City Paper Widget

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1532-34 5th Street: "It Looks Like They're Planning to Do Something Illegal"

The request for a curb cut at 1532-34 5th Street NW, mid-block between P and Q Streets, was on the agenda for the July 1 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E/Shaw, and it was taken off. But the matter was discussed at the meeting anyway.
The property at the end of June

Commissioner Kevin Chapple (district 02) told the audience that developer, who is building a new house on the empty lot at that address, realized he would not get ANC support for the curb cut.

"He asked for a postponement to talk to the neighbors to try to convince them or to garner some support for the project before he came to the ANC," Chapple said.
The property on July 14

The audience was skeptical. A neighbor said that the developer was already building a driveway on the property, curb cut or no.

"Why are they spending all this money to do construction? If they know they don't have support but they're building a driveway, I think to me it looks like they're planning to do something illegal," the neighbor said.

Chappel told the neighbor the ANC could weigh in on the curb cut, which is on public land, but not on what an owner constructs, by right, on his or her own property.

"If someone wants to put a driveway on their property, we can't stop them," Chappel said.

The neighbor said the contractor had visited him to disclose plans to start construction. Since then, though, there had been problems when excavation of the property caused the neighbor's fence to fall into the excavated space. The neighbor wanted his property restored to its original condition.

There were promises made to contact the DC building inspector's office to see if anything could be done. Getting a stop work order was mentioned. But construction appears to be continuing (see photos).

The matter of the curb cut will be considered by an ANC6E committee. ANC6E has not, until now, published on its web site the times and places of their committee meetings.

After that, ANC6E is tentatively scheduled to be on the agenda of the next meeting in September. The ANC's recommendation will then go to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which has final authority.

Online records indicate the empty lot was sold for $375,000 in October 2013.

ANC6E posts its meeting in their entirety on its YouTube channel. This meeting is posted in five parts.  The discussion mentioned above can be viewed by following this link to part four. The discussion starts at time 29:20, and continues on through the beginning of part five.

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