Dallas Builders Association executive officer Phil Crone says that the Dallas ordinances on parks and trees need refinement before a final vote.

By Phil Crone
Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

On May 16, the Dallas City Council heard separate proposals concerning a new Park Land Dedication Ordinance and revisions to Article X, which concerns tree planting and conservation in the city limits. A vote on each is expected before the council’s July recess.

My personal involvement on the tree ordinances dates back to 2009, when the Dallas Builders Association began to talk with stakeholders about possible improvements. Article X has created challenges for new development, especially in South Dallas. The premise of the ordinance is to assign fees to the removal of trees on private property. Property owners can attempt to reduce or eliminate fees by preserving the existing tree canopy, replanting desirable trees using best practice methods, and/or other sustainable development methods.

The new draft of Article X does provide property owners with more carrots, but it also adds more sticks and lacks transparency on key items such as the fees and how they are used. Another problem

Phil Crone

is that the ordinance now assigns a mitigation fee to nuisance trees such as Hackberries and thorn-ridden Mesquite trees, albeit at a lower rate than others. Hackberries are found in large numbers on property throughout Dallas, meaning that several small fees add up to one large fee when it comes time to remove them. The larger a Hackberry grows, the more brittle and dangerous it becomes. Their leaves attract aphids that drip honeydew on everything below. Eventually, black sooty mold grows on the honeydew. In other words, a Hackberry has no redeeming qualities. The Dallas Builders Association is proposing a measure that allows property owners to remove smaller, less desirable species, defined as Class 3 trees in the ordinance, without paying a fee.

Article X currently lacks the credit for new replacement trees now required by state law. House Bill 7, which became effective in December, was supported by the City of Dallas and the Dallas Builders Association in the most recent legislative session. By focusing on credit for planting replacement trees, we felt this was a better alternative to more aggressive proposals that sought to remove municipal authority from tree preservation entirely. The proposed changes to Article X outline the process that, in most cases, should achieve the result state law allows. However, inclusion of language from the statute would guarantee property owners no worse than the outcome provided for by the legislature.

Our final concerns with Article X deal with transparency. (more…)

This warm modern design by Richard Miller Custom Homes is one of five luxury homes showcased in the Dallas Builders Association’s April 7 Parade of Homes presented by STELLAR and benefiting Operation FINALLY HOME. 

In its ranks, the Dallas Builders Association has some truly great minds creating some of the most forward-thinking custom homes. These builders are hired to build some of the most beautiful houses, but rarely do you get the chance to tour them, as they are often built for particular, private, and particularly private clients. So we’re thrilled that the DBA is bringing back one of their most popular events, the Parade of Homes!

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We make no effort to hide the fact that we LOVE the Dallas Builders Association. They are some of the best people you will ever meet, from their officers to the builder members, who are rock solid characters. These are the guys and gals I want around me should all hell break loose in the world. Plus builder members of the DBA don’t leave clients hanging. If your builder is NOT a member of the DBA, he or she SHOULD be. 

One of our favorite’s is Dallas Builders Association Executive Officer Phil Crone. He’s young, he’s passionate, and he is devoted to the DBA and home building.

But now, we understand his focus on another kind of devotion: Phil and his fiancee, Heidi Miller, were married on Saturday, March 3, in a small backyard ceremony — where else — at the new home they recently built in East Dallas.

Heidi hails from Mesquite and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas, where she also played on a tennis scholarship. She has a Master’s degree and is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in sports management while working as a teacher and tennis coach at Reedy High School in Frisco.

Phil is originally from the small northern Indiana town of North Liberty. Which makes him a midwesterner, even better! He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Juris Doctorate from SMU. He has worked for the Dallas BA since 2006, and became its Executive Officer in 2013.

The couple met while competing in a local adult kickball league.

And get this: Phil proposed to Heidi July 4, on their home’s newly poured foundation.  It just doesn’t get any better! (more…)

By Phil Crone
Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

In the midst of a labor shortage of nearly 20,000 construction workers in our area, the Dallas Builders Association is looking for young people to enter into an industry that desperately needs them. Much of our outreach has centered on our area’s vocational trade school programs. These are the same programs President Trump called to expand during last month’s State of the Union Address. They are also where about three in every four students are “Dreamers,” otherwise known as eligible recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), whose status is very much in limbo ahead of President Trump’s March 5 deadline to end the program in the absence of Congressional action.

Their future and the future of the housing industry are inextricably linked.

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students

Area high school students enrolled in construction trade vocational programs were able to network with contractors, builders, and vendors at the Dallas Builders’ Show, held last week in Plano. (Photo: Bethany Erickson)

Area builders and contractors who attended the Dallas Builders’ Show last week didn’t just get the lowdown on the latest in engineered wood or backsplashes – they also had the opportunity to meet the students that will be their future workforce.

The Dallas Builders Association has made good on its desire to help local high school programs by providing networking and internship opportunities to students learning construction trades.

Last spring, the group hosted a group of students from Skyline High School’s construction program at one of Classic Urban Homes job sites.

Last Thursday, the DBA hosted more than 100 students from several area high schools at its annual trade show event in Plano. Students from Arlington, Dallas, Garland, and Grand Prairie mingled with builders and vendors, snagging business cards and making connections. (more…)

Even as the price of new-builds in Dallas remains largely stagnant, a report last month suggests that housing affordability will remain a primary concern for the foreseeable future. According to Metrostudy, the area’s low housing inventory streak continues unabated, and the median home price inches ever upward, reaching $320,600 last quarter. Resale prices of homes show no signs of slowing and new home starts in the $200,000 or under price range have become relics of the past.

“New homebuyers are stretched to the limit of what they can afford,” said Paige Shipp, Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas-Ft Worth market. Tell us about it.

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Hurricane Harvey put many previously safe areas underwater. If you’ve never coped with rebuilding from a flood, the Dallas Builders Association has some advice.

By Phil Crone
Special Contributor

The Dallas Builders Association extends its heartfelt thoughts to our friends on the coast who are suffering from the wrath and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. To help those affected, please text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross or visit redcross.org.

While storms of this magnitude bring out the best in most, they can bring out the worst in others. Often this comes in the form of unscrupulous contractors from out of state who follow major weather events looking for work. Sadly, the damage left in their wake is usually financial, adding to the suffering of storm victims.

Please use the information below as a guide on how to rebuild with confidence. Additional information is available through the Texas Association of Builders and the Greater Houston Builders Association.

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Less than half of Dallas-Fort Worth residents can afford new homes in the region, according to the Dallas Builders Association.

Recent data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University paints a pretty bleak picture for housing affordability in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 100,000 new jobs regionwide netted just 30,000 new homes by the end of last year, according to stats from Meyers Research and the Dallas Builders Association. The median home price, thanks to the scarcity of new builds, jumped from $149,900 in 2011 to $232,000 in 2016. 

The end of the affordable new home is nigh, it seems. 

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