October 27, 2016 – Beginning of request for on site meeting

In regards to the September 28 thread about new permit issued while under a Stop Work Order I followed up after DCRA stopped responding:
From: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:32 PM
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Subject: RE: 414 Shepherd St NW
 
Are there any new updates here? Assuming there is no current abatement work scheduled can we set up an in person meeting to discuss next steps and deadlines? We can combine this with the 430 Upshur request I sent earlier. I believe both neighbors on either side of 414 Shepherd would like to be present. We may also want to do this on site at the property.
 
Jonah Goodman
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
On Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:57 PM -0400, “Washington, Jason (DCRA)”<Jason.Washington@dc.gov> wrote:

I can get the DCRA folks that would need to be present at the site to discuss with the neighbors. Whenever your schedule allows for it.
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***
Nov 3, 2016 (sent from mobile app, thus formatting changes)
Do you have any availability next Thursday or Friday?
Jonah
***
To:

Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10);
You replied on 11/4/2016 9:34 AM.
 I do. Trying to check with the flexibility for some of the other participants. I will try and have more information this afternoon. Can confirm no later than Monday COB.
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***
Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Fri 11/4/2016 9:34 AM
Sent Items
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA);
Thank you.
Jonah Goodman 
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Tue 11/8/2016 10:09 AM
Inbox
To: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10);
You replied on 11/11/2016 10:22 AM.
Commissioner,
 
Friday looks to be out. You mentioned Thursday or Friday. Is it possible to do early next week? Are the neighbors available then? Thanks,
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***
Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Fri 11/11/2016 10:22 AM
Sent Items
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA);
You replied on 11/17/2016 10:29 AM.
Mr. Washington,
I could do these times:
Tuesday until noon
Wednesday all day
Thursday before 2pm
The [neighbor] (416 Shepherd) and [neighbor] (412 Shepherd) should likely be able to make those times. I realize the office is likely closed today for Veterans Day and look forward to talking Monday.
Jonah Goodman
 
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
Thu 11/17/2016 10:29 AM
Sent Items
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA);
Mr. Washington,
Since it appears we are not going to meet this week can you give me times next week that you will be available to be on site. Please provide enough time so that we don’t have to cancel and push this past the holiday. We are now three months out from our last in person meeting and there have been no action from DCRA on the promises stated in that meeting. For reference those next steps are documented here https://414shepherd.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/august-11-2016-2/
Jonah Goodman
 
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
Thu 11/17/2016 12:29 PM
Inbox
To:Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10);
Cc:Stewart, Craigs (DCRA);

Burnett, Susan (DCRA);
Commissioner,
 
I never received the below email about the dates for this week. I apologize as I was trying to make this happen.  I am including Craig Stewart, program manager for Vacant Building Enforcement, and Susan Burnett, the Enforcement Administrator, on this email. They were waiting for me to make a date since the request was for a meeting in the community with the residents. Can we get on the phone at some point today and schedule? Thanks,
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***
This thread moved to a phone call the afternoon of 11/17/2016. I requested the on-site meeting happen before Thanksgiving so as to not incur any further delays due to the holiday. Monday morning was offered with a promise to follow up and set that meeting. No follow up has been received yet.

November 18, 2016 – DCRA confirms it will only commit resources to concerns that ‘pose life safety’ issues

Note: Emphasis below is from me, not the Director.
Bolling, Melinda (DCRA)
Fri 11/18/2016 11:46 AM
 To:

Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10);
Turner, Dolly (Council) <dturner@dccouncil.us>;
Cc:

Todd, Brandon (COUNCIL);
Rummel, Jordan (Council) <jrummel@dccouncil.us>;
Benab, Jasmin (EOM);
Washington, Jason (DCRA);
Whitescarver, Clarence (DCRA);
Williamson, Zayd (DOH-Contractor);
Brown, Gerard (DOH);

Commissioner Goodman,
Good morning.  Please accept my apologies for DCRA’S tardiness.  Although DCRA’S staff determined that there was no imminent life safety issue at the site that required immediate abatement before the last quarter of this calendar year, we should have communicated this decision to you and the neighbors before today.
 I will confer with my team on what is required  for the agency to abate for life safety reasons at the site.  Often times neighbors want DCRA to resolve all property maintenance issues at a site.  However, the agency must dedictate limited resources to the nuisances that pose life safety issues.  Therefore, after we determine what is required to resolve life safety issues at this property,  we will provide a timeline for abatement.
Thank you for your patience.
Regards,
Melinda Bolling
Director

October 13, 2016

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.

