -- which seems to have helped spur an increase in new home construction in Dallas -- at its meeting Monday night.
The discount, which began in February, waives the sewer SDC for new homes and cuts in half the water SDC on those homes less that 1,700 square feet.
The discount may have played a role in the increase in new home building permits issued so far in 2012.
According to Ted Cuno of the city of Dallas building department, building applications for 29 single-family houses and two duplexes have been turned in to the city so far this year.
Of those, 23 of the homes and both duplexes have qualified for the water SDC discount.
As a comparison, in all of 2011 only 13 permits for single family homes were issued.
The discount was to end on Sept. 30. However, the city council decided to extend the program through Oct. 15.
That decision came after a Dallas home builder and a real estate agent said the conclusion of the program could have a negative impact on impending sales.
A report from staff outlining the impact of the discount is planned for the council's meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
Paul Trahan, the vice president of land acquisition and development for J.W. Fowler Co.'s development division the Fife Group, said at the council's Oct. 1 meeting he had three sales on the line that he believed the discount would impact. He asked the council to move the end date for the discount until after the council had a chance to review staff findings.
Trahan said the SDC waiver and discount played a role in several sales so far this year.
"It stimulated a growth of seven to eight of them, possibly more," he said.
Trahan said he was pleased with the council's decision to continue the discount until Monday and plans to attend that night's meeting.
Nancie Rogers, with Windermere Real Estate in Dallas, also wrote a letter in support of continuing the program.
"The reduced SDC fees, for some of the new home owners, has definitely made the difference between building and not building a new home. Budgets are tight for both purchasers and builders," she wrote.
She also testified Oct. 1, saying that with more building in the community, more money is being spent on building supplies and other goods and services in town.
The council was split initially, with some concerned about taking action before seeing the staff report, but an extension was approved.
The temporary waiver was approved originally as an attempt to stimulate home building within the city.
According to Trahan, it seems to have been successful, at least compared to 2011.
"For Fowler, its been a substantial increase," he said.