City Paper Widget

Thursday, July 3, 2014

1201 T Street: "It's Kind of an Eyesore"

The new homeowner of 1201 T Street NW bought the house in December 2013. He didn't realize he needed special permission to replace his front walk (facing T Street) and side patio (facing 12th Street). So he went ahead and started to take them up. That's when he got a stop work order slapped on the window of his house, right above the half-removed side patio.

The offending patio
The house is located within the U Street Historic District, so any exterior changes or renovations must get the blessing of D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

Before that, the homeowner should seek the endorsement of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). That's what brought him to the last meeting of ANC 1B/U Street on June 16.

"It's kind of an eyesore," the homeowner said of the partially-completed project.

The side patio facing 12th Street is now 10 feet by 15 feet. HPRB took a look at it and said they would only allow 5 feet by 5 feet. In addition, the homeowner had to prepare a plan which specified the type of material that would be used, and the color.

The committee discussed the member of HPRB staff who was assigned to the case. This particular committee member is known for especially zealous enforcement of historic district guidelines.

"That's why you're getting five by five," one committee member said.

The committee unanimously passed a motion to endorse the homeowner's proposal to complete the project. The motion also supported the homeowner's desire to have a patio larger than five by five.

The committee's recommendation will go to the full ANC for approval. It will probably be considered at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 10, at 7pm, at the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets).

Online records indicate 1201 T Street was bought in December 2013 for $1.125 million.

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