 

 

 

 

September 28, 2016 – New Permits Granted under SWO

From: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 3:39 PM
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Subject: RE: 414 Shepherd St NW
 
I see there was a new permit approved for interior renovation and rear addition on 9/7/2016. Are they going to be required to abate these issues before they can begin other work or are they able to do these simultaneously to non-abatement work?
 
Jonah Goodman
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***

From: Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2016 2:47 PM
To: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Subject: RE: 414 Shepherd St NW
 
I don’t see a new permit issued on 9/7/16 for 414 Shepherd St NW. I see that the SWO is still intact. Nothing would affect them doing the Abatement. Separate entities so they can be done simultaneously.
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***

From: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2016 2:59 PM
To: Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Subject: RE: 414 Shepherd St NW
 
ANC Commissioners get a monthly city wide permit report from Jonathan Williams (DCRA) and it shows ID #B1600701 issued for 414 Shepherd in September.
 
Jonah Goodman
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
From: Washington, Jason (DCRA)
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:09 PM
To: Goodman, Jonah (SMD 4C10)
Subject: RE: 414 Shepherd St NW
 
Thanks for the building permit number. I looked that up and that permit was issued in October of last year.  I am checking with my permit center now and it looks like they were doing a test. The comments for the permit issued on 9/7/16 : PERMIT WAS PREVIOUSLY ISSUED – A TEST WAS PERFORMED TO FIND OUT IF A PERMIT COULD BE GENERATED WHILE A HOLD WAS PRESENT.
 
Let me find out if that was in fact a test and why that would have gone to Commissioners if it wasn’t actually a permit. This is concerning because no one talked to anyone.
 
Jason Washington
Special Assistant
Office of the Director
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District of Columbia Government
1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor
Washington DC 20024
202.442.8942 office
***
No answer has been provided to date about the permit’s accuracy. 

September 28, 2016

To: Torres, Ivan (DOH); Washington, Jason (DCRA);
Cc: Benab, Jasmin (EOM); Turner, Dolly (Council) <dturner@DCCOUNCIL.US>;

Carnes, Jackson (Council) <jcarnes@DCCOUNCIL.US>;
Mr. Torres,
I am following up on this request in hopes of getting an answer. DOH issued a notice of failure to abate standing water. The owner had until August 21, 2016 to fix this and has not. If you don’t have an answer to this can you reply and acknowledge that you have received this and when we might be able to get a response. I appreciate your help on informing neighbors on this long standing issue.
Jonah Goodman
Commissioner, Single Member District 4C10
Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4
Twitter: @ANCJonah
***
To date Mr. Torres has not responded.

September 21, 2016

Violation: 12A DCMR 115.5 (Disregard of Unsafe Notice)

Comments: On 9-15-16 I arrived at the address listed above to conduct a follow up inspection to see if the violations listed on Notice of Correction were abated or still remained. At my time of arrival, there was no working on. My visual inspection of the property revealed that the violations listed on the Notice of Correction were not abated. The following violations remained.

1.      The front porch footers remain unsupported due to excavation.
2.      The rear yard is not properly graded to prevent rainwater runoff into neighbor’s property.

At the time of my arrival, there was an active building permit for the address listed above. A Stop work order has been issued for Disregard of Unsafe Notice.

On 9-21-16 I returned to the addressed above to conduct another follow up inspection and my visual inspection of the property revealed that the yellow stop work order had been removed but the appeals form still remained.

1.      The front porch footers remain unsupported due to excavation.
2.      The gas line remains improperly supported by a cord.
3.      I could not identify any standing water at this time.
4.      I did not observe the downspout issue during this inspection.
5.      There are still overgrowth issues in the rear of the property.

The Correction Order is currently posted on the property.