In this week's roundup of Dallas news, the city's building permit office is still way way behind. Maybe you can help: Code compliance is hiring. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is executing more contentious COVID-19 orders, and there's a super-weird house for sale.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Phil Crone, executive officer of the Dallas Builder's Association, is saying that, despite promises by the city of Dallas to get its building permitting situation under control, the problem has only gotten worse.
The city has a backlog with hundreds of building permits stuck in review. The average time to get a permit is now five weeks, but many Dallas Builders Association members are seeing much longer waits.
An assistant in the city's Sustainable Development department said that former director Kris Sweckard has been reassigned, and that the department is currently being managed on an interim basis by Sweckard's boss, Dr. Eric Johnson, Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services.
Code compliance hiring
The city of Dallas is looking to hire 34 new employees for its code compliance department, a staffing increase of about 20 percent. That will include 31 inspectors and three supervisors. Salary ranges from $34K-$40K per year, or about $18-$22 per hour.
The job is posted online and would entail investigation and enforcement of areas such as city codes, construction, sanitation, environmental, street & sewer, water quality, and the review of applications for licenses and permits.
SBA loan forgiveness
The Small Business Administration is working to end the Paycheck Protection Program by making it easier for employers to have their emergency payroll loans forgiven.
A new initiative is aimed at encouraging borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less — which accounts for more than 90 percent of the program — to apply for loan forgiveness.
The program issued nearly $800 billion in loans from April 2020-May 2021. According to Politico, the program experienced some snags and was a target for fraud.
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that outlaws vaccine requirements from governments or entities receiving state funds:
No governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Sate agencies and political subdivisions shall not adopt or enforce any measure that requires an individual to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the individual’s vaccination status for any COVI-19 vaccine.
Weird house for sale
A weird house for sale in North Dallas is getting attention after being featured on Zillow Gone Wild.
Located at 13299 Southview Ln., at the corner of Coit Road, the 6000-square-foot property has a brick house facade but there is no home inside. It's a cement structure that was built to be an electrical switching center, then leased for medical office data storage. The house has two electric grids and three generators, but no kitchen, living room, etc., and only one office-style half bath. They're asking $989,000.