Proposed fee on home, retail construction would fund Dallas road projects

The city of Dallas is considering charging a new street impact fee for new construction in the city.

The fee would come with a hefty price tag on new development in the city. On average it would raise the price of a single family home by $4,200 while the fee for a new shopping center would top $100,000.

Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins was in disbelief at the fee being proposed by city staff, which would fund new street construction. Atkins says it would discourage development in the southern sector.

Another big price tag on the proposal -- $600,000 just to study whether or not to start charging the fees.

The Dallas Builders Association said they felt blindsided by the proposal.

"No one let me know or anyone in the industry know it was something being considered today," said Phil Crone, Dallas Builders Association.

Crone says home buyers would ultimately be the ones footing the bill at a time when construction costs are already soaring.

"When you are casually throwing around a $4,200 increase in a state where every $1,000 takes 20,000 Texans out of the equation to afford a home, that is not what this city is trying to do with its housing policy, and a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing in Dallas," Crone said.

Dallas staff did show that many other North Texas cities are charging street impact fees -- including Arlington, Frisco, Garland, McKinney and Rowlett.

"Big challenge for Dallas is there more affordable land and space in suburbs," Crone said. "Dallas needs a way to pull people back in, not fees to exacerbate problems and disadvantages market is already offering them."