A look into the November Election Results, City of Dallas Housing Issues and the 2020 Fee Survey

Government Affairs Update, Local, State,

November 5th Election Results

On Tuesday, November 5th, voters across North Texas cast their ballots for House District 100’s special election, Mesquite local elections and to approve 10 proposed constitutional amendments.

State House District 100 Special Election: Lorraine Birabil received 33% of the votes and will face James Armstrong III, who won 21% of the votes, in a runoff election. Armstrong trailed Daniel Clayton most of the night but finished 5 votes ahead when all votes were counted.

Turnout was low with 6,845 votes cast for an overall turnout of 7.9%.

The runoff election will be held on January 28, 2020.

Mesquite Local Election: Mayor Stan Pickett lost to challenger Bruce Archer, 52%-48%. Kenny Green (AAGD PAC-endorsed) defeated Dorothy Patterson 65%-35%. David Burris (AAGD PAC-endorsed) will head to the runoff against Sherry Wisdom. Widsom led Burris 46%-30%. Both Sergio Garcia (AAGD PAC-endorsed) and Jennifer Vidler (AAGD PAC-endorsed) lost their races 58%-19% and 59%-32%, respectively.

8,802 votes were cast in the Mesquite local election, for a turnout of 12% of registered voters.

The runoff election is set for Saturday, December 14.

10 Constitutional Amendments: 9 of the 10 proposed constitutional amendments were approved by Texas voters. Prop 1, which would allow municipal court judges to serve multiple judicial positions at once, did not pass.

Related to the rental housing industry, Prop 4, which would ban attempts to impose a state income tax, and Prop 3 related to property tax relief following disasters, were overwhelmingly approved.

Parking Reduction Related to Recycling Mandate in Dallas

The City of Dallas is considering proposed amendments to allow reduction to the minimum parking requirements in an effort to provide space for recycling containers. The amendment would allow for one parking space to be used for the recycling container(s).

Chapter 18 of the Dallas City Code addresses a reduction to minimum parking required in order to provide space for recycling containers but does not define the number of parking spaces allowed for reduction. The proposed amendment to Chapter 51 would bring that section into compliance with Section 18 and give guidance to the number of parking spaces that can be allocated for recycling containers.

AAGD staff met with staff for Sustainable Development & Construction and Environmental Quality & Sustainability to provide industry input on the proposed change. The overwhelming consensus from AAGD members was that one parking space would not be adequate for the containers. AAGD will continue to monitor this issue as it moves through the policy process.

Housing and Homelessness Solutions Committee

On 11/5/19, the Dallas City Council Committee on Housing and Homelessness Solutions held its first meeting. The meeting included a presentation from the Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS) and the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. During the presentation, there was discussion of funding sources, OHS strategy – including discussion of the Landlord Subsidized Leasing Program, and OHS efforts currently underway. According to the city’s point-in-time count of the homeless population in Dallas on January 24, there were 1,452 unsheltered homeless – an increase of 111 people over last year. The total number of sheltered and unsheltered, including Collin County, was 4,506.

The Housing Department also presented an overview of the comprehensive housing policy, the housing policy task force, and other potential housing policies and programs – including brief discussion of a tenants’ rights/anti-displacement ordinance. AAGD staff will be meeting with city staff from housing and OHS to provide industry feedback on any potential tenants’ rights ordinances and the Landlord Subsidized Leasing Program.

2020 Fee Survey

The 2020 Multifamily Fee Survey has been completed and distributed to AAGD members.

Consistent with previous years, several cities across the AAGD service area have continued to increase fees related to multifamily operations, including water and sewer rates and waste collection rates Notable cities with increased rates include Allen, Frisco, Plano and The Colony. If you have any questions about the fee survey, please contact AAGD Government Affairs at jsimon@aagdallas.com.