“We, the neighbors, would like the reassurance that the developer is complying with DC regulations”


“Dear PoPville,

We have a serious issues of concern in Mt. Pleasant surround the redevelopment of a house and lot at 1865 and 1867 Park Road NW. I’m forwarding an email that I just sent to Ward 1 Councilwoman Brianne Nadeau that covers concerns about a dangerous work site, though the issue is much larger than that. There are a lot of very concerned neighbors here.”

Dear Councilwoman Nadeau,

I am writing to you to inform about a situation of grave concern in Mt. Pleasant. I know that my neighbors, have also raised this issue with your staff, so I’ll focus on the part that is the most time-sensitive, i.e.the dangerous work site which currently exists.

As of today, 1865/1867 Park Road NW is a hot zone. There is a large pit in the back yard where the basement excavation for the addition to 1867 is being done. IN that pit there are nail-filled boards of all sizes that appear to have been removed from the house. A huge mountain of excavated dirt looms uncovered next to the gutted house. It is exposed to the elements and is likely contaminated with lead from the peeling painted sides of the century-old house. I’m not an engineer, but it looks like the foundation is not properly supported given that the land around it has now been removed and could lead to a dangerous collapse. Additionally, kids can easily access this work site as the fencing that was hastily installed on Monday has a open gap at the end. There are many many kids that live at this end of our beautiful alley, my infants twins being just 2 of them. We all fear for the safety of our children and neighbors. I have included photos so that you can see what I’m describing with your own eyes.

We, the neighbors, would like the reassurance that the developer is complying with DC regulations for the safe and successful rehabilitation of this property. We do not feel that the developers have been forthcoming and our concern is growing.

Speaking for my family, we are also concerned that our neighborhood contacts in the ANC and Historic Mount Pleasant have not sufficiently addressed our concerns throughtout this long and drawout process, leaving us feeling helpless.

Thanks in advance for your help getting this dangerous problem resolved.

See below for Council Member Nadeau’s reply:

“Thank you. I’m not seeing a violation jumping out at me from these photos but Claudia in my office will request that DCRA send an inspector. And of course if you see something that is an immediate threat you should feel empowered to call 911.

I would also recommend that concerned neighbors introduce themselves to the site manager. I will do the same next time I pass by.”

23 Comment

  • Well, if you just kept your twin infant kids from crawling all over those nail-ridden boards we wouldn’t have these problems now, would we? 😉

    • And maybe work on getting them to cut down on the number of lead paint chips they eat each day.

      • The real danger with lead paint is not so much through ingestion as through inhalation of airborne lead particles. Approximately 50% of eaten lead stays in the body, whereas up to 90% of inhaled lead dust stays.

  • Classic Mt. Pleasant NIMBY. It looks like they’re rehabbing a house. Did you even ask anyone about it? Or did you just reflexively write a letter to your council member because “I HAVE MONEY AND I WANT IT NOW!!” Hopefully the Nadeau staff have the good sense to ignore this request completely.

  • I’m sure you won’t have any trouble keeping your “infant twins” from plummeting into what appears (to my admittedly untrained eye) to be…a construction site.

  • I’m not really understanding the problem. Are these people worried that kids might fall into the “pit?” It seems like that problem could be resolved by not trespassing. If that’s lead paint, then it wasn’t remediated correctly. Maybe that is it?


  • Claudia seems to do the bare minimum so be aware

  • Correct. You are not an engineer. Next.

  • Give.me.a.break

  • Is this NIMBYism even? More like Think of the Childrenism. TOTCism

  • Hotzone? Seriously? I kept waiting for her to announce that there was ebola or Marburg virus somewhere on the yes, construction site.

  • Emmaleigh504

    When a house was built next door to mine, I seriously loved playing at the work site as a kid. One day it had rained so everything was wet and there were puddles to jump in. I believe that was the day I was caught and not allowed to play at the work site any more 🙁

    • I’m with you. Aside from being a really really attractive nuisance, this place is totally fine. Just a typical construction site. If I ever win the lottery I’m gonna volunteer anywhere I can to do demo for people!! Imagine if you got to drive the Bobcat IN the pit!!

  • Although the language of the neighbor’s letter may have seemed a bit too dramatic to some – i think it got results. As of today, the site has security fencing up and the house is boarded up. The house-sized mountain of dirt is now covered and might not wash all over our alley in a good rain. All of these procedures are required by DC building regs. None of it was being done until the neighbors spoke up. Also – the house was not secured from squatters (removed three times by police) for the last two years by the developers – and the required tree removal permit was not requested by the developers before they cut down a 60 year old pine tree – and the developers have ignored neighbor requests to share any plans or information – oh and – the developers were able to get a permit issued without the sign off of the Historic Preservation Office. So, maybe, the neighbors have some cause for concern…

  • That back wall doesnt look properly supported, but really who knows. I dont think its unreasonable to request that DCRA inspect this.

    I do think the hyperbole in the email is a bit over the top.

  • I’m a little unclear here. Is the author concerned?

  • Quickly looked at the permits for this property was approved to be condos.

  • I’m a developer and I’m on the owners side on this one.

    They have concerns about several different kinds of safety issues: access to a dangerous site, lead paint and appropriate structural support of the existing home.

    All valid issues.

    This is exactly what the DCRA inspectors are for. I suggest OP take it upon themselves to meet with the DCRA inspector and talk through their concerns with the inspector and site manager. Don’t leave this for the Councilpersons staff to take care of…if you (the neighbors) have the concern then get your concerns answered directly.

    Calling the DCRA inspectors keeps everyone honest and safe…that’s what they get paid to do so use them! They really are responsive about things like this.

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