From the Forum – ANC powers if we have completed DC Permits??

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ANC powers if we have completed DC Permits??:

“I am trying to figure out if the local ANC’s actually have any real or legal power over residential construction or building permits. We recently got permits to turn our carport into a garage. (It took a while) We are working with a larger area builder/company they did the designs and all the running back and forth for the permits. We have them post on our door.
We do NOT live in a historical area or any special zoning to our knowledge. And none of our neighbors have ever mentioned anything surrounding the topic. We have been open with our construction goals with our neighbors.

After materials were delivered today one of our neighbors called and said she was concerned that we may not have asked out ANC for permission for construction?? I can not find anything that states the ANCs have jurisdiction over approved residential building permits. I also think it is odd that this is the first and only person that have mentioned this to us. Any feed back?”

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9 Comment

  • if you have the permits needed and did NOT require going through BZA 0r ZC then the ANC has no authority. The ANC carries “great weight” in matters that come before the BZA and ZC. If what you are doing is by right through DCRA then you are fine. the ANCs are out of control or your neighbor jsut doesn’t want to deal with construction.

  • As a former ANC commissioner, I can say that if you are not in a historic district and you did not need a zoning variance from the city for ANYTHING, you don’t need ANC approval. DCRA is actually pretty good at letting you know what permissions you need (ANC, etc.) before issuing permits.

    The only thing I can possible think (and this is remote) is that making your carport a garage could have changed the FAR (floor area ratio) for your property and you would need a variance, but you would have known that in the permitting process.

    • the carport’s FAR would have counted already because it’s a covered space. Turning the carport into an enclosed garage doesn’t change the FAR

  • To my knowledge, ANC’s only come into play when you are asking for an exemption or a variance. There is a hearing that you have to go to, in order to get their support, which BZA(board of zoning) then takes into account when granting you an exemption. If a construction project is by right(meaning within existing zoning allowances) and you don’t need an exemption or variance, the ANC can’t do anything. You already have permits anyway, so you’re golden.

  • I second what MK said – if DCRA did not require you to get ANC input before issuing the permits you are 100% in the clear.

  • Above comment has it right. You need to talk to the anc only if you need a zoning variance. Even then you don’t have to talk to the anc but it’s a good idea. Some ancs ( I’m looking at you my pleasant) like to think they are in charge of everything though.

  • Like everybody else said, if you didn’t need BZA or Zoning Commission approval, then you’re in the clear. It sounds like you might have a nosy neighbor though, so I’d talk to your contractors to make sure they do everything by the book. It would not surprise me at all if this neighbor calls DCRA on you.

  • i would tend to agree with everything that been said already.

  • Reposting my comment from the forum here:

    As it turns out, you can search legal advice letters issued regarding ANCs (who knew!):

    I am not a lawyer (and this letter is pretty old), but I think you’re OK:

    DCRA notifies ANCs regularly. You can call and confirm that this is the case if you happen to be worried.

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