When will Rocklands Expansion Open? For those curious about the permitting process


Thanks to @allyyygator for tweeting us the update above about Rocklands expansion in Glover Park. Looks like in about 3 weeks. Back in May of last we learned that Rocklands would be expanding into the former Max’s Best Ice Cream shop next door to it’s current space at 2416 Wisconsin Ave, NW.

11 Comment

  • This is freaking genius. I wish ALL businesses would post a permit timeline like this! I think far too many people don’t know just how long and frustrating this process can be.

  • Welcome to the hell that is DCRA and the DC government.

    • I’m glad that DCRA is going over plans to alter the structure of existing buildings and making sure everything is up to code before construction starts.

      • That would be an acceptable excuse if they were actually working on “making it up to code” instead of just saying “No” and walking away without advancing the project. They should respond, accept revisions and keep it going. Instead they have stalled out and stopped the business from opening.

  • To be honest, it seems like they really screwed up their building permit application. Looking at the DCRA permit website, I’ve never seen such a long list of issues that need addressing. Things like not including total square footage or including the CofO. Obtaining building permits sucks and on it’s best days DCRA is a pain to work with, but from looking at the permit process everything seems to be working as it’s supposed to. It’s a complicated building process to join two buildings to ensure the safety of the structure.

    • I’m sorry but that is total and utter BS. You should be ashamed for carrying DCRA’s water on this.
      Having just recently gone through DCRA review (and getting caught up in structural coincidentally) for a much smaller project at my house I can say that half of those issues are probably already on the plans and the reviewer just decided to overlook them.
      And I’m not even getting into the relevance or accuracy of the comments (why is structural interested in the “use of the adjoining property”? per the 4th line of the comments – that is zonings problem and they already reviewed/approved this). With my project the structural engineer flat out made up sections of the IBC, cited irrelevant issues (e.g. for commercial buildings vs. a single family residence), etc.
      Then, when the owners/architects/ submitted responses “in writing” as requested but I am sure the reviewer managed to lose them (like they did my stuff) or just has not cared enough to respond to repeated outreach. Calls? Ignored. Printed, hand delivered notes? Ignored. Emails? Ignored. No one cares at DCRA!
      Oh, and let’s finish this by pointing out that the review is dated 5/27 – that is more than two months after the date of submission – and the plumbing review isn’t even finished. Regardless of the “problems” noted that is unacceptable.
      We should all be ashamed and enraged that we pay career civil servants who sit in that new building on the waterfront for 8 hours a day and do half assed jobs. This would be a tax-generating business (from an already successful small business owner I might add!) but instead it is sitting in DCRA purgatory limbo. Not cool.

    • But letting the paperwork sit on people’s desks for weeks and weeks usually isn’t that hard.

  • This is a serious question… Is DCRA expecting a bribe to expedite work on a project like this? I’ve always assumed that’s what a ‘permit expediter’ was doing but was never entirely sure.

    • Pretty much. Many of the folks who work at DCRA are either lazy or inept (let’s give them some benefit of doubt and go with lazy), and it’s clear that they don’t much care about their jobs. Time to put some pressure on the government to weed out those who suck at their jobs and bring in some new blood. Incompetence should not be rewarded.

    • They’re soft-soliciting bribes. Pay an expediter to get the DCRA to move your package to the top of their pile (where does that money really go?) or sit and spin until they “get around to it” since they’re *so* busy. When my apt building underwent some large renovations we got told by DCRA within a week of completion that we required a “new” permit that would cost $10,000 and that had no specific citation in any of the current building codes. The fire marshal refused to sign off on their piece of the project (new elevator) until DCRA gave full concurrence the work was “properly permitted.” The only way to shake everything loose was to dangle a $10,000 check in front of the DCRA and Fire Marshal people in a meeting with staff from our DC council member, citing that we expected a receipt for this mystery “permit.” The DC staff weren’t so stupid to fall for manufacturing evidence of a bribe, and our permit problems were resolved within a week after the council member spoke to the Mayor. Ridiculous….

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