|July 25, 2017||No Comments|
According to city data, 9,974 building permits were issued in fiscal year 2010. In fiscal year 2015, that number jumped to 11,272, with the city projecting to issue 12,026 permits by the end of fiscal year 2016. Plats and right-of-way applications are rising, too, jumping from 297 in fiscal year 2010 to 507 in fiscal year 2015, with 582 applications projected for fiscal year 2016.
Much of Fort Worth’s development growth is a result of population growth, said Will Northern, owner and broker of real estate firm Northern Realty Group and member of the city’s Zoning Commission. Fort Worth has about 800,000 people is expected to grow by an average of about 20,000 people per year.
“All these people moving here and all these companies moving here – we have to develop more square footage to accommodate everybody,” Northern said.
More people mean more projects for the queue, which can also translate to longer wait times. Assistant Planning Director Dana Burghdoff said the step in the development process that’s taking longer than others isn’t necessarily the issuance of a building permit itself, but everything that happens before that – the pre-development conferences, replatting and right-of-way adjustments.
Burghdoff said the growing numbers in platting applications are “making us a bit nervous.”
“The time frames are different for each process, but by nature, the platting process takes longer because you’re having to provide infrastructure to that site and, in some cases, for the first time,” she said. “You’re having to figure out where’s the water and sewer going to come in, is there floodplain, where’s the stormwater, we have to construct the streets, construct the water and sewer lines – it’s a much more intensive process to make the land ready.”
The time it takes for a property to be replatted depends on the size of the development, but it can take at least a month, Burghdoff said. Other city departments, such as Parks and Recreation, have replat projects of their own as well, which adds to the queue.
“We’ve struggled in the last few months because of the volumes that we’ve seen on platting,” she said.
One developer, Dirik Oudt, said he had to wait more than a year before being approved for a building permit, citing platting as part of the delay. Oudt is the president of Lang Partners, the Dallas-based development company working on the 327-unit Oleander apartment project in the Near Southside.
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