The Real Estate Council is dedicated to supporting and influencing public policy issues on a local and statewide level. By educating our members on current issues, we work to impact the commercial real estate industry, long-term job growth and quality of life for all. Our efforts address the following issues.
Public education is an important focus of The Real Estate Council’s mission, and our special Education Committee leads our involvement with Dallas ISD and public charter schools. We work to enhance the public school system in Dallas because strong schools are vital to a healthy business climate.
Other initiatives include endorsing and supporting Dallas ISD candidates, attending Dallas ISD meetings and working with other organizations that have education agendas such as the Dallas Regional Chamber. The committee also introduces and supports strategies that improve education results, measurement, transparent governance, accountability and competition.
In 2014 TREC authored a review of the City of Dallas’ development processes and timelines to start on a dialogue on improvement opportunities. TREC met monthly with city leadership and examine each department’s approach to the development process. The group produced a strategic plan to tackle the issues and replicate the areas of success. TREC now has quarterly meetings to ensure the dialogue between the development community and city staff remains open and productive.
Green building preserves natural resources and uses sustainable resources and practices, but also prevents burdening the development community. TREC promotes sustainable development and when Dallas was among the nation’s first major cities to pass comprehensive green building standards, TREC helped craft the codes.
Integrated Storm Water Management enhances water quality and promotes natural terrain preservation. TREC has worked with the City of Dallas to help draft a iSWM Program, which is pending approval by City Council, but the city approved the regional iSWM program managed by North Central Texas Council of Governments that enhances water quality protection, streambank protection and flood mitigation, while also helping communities meet construction and post-construction obligations under state storm water permits.
Zoning codes divide areas of the city and dictate building restrictions for each area. As Dallas continues to enjoy growth, we contribute to the discussions on the issues growth creates for zoning, including density, proper land use and more.
TREC continues to work with the City of Dallas to ensure that the tree ordinance protects and preserves the natural greenery and trees enjoyed throughout the city, while also creating a fair and predictable practice to address trees in the development process.
Economic Development including GrowSouth
TREC is committed to spurring economic development throughout Dallas, particularly focusing on opportunities in Southern Dallas. To support the Mayor’s Southern Dallas initiative, GrowSouth, TREC invests in and funds critical projects that bring new businesses and jobs to the area.
TREC is dedicated to the mission of providing affordable housing throughout the city. TREC is working with the City of Dallas to create a plan to address affordable housing as Dallas plans for sustainable neighborhoods.
Transportation and Water Infrastructure
To sustain a growing economy, a city needs sufficient infrastructure. Texas’ growing population means increased wear and tear on roads, traffic congestion and demands on our water supply. Transportation infrastructure is critical to maintaining the economy and quality of life. Federal, state and local funding sources required to build and maintain our transportation system are inadequate. TREC encourages policymakers to explore all short and long-term solutions and ensure appropriate allocation of current transportation revenues.
A level playing field is critical for the commercial real estate industry to meet the demands of our growing state. A moderate, balanced and stable tax structure contributes to the positive business climate necessary for Texas to compete in a world economy. Texas law should continue to require appraisal districts to assess property values on an equal and uniform basis, ensuring similar properties are valued in a similar manner. Any legislation revising the Texas franchise tax should include language to correct a basic inequity that taxes pass-through funds held in escrow by commercial landlords.
Economic Development and Responsible Growth
Commercial real estate development is a leading industry for growth in Texas. The Texas Legislature should not impose undue regulations that inhibit growth and should encourage tools that stimulate the economy and promote responsible and sustainable development. Tools include tax increment financing and public improvement districts, programs that encourage green building technology and provide tools for retrofitting existing infrastructure, programs that encourage water preservation, development agreements and public/private partnerships.
Protection of Property Rights
Texans expect Legislature to strike a fair balance between the rights of private property owners and governmental entities. The Texas Legislature must protect landowners from unduly burdensome local development requirements that reduce the value of the landowner’s property. The legislature must also preserve existing protections such as Chapter 245 of the Texas Local Government Code (Vested Rights) and the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act (PRPRPA).