Sometime in late December 2016 DCRA regraded the property to fill in the hole in the front and rear of the house where the basement concrete slab was removed and floor lowered. Additionally, they removed, or reused, the excavated dirt from the rear of the year. The trash that was left in the rear has been removed. The rear wall that was demoed without a permit has now been boarded up.
While this similar abatement was done at 430 Shepherd, DCRA attempted to not enforce this abatement requirement here due to limited resources and it not posing an immediate harm to life. It is unclear why this happened as DCRA did not reach out to myself or neighbors to let them know this was being fixed.
While none of these are fixes to the actual problems with the house, nor enforcement of numerous violations or fines to the owner, they do provide some basic quality of life improvements for the neighbors. This will likely be the last work DCRA enforces on the house until the owner restarts renovations or until a new safety hazard emerges.
After no response from the Department of Health Ward 4 liaison I called DOH directly to ask about the standing water abatement notice posted on August 11, 2016. I was unable to find anyone in DOH who handles property abatement cases. I reached one unit where a very honest DOH employee shared this:
- The unit who posted the abatement notice is likely from the Zika containment unit
- That unit is mostly made up of seasonal contractors
- Ms. Paige Lipscome, the investigator who posted the abatement notice appears to no longer work for DOH
- The number for Ms. Lipscome, posted on the abatement notice, goes to another former employee’s voicemail.
- Because the unit was closed for the season DOH likely will not come back to the property to enforce the abatement notice
While the abatement notice states “please abate the above notice(s) not later than 10 days from the Date of Service to avoid being assessed fines in the amount of $500 or more. Failure to abate the above violation(s) shall constitute a violation of the Act, with each day of the violation constituting a separate offense.”