The ForwardDallas initiative is attempting for the Holy Grail of planning: development certainty.
The Dallas Development Code was written in 1965 and last updated in 1987, but the city’s Planning and Urban Design Department has been hard at work on an update—including “drafting a comprehensive future land use map, and digitizing boxes of paper records,” according to an article by April Towery for CandysDirt.com.
The future land use map overhaul, called ForwardDallas, launched in 2021 and is now under the leadership of Dallas planning director Julia Ryan, who has been at the helm of the department for about a year. The article devotes significant ink to allowing Ryan to discuss the challenges facing planning in Dallas, as well as the solutions enabled by ForwardDallas.
One of the key goals of ForwardDallas, according to the article, is reducing the city’s backlog of project approvals. Ryan says some of the city’s backlogs can be addressed with improved zoning—such as the city’s large amount of planning developments. “Having more than 1,200 [planned developments] is absurd. The more we can simplify zoning and increase what can be built by right, the better we can prevent [a permitting backlog] from happening again,” says Ryan, as quoted in the article.
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