Posts Tagged ‘DCRA’

Update: That May Not Be Sewage on Kennedy Street NW, After All

Update: D.C. officials said this morning that tests late last week showed the discharge is not sewage. See bottom of post for full update. The original post is below, though it's been updated throughout to clarify with the test results:
Residents of the area around Kennedy Street NW have been pushing hard recently to revitalize the [...]

The Mold War

In 2012, shortly after returning to D.C. from medical anthropology fieldwork in Peru for her graduate program, Clare Kelley was diagnosed with kidney stones. She had what was supposed to be routine surgery, but instead of bouncing back as expected, she needed an additional four operations that year.
Things kept getting worse from there. That October, [...]

Cabinet Shakeup for Gray as Lame-Duck Period Begins

Mayor Vince Gray began his nine-month lame-duck period following his primary defeat last week with a cabinet shakeup that will see the departure of head of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the arrival of a new director of the Office of Planning.
Nicholas Majett, who has been with DCRA since 2006 and headed the [...]

A Very Illegal Apartment Building Gets a Second Life

On the 700 block of Morton Street NW, a stretch of modest rowhouses, one building stands out. Set back from the street and reaching far higher than its neighbors, 723 Morton St. looks like it doesn't belong.
That's because it doesn't. The developer of the property received permits in 2004 for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing and [...]

Overlooked and Underfunded

Just south of Anacostia, on a hill overlooking the Suitland Parkway, lies a ghost town.
I first encountered it earlier this summer while driving around Southeast D.C. with Reuben Pemberton, a Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs official who was showing me buildings with some of the highest outstanding vacant-property tax bills in the city. These [...]

Lost and Foundering

The red rowhouse at 430 Manor Place NW has seen better days, but not many people remember them. Four of the five windows are boarded up, while the last is filled with stacks of cinderblocks. Ivy climbs up the walls and supports, a small mulberry tree grows out of a widening crack in the walkway, [...]

Anacostia Playhouse Construction Is Good to Go, With an Assist From the Mayor

After weeks of regulatory battles and legislative debate, the Anacostia Playhouse has its building permit—just not as a playhouse (yet).
The Playhouse, scheduled to open in June, was forced to stop construction work because it didn't have a building permit, and it couldn't get a building permit because, through an arcane rule requiring a minimum number [...]

Can D.C. Council Legally Allow Construction Without a Permit?

D.C. Councilmembers Tommy Wells and Marion Barry have been working to allow construction on the Anacostia Playhouse to move forward, even though it hasn't received a building permit due to parking issues. In short, the issue is that the theater doesn't have the on-site parking required by the city's zoning regulations, so it's applying for [...]

Blight Flight

In 1875, Michael Talty—a prominent local developer—built three houses on K Street NW at 11th Street. Then, the neighborhood was as fashionable as any in Washington, and these structures were no different: Talty chose Italianate brick and Second Empire architecture, topped the corner building with a graceful cupola, and embellished the columns with acanthus leaves [...]

Nobody Knows All The Trouble Vacant Properties Cause

Vacant properties are not a sexy topic, and the Government Accountability Office is no Danielle Steele, but the agency's recent report on the matter is a pretty interesting read for anybody who cares about how all those empty buildings came to be that way and their effect on local governments. Even though loan servicers are [...]