Swiss Avenue is one of the landmark districts in our neighborhood. Photo by Rasy Ran.

Much of the attention surrounding the City of Dallas’ $4.35 billion proposed budget has to do with funds allocated to police and infrastructure.

But another part of the budget significant to East Dallas hasn’t received as much coverage. It has to do with a proposed tax on certificate of appropriateness applications.

A certificate of appropriateness is required before any exterior work, including landscaping, can begin on landmarks or structures in landmark districts.

Our neighborhood has several landmark districts including Peak’s Suburban, Swiss Avenue, Edison/La Vista Court, Junius Heights and Munger Place. Deep Ellum contains Continental Gin and Eastside Warehouse. Wilson Block is nearby.

Currently, there is no fee to apply for a certificate of appropriateness. But the proposed budget stipulates the applications could cost $100 to $600. See the details on page 63 of the budget.

District 14 City Councilman Paul Ridley responded to this budget item in Thursday’s town hall meeting.

“We have many instances where people do unauthorized work today, and I’m concerned that if we charge particularly for routine maintenance CAs or minor repair CAs, that we’re going to induce people to conduct either unauthorized work or deter them from doing work at all,” Ridley said. “So I, too, am opposed to that portion of this budget.”

There will be more opportunities for neighbors to share their thoughts and ask questions about the proposed budget. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 17 with District 9 City Councilwoman Paula Blackmon and District 7 City Councilman Adam Bazaldua. Find more meeting times here.