Contact Us

Texas House Bill Aims To Cut Down Long Wait Time For Development Permits

A bill introduced in the Texas House aims to cut down on development permitting backlogs across the state by offering alternatives if local authorities don’t decide upon them within a specific time frame.


House Bill 14 would require regulatory authorities to hand down decisions on permit applications and inspections within 14 days of their review deadlines, The Real Deal reported.

Rep. Cody Harris, a Republican from Anderson County, introduced the bill, which could help diminish delays in the development permitting process that were exacerbated during the pandemic.

The bill would change the state's Local Government Code to allow any person, other than the applicant, who is a licensed engineer or relevantly employed reviewer to conduct inspections and reviews if the involved regulatory authority does not approve, conditionally approve or disapprove a development document or permit in time. 

The bill was filed Monday and referred to the land and resource management committee the next day. It has the support of House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican from Beaumont, who works as a broker and partner at Phelan Investments, per TRD. He listed the proposal as one of his priority bills for the legislative session, which runs through May 29.

HB 14 focuses “on building a more resilient Texas” by “cutting burdensome red tape around property development projects in the state,” a news release from Phelan said.

Houston building codes were altered to protect from further flooding following Hurricane Harvey. That has led to four to six month delays in receiving building permits

Permit delays in Dallas are costing homebuilders $250 to $300 per home per day, Bisnow previously reported.

Cities lose out because of significant backlog, too. More than $31M of tax revenue is lost for every three months of permitting delays, including $9M in revenue for the city of Dallas, Linda McMahon, president and CEO of The Real Estate Council, told Dallas City Council during a hearing last year.