Dear PoP – Blight in Brightwood Remains, Revisiting 809 Kennedy St, NW

“Dear PoP,

809 Kennedy St, NW was on PoP here, a year ago.

While the disgusting flow of water did get resolved, the property is still a shoddily-fenced disaster — huge pits full of stagnant water, a wasteland of mud and debris. And it’s been like that forever. Again, it’s slightly better than it was in that PoP post from a year ago (chain-link fence surrounds it, and the piles of debris got a bit smaller, it’s not quite as smelly), but it’s worse than an eyesore, it’s dangerous and depressing.

Is there anything residents can do about properties like that? Or is it, since it’s private property, OK by the city as long as their taxes are paid?”

We need to get DCRA and Ward 4 Council Member Bowser’s office to follow up on this property. Since there doesn’t seem to be an actual property on the property – does anyone know how this affects how it gets taxed? Do you guys have any other suggestions on how to remove this blight beyond contacting DCRA and CM Bowser’s office?

18 Comment

  • Mosquito breeding habitat!

  • More like BLIGHTwood!

  • I keep wondering, isn’t there supposed to be some sort of Kennedy Street revitalization project going on? How in the world is this part of it? Absolutely disgusting. And yes — the mosquitos are going to LOVE it.

    • a little oil on top of the water – assuming that it’s not running at all – will discourage the mosq. from staying.

      of course, and water inside the fenceline and within tires, cups, etc, is going to be hard to get to.

  • We live about a block away, and it is indeed disgusting. It’s not just a vacant lot–that I could live with. This is far worse. Some developing country sci-fi haz-mat scene. I don’t know why the guys dealing drugs on our street and peeing in our alley don’t just go hang out over there.

    And yeah, come summer it’s going to reek and be completely infested with all manner of swamp life. Well, maybe not alligators.

    I wonder if the cherry blossom goers would like to come see the “real DC?”

    Seriously, something should be done, and props to PoP for bringing it up again.

  • OK I wrote to Councilwoman Bowser and received an immediate response:
    “I share your disgust. This project hit a big snag with the spring discovery. We’ll get DCRA to clean it up if he refuses and create a better temporary situation asap. Muriel”

    Is this straightforward, or does someone more familiar with politics have another reading? Is a DCRA clean up likely?

  • I also live a couple of blocks from that site. It is deplorable. Calling Bowser’s office now. Everyone should do the same so they get a flood of calls. Maybe then they will be responsive on this?

  • There’s a similar spot in the middle of the 1400 block of Chapin, in Columbia Heights. Condo development was halted due to bankruptcy shortly after the basement was poured, leaving a filthy, rat-infested nuisance on the block. Unfortunately, that spot is likely to be in legal limbo for years and years to come.

  • Maybe the city can hire Leslie Knope to build a park there.

  • This is being taxed at the commercial property rate it looks like ($1.65 per $100 of value). I would think it should be taxed at the vacant or blighted property rate ($5 or $10 per $100 value). Contact your council member about it.

    I used the property tax search to look it up:

  • Maybe someone can get healed by the spring water and build a shrine. . .

  • Just a note that within the last couple of weeks a bulldozer came through this property, leveled it, and filled in the hole of standing water. While there’s still nothing there, it looks a lot better.

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