Dear PoP – Veranda’s Patio Targeted

“Dear PoP,

There is someone at the DC Gov that wants to destroy the patio at the Veranda because it is six inches above the side walk. Why are there other patios in town that are higher than 6 inches?”

Interesting. Let’s check with @DCRA and see if they can confirm, deny or add some details. From the photo above it doesn’t look too treacherous. We judged Veranda (11th and P St, NW) here.

25 Comment

  • Is there literally nothing else in DC that could benefit from the money used to destroy a 6 inch patio?

  • What will they change their name to!?!!

  • Foyer.

  • Not sure if DCRA handles this. Last I handled this issue for a business I worked with it was DDOT’s Public Space Management division that issued these permits.

  • I don’t get it. Is there a legitimate reason why it shouldn’t be 6″ above the sidewalk?

  • La Lomita’s patio is like 18 inches above the sidewalk….

  • If they did something they shouldn’t, then just fine them and let’s get on with life.

  • I don’t know anything about the particulars, but it seems likely that the patio is constructed in public space, and therefore requires DDOT approval. DDOT usually will not allow permanent changes to the public spaces that would prevent it from being used for its intended purpose, which appears to be as a sidewalk in this case.

    If this is the case this is a perfectly reasonable position for DDOT to take. After all, its not Veranda’s property that they are using, it’s the public sidewalk. A lot of what the DC government does may not make sense, but this isn’t one of those things.

  • Yeah, but the remedy might be worse than the cold. If they fined them the cost of returning it to it’s original status, then the city gets what it deserves and the proprietor can continue to bring in tax revenue.

    • ah

      So if I renovate my house without proper permits I should be able to pay a fine and leave it as is?

      I agree that there are certainly bigger fish to fry, but it’s not like the rules on this aren’t fairly clear. If they were violated then Veranda should correct the violation.

      • Yep, as long as it’s deemed safe. That’s how it works. You try to fly under the radar and if you get caught, you pay a fine. This is how things are done. Is the city going to make me rip all of the windows out of my house because I didn’t get them permitted? Of course not, it doesn’t do the city any good to do so.

        Again, who benefits from the veranda correction? The city? Not really. 4 months of construction and lack of patio income for the restaurant. Jack hammering, etc. Better to just have them pay a fine/ buy a bond equal to the cost of the city having to fix the problem. You make it painful enough financially that no one does it again.

        • ah

          If you built in a historic district and didn’t conform to the rules. Or you built over the set back line anywhere you would likely have to tear it down.

  • Because it is a \sidewalk cafe\ and not a \summer garden\ it cannot utilize any permanent change to the public space. Elevated or raised patios that are part of an existing structure fall under the summer garden designation. Red Rock Pizza’s patio is more than likely designated a summer garden because it has a permanent fence and was a raised pre-existing structures…


    1004.1 No licensee under an on-premises retailer’s license shall be permitted to serve alcoholic beverages on either outdoor public or private space without obtaining a sidewalk café endorsement for outdoor public space or a summer garden endorsement for outdoor privately owned space. The sidewalk café or summer garden endorsement shall be placed by ABRA on the license.

    • As I suspected, some retarded technicalities that are typical of D.C. code. This city makes it so difficult to do business here that it’s like they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Over and over and over.

  • Yes, I’m sure it’s against some RULE. But does it *need* to be the same height as the sidewalk? Will it provide any benefit to the community as a sidewalk? Does it make sense to require the business to tear it up so that it conforms to the letter of the rules and doubles the sidewalk size on a block that isn’t exactly overrun with foot traffic?

    This is just like the half-built fence in LeDroit that, to complete, would require compliance with some boatload of technicalities, but apparently it’s just fine for it to sit there as an ugly, half-finished construction site, as long as they don’t finish it in violation of some obscure rule that some petty bureaucrat has made his or her personal fiefdom.

    Sorry, can you tell I’m a little frustrated with this kind of nonsense? But oh god, let’s not have anything violating the letter of the RULES, no matter how much value it adds to the neighborhood!

    • It’s public sidewalk, if one day the eatery is no more, the city would have to pay to have to sidewalk graded back down, or if someone tripped and fell on the lip, the city would likely get sued. Agreed that six inches isn’t that big a deal, but what if the place had raised it up 2 feet? The rule can’t be written to come up with every single contingency so it simply requires businesses not to alter the sidewalk. Seems reasonable.

      • City officials can exercise common sense; it’s not unheard of, if rare. There are lots and lots of laws and rules on the books, and they are often enforced with discretion. The sidewalk width is uniform along this block with fenced “public space” alongside the sidewalk that is maintained by the various rowhouses and this one business. The irony is that if they had black asphalt surrounded by a chain link fence, it would probably be perfectly acceptable, as long as it was at grade.

      • I lived in the neighborhood for a while and I saw them pouring the concrete. The truth is that they did not raised the patio, they actually lowered.

  • Rules were meant to be broken.

  • They paved public space that is supposed to be landscaped “parking” like the front yard of a rowhouse. Parking is the old-fashioned term in DC for all of the front yards of rowhouses being landscaped, and when looked at down the line, form an unbroken greenery like a park. Hence: parking “to make like a park,” not “to position a car.”

    So he more than likely paved his “parking” without a permit. People usually don’t want neighbors paving their parking, kind of ruins block.

  • @ragged dog. You kinda completely wrong on that. Here’s a link to some cases that show my point.

    You’ll find decisions from the judge like, “FURTHER ORDERED that the Applicant is directed to remove all non-conforming vinyl windows from the front façade of the parsonage, and to replace them with windows which conform to, and are likewise in compliance with the Act, the regulations, and the current Standards which address and govern the installation of windows in the Historic District.”

  • They broke the law. It’s public space. They should know better.

  • Actually, the patio space at Veranda was already there due to previous owners, they just upgraded the previous structure. I live a block from there and know the estalishment and the owners quite well. It has been a long struggle to get where they are now. They had to wait over a year and a half to open the Veranda at Veranda. Now, after all the hard work to build the client base to survive without the outdoor space, the DC GOV’T finally takes notice. Leave those who care about this city alone, DC Gov’t . . . leave Veranda alone, DC Gov’t . . .have they not suffered long enough while providing a nice restaurant on the ‘dark’ side of the Logan cicle moon.

  • Support the beautification plans for Veranda’s patio

    Sign the Petition:

    Veranda Restaurant’s owners want to upgrade the restaurant’s patio, but they have run into some bureaucratic snags. This petition is meant to encourage City officials to be more forthcoming and transparent about the guidelines for the new patio. The owners intend to upgrade the current concrete patio which was given all the necessary building, public space and ABRA permits it needed to open for business. They’d like to resurface the patio with decorative stone pavers as a beautification project for the business and the neighborhood.

    If his schedule permits, one of the owners will present his concerns directly to Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans at our Tuesday, May 25 CCCA meeting. If others concerned about the issue are available, the meeting will be a good opportunity to show your support and help cut through the red tape.

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