Dear PoP – Jackass Award Nominee

DSCN0629, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

I have a nomination for the Jackass award. The monstrosity on New Hampshire and Upshur. They have someone out their right now putting up a 6 foot tall chain link fence with barbed wire on top. I am sure that will look really good to people who might be considering a move to the neighborhood.”

While I think the reader was thinking of the Horse’s Ass Award, I would say this one warrants a jackass award as well. I can’t walk past this monstrosity on the corner of New Hampshire and Upshur without shedding a tear. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, well this fence goes up. I’m sure it must be temporary but it’s still rather unpleasant at the moment. I’ve seen tons of houses being renovated and this is the only one that I’ve seen that requires a fence with barbed wire. Ugh. Maybe in two more years it’ll get finished…



17 Comment

  • Well aside from being ugly, both the house and the fence, the fence violates DC codes. The maximum height of a fence in a residential zone is seven feet on the side and rear of a property and 42 inches in the front, per the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. Whomever posted this, or someone who knows the exact address, should contact the Illegal Construction Unit (202) 442-STOP (7867).

    I suppose it is possible that they got a waiver for the fence height, but unlikely.

  • DC Municpal Regulations interpret the legal provisions on barbed wire.

    3110.4 Barbed wire and similar fences. No barbed wire or similar fence, barrier, or obstruction, made thus in whole or in part, shall be erected, constructed, or maintained, along thebuilding restriction line, or in or upon any street, alley, road, or other public walk, driveway, or public or private parking in the District of Columbia.

    3110.4.1 Barbed wire and similar fence on private property. A barbed wire or similar fence, barrier or obstruction may be erected wholly on private property when located in back of the lot line or building restriction line if one exists. The minimum height of the lowest strand of barbed wire shall be 6 feet (1829 mm) above adjacent ground and the wire shall not project beyond the lot line or building restriction line.

  • That project has been vacant for well over a year- in this market that normally means the property is in some state of foreclosure. Often times if a bank comes to check on a property where the owner is in default they will take measures to secure it. My guess would be the bank might have done this. Just a thought.

  • Hang up handmade signs on the fence shaming the owners into taking it down. Write a letter to the mayor. Call Jim Graham’s office.

  • oh please let it be under foreclosure, PLEASE!

  • Where is the old post on “the petworth eyesore?” You really need to see this thing close up to appreciate the ugly. The pop-up loosely follows the same lines, but doesn’t quite fit on top.

  • I have started calling it the Petworth Penitentiary. It might be under foreclosure but there have been people working on it over the last few weeks. It looks like a whole bunch of sheetrock was ripped out, however, the owners could have been in there looting the place and that is why the fence is now up. In fact, I thought there were going to put siding on as they put up what appeared to be framework to attach siding… .who knows.

    They would have to put that thing on the market for really, really cheap to get anybody to take on that money pit.

    We are probably moving a few blocks up in a month or so and I will be so glad be able to look out my back window and not see that monstrosity.

  • this makes me want to scratch out my eyes

  • my on-going theory is that first-time flippers bought the place at the height of the real-estate market…probably to turn it into condos.

    Then they mis-measured the pop-up width by six inches, the market tanked, they ran out of money and are stuck with the place. There seems to be sporadic work done on it once every few weeks, but whatever is going on is far from progress.

  • @not telling 12:01am: I’m sure the fence height isn’t the first code violation at this property.

    I think this pit, which I routinely walk and drive past, is a living monument to everything that has been wrong with the DC housing market over the past few years.

    A home, which probably was fairly nice (but modest) is bought for too much money, cut into pieces and quickly/cheaply/lazily rehabbed for quick sale, then gets caught up in the economic mess and sits there–with all the neighborhood folk who pass it praying that these bozos never did any work on their homes.

  • you actually need to call Bowser’s office to complain, as this is in Ward 4 and is worse than your average Petworth crack den. I would rather see a vacant overgrown lot than this pit! Shame on these owners!

  • Someone is out there right now pulling the siding off the back of the house. I guy in a suit and tie and two woman came out of the house..

  • Here is the Petworth Eyesore photo montage I’ve been making as the renovation goes on:

    I saw that fence the other day and it really pissed me off. Glad to know its a code violation, I’ll be all over it in the morning.

  • And I think you’ll like this the best – look what that fence is protecting: a trash pile for vermin

  • Here we go. The WashPost story: and the Jackass’s quote:

    As for aesthetics, Anthony Cornish said the building, when it is complete, will be far superior to the dilapidated, vacant property he bought last year for $425,000. “To each his own,” he said of those who object to such additions. “If they don’t like it, they should have gone and bought it themselves.”

  • Huh. It was recently sold too, so it seems that Mr. Cornish took a bath on his arrogance:

    “4143 New Hampshire Ave Nw previously sold for $315,000 on Jan 15, 2009 and $425,000 on Dec 5, 2006.”

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