City Paper Widget

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2724 11th Street: Graham, Grosso Weigh in Against Zoning Relief

DC Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward One) and David Grosso (I-At Large) have written letters in opposition to a request for zoning relief by the owners of 2724 11th Street NW. The troubled Columbia Heights property has been the subject of a long struggle between tenants and neighbors on one side and the owners on the other -- see SALM blog posts of October 23, October 8, September 17, August 4, and June 23.

Tenants rallied against the zoning relief on October 5
The letters of Councilmembers Graham and Grosso came in advance of a November 18 hearing of DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on the request for zoning relief. The request was not granted at the hearing, which will be the subject of a separate blog post.

From Councilmember's Letters

Graham's letter says: "...there is no need for the owners to develop new units given the existing vacancies and the poor living conditions present in the building."

"After decades of neglect and deferred maintenance," Graham's letter says, "these owners have permitted the building to reach a state of advanced dilapidation, including rodent infestation, mold and advanced disrepair."

"On October 29, I toured the building and four individual units," says Grosso in his letter. "I was disturbed by the visible dilapidation caused by long-term neglect, rodent and vermin infestation, mold, and general disrepair of the building. There is no evidence that the property managers or owners have taken any steps toward improving these conditions for the safety and welfare of the tenants...."

Grosso also says: "... this renovation is not in the interests of the current tenants..." and "... this variance would only perpetuate the unaddressed issues that have plagued this building for years."

The letters of Councilmembers Grosso and Graham, along with 43 other letters or emails in opposition to the zoning variance (plus one in support), can be seen by going to the BZA's Interactive Zoning Information System and entering case number 18790 into the search bar.

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