Housing Complex

Doug Jemal, Illegal Billboard Poster?

Can this be legal? (Lydia DePillis)

Can this be legal? (Lydia DePillis)

A couple weeks ago, we took a look at all the licensed "special signs" (a.k.a. billboards) that are attached to buildings owned by massive tax dodger Doug Jemal. Well, a couple have cropped up that don't appear on the list: One right next to the Vince Gray campaign headquarters, and another, for Carmine's (which also leases space in a Jemal-owned building), on the Jemal-owned Uline Arena.

The District's signage rules are ungodly complicated–since the building isn't in a historic district, I can't tell just from reading the regs whether this plastic-wrap-television-screen-thing for PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet is prohibited or not. But DCRA spokesman Mike Rupert suggests Jemal didn't run it by anybody first.

"This is not one of the special signs and was not permitted," Rupert says. "We have an inspection scheduled and should have the results shortly."


  • downtown rez

    Jemal/Douglas Development is on the Gray campaign finance list. What a shock.
    This is a man who was exonerated of bribery even though the Williams era deputy director of OPM was convicted of attempting to bribe Jemal.
    And judges and other respected DC citizens submitted letters on Jemal's behalf.
    What a shock.
    Vote Fenty Sept 14th.

  • DCmaven

    You have a guy who gets rid of staff when he doesn't have enough payroll money; doesn't have up-to-date elevator certificates for MOST of his buildings and simply doesn't believe he should follow the rules...but I guess DC loves him, although behind the scenes, his buildings are a piece of crap!

    My girlfriend worked at the Woodies bldg and said either the elevators or the air conditioning goes caput!

  • Mrs. D

    I was wondering if that Carmine's sign was okayed by anyone!

  • crin

    The Building code is actually quite clear that this sign is illegal. The sign is not allowed because it's vacant, and beyond that, the sign is too big for this size of building.

    12A DCMR 3107.6 (signs on commercial building can only advertise the business in the building)
    "3107.6 Character of Advertising. No sign subject to the provisions of Section 3107 shall be erected, hung, rehung, placed, replaced, painted, repainted, repaired, or maintained upon any structure or upon any wall or roof, or upon any premises, unless such sign advertises a bona fide business conducted on the premises, and for which business a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. The change of sign copy on any sign other than an authorized "Changeable Copy Sign" shall require issuance of a new sign permit."

    The building is vacant, so there's no business inside, so no sign should be painted onto the building.

    12A DCMR 3107.10.4 (the maximum size sign for this building is 100 square feet)
    "3107.10.4 Single occupancy buildings. Where an entire building over one story in height is occupied by one business, store or occupant, the total area of all signs on each street frontage shall not exceed the limits set forth in Table 3107.10.4." Which states "AREA OF WALL

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