Council Member Jim Graham and DCRA Respond to Concerns Over “Future” Bacon Funeral Home

3449 14th Street, NW

Last week a reader wrote in expressing concerns over the blighted building to be the future Bacon Funeral Home.

CM Jim Graham responds via email:

“Yes, the building has been repeatedly inspected, Yes, we have had numerous meetings. The latest–positive– information is that their permits are being expedited so this should change soon.

I have held various meetings in my office, and pressed DCRA. Part of the issue is that, under DC law, as long as a building is stable and boarded up, it is not generally subject to condemnation.

Let me add, the best leverage we have at present with these properties is the $10 per $100 tax rate on blighted properties. A measure that I actively supported

Let me now check with DCRA Dir Majett on the status of those permits, and also Dir Cordi on the property tax status. It should be taxed at the high rate as vacant and blighted.”

@DCRA responds via twitter:

“its currently in a blighted tax class. We will have our enforcement unit do another survey on it this week.”

26 Comment

  • DCRA’s “enforcement unit” should bring a wrecking ball when it does its next survey.

  • What are the permits for? Razing? Building? Staying as-is?

  • Jimmy’s gonna fix it, eh?

  • Anybody But Graham 2014.

  • Funny he announces he is running for re-election, and then pretends to do something here, and sends an e-mail… Day late and MANY dollars short pal!

  • Oh, this is RICH.
    March 2013, from Graham:
    “The Board again took action and approved a motion to wait for thirty days to allow the owner to take concrete steps to enclose the roof. After thirty days the request will be forwarded to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Branch to do this work. In other words, if the owner does not put a roof on the building, the city will hire a contractor to complete the entire roof and charge the owner by placing a lien on the property.”
    June 2013, permits were posted for “structural work”. No work took place.
    September 2013: When asked about the 30 days, and the posted permits, Graham does not answer the questions asked, but states (in writing) “I am now told that the construction permit is being expedited. So something should happen soon!” But… permits were already POSTED at that point.
    Today, December 2013: “The latest–positive– information is that their permits are being expedited so this should change soon.”
    I invite any kind of reasonable explanation for why Graham would offer the same (demonstrably false) excuse twice, why the “30 day allowance” from DCRA produced no action *and no penalty*, and why the District and its residents are waiting patiently to collect the tax owed on this blight while its owners buy a fleet of new customized high end vehicles. The least cynical person on the planet couldn’t help but wonder what else they’re buying.

    • Dont forget, Jim Graham turned down that bribe! The fact that he didn’t report it is irrelevant, right?

      • Jim Graham is a council member. He is not the mayor and he does not run DCRA or any other city agency. Why certain people hold him personally responsible for this blight is beyond me. I strongly suspect that some of these anonymous anti-Graham posts are from people with a political or personal beef with him that has nothing to do with the funeral home.
        And yes, it is pretty important that he didn’t take the bribe. Let it go–you sound silly by repeatedly harping on this tired old story..

        • But when there is clearly no accountability at DCRA through the executive branch, it is incumbent on the council member representing the ward with blight to step in and do something. His office can get DCRA to snap to, and if the staff are unsuccessful he needs to start intervening himself. That he has not and instead chosen to let this fester while he makes excuses shows everyone where his priorities lie: not with his constituents and not with the community he represents, but with a bad neighbor business with political connections.

          • I strongly suspect that KenyonDweller lives on Kenyon and doesn’t have to look at this blight every day as he/she heads off to Metro. He/she only needs to look at the drug dealers that Jim Graham tolerates not wanting to upset their grandmothers – the same people that foolishly vote for him.

  • Please, whatever you do, DO NOT vote for this corrupt clown. In another jurisdiction, he would be behind bars right now.

    • I also suspect that many of these posts are by the same one or two people attempting to create the impression of some vast anti-Graham groundswell. Contrary to the impression one might get on this blog, he is actually quite popular in Ward 1. I have voted for him every time and intend to again.

      • So good of you to admit to being part of the problem. That takes guts.

        And it’s so cute you think there’s only one or two people in Ward 1 who don’t think that Jim Graham is the best thing to happen to DC since the ’68 riots.

      • I’m putting this in Graham’s court because HE puts himself out front, trying to claim credit for every bit of improvement and development. If he’s so great and powerful, why is Bacon still blighting my block? If Graham wants to stand in front of a microphone at every opening of an envelope, if he wants to present himself as so influential and so caring of the neighborhood’s concerns, then I want some.
        But not only am I not getting it (what, six or seven years later?), Graham has misrepresented the situation on multiple occasions. (See 14th & Newton above.) It’s fishy.

      • It’s so weird that all these anti-Graham posts make it sound like he is some Barry clone. His base has long been the gentrifiers of Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan. It’s very bizarre that people keep saying that the new comers will rise up against him.

        A lot of people in Ward 1 like him because he does constituent service really, really well. There’s no grand conspiracy. Local politics is about service. Are there people that hate him? Sure. But there are people that do like him too.

        • His office does SOME constituent service well. Mostly when it’s really easy– when a phone call from a staffer will get the job done.
          But when it’s time to do some serious legwork and potentially make himself unpopular? That’s when he issues empty (and non-factual) statements like the one above. For the most part, my constituent needs can be solved by a phone call from one of his staffers (and might have taken a half-dozen phone calls from me alone). But this… I couldn’t ever solve this. I need to rely on Graham (or whoever replaces him). He’s letting me and all my neighbors down, and he’s LYING about it.
          I don’t need to have a pissing contest about whether he’s as bad as Barry to be comfortable opposing his re-election. That’s your bar, really?? Anyone who’s not as bad as Barry gets a pass?

        • Uh, the corruption, maybe? He’s great at constituent services, true. He’s also allegedly great at accepting bribes and all sorts of cronyism.

  • According to OTR, it has a $131,000 tax bill. Folks, they will never end up paying this. We have a formerly blighted row house on 12th and S that racked up a $40,000 tax bill. The owner, who lives in Fredericksburg VA, signed an affadavit that he lives there (lie) and he has a miniscule water and electric bill (probably leaves the water trickle and a radio play) and he was taken off blighted and vacant and AWAY went the former blighted charges. The system is rigged by fraud.

  • DC needs to unfreeze the tax lien sales. Slap a lien on this thing and sell it off to an investor who can make good use of it. Maybe seize all those vehicles to help pay the bill. And don’t get me started on Graham. Him claiming credit for the revitalization of the ward (espec Columbia Heights) is like claiming credit for the tide coming in. There is a strong gentrifying force changing DC for the better, but Graham has done little to help it.

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