Photo via Ward4Paws

“Dear PoPville,

I don’t know if you have heard, but the Northern Ward 4 Dog Park Group has been trying to get approval from DPR for a dog park at 3rd and Underwood, NW.

This group has done everything right. They received preliminary approval from DPR and DDOEE for the proposed site – after moving the site several times to appease the two agencies. The location was a compromise reached after receiving feedback from ANC 4B, picnickers (yes, picnickers!), neighbors, churches and Coolidge High School staff.

The group received ANC support, participated in community meetings, voluntarily notified the community, and submitted the most dog park petition signatures ever to DPR. The Dog Park Application Review Committee even voted in favor of the site 5 to 3. At every meeting for this proposed dog park, the support was overwhelmingly for the dog park.

But apparently the DPR Director has the final say and can stray from the official regulations by basing his decision on subjective criteria that no one ever knew existed.

And the result was a big fat “NO.” The letter (see takoma-dog-park-application_dpr-response_(PDF)) gives three reasons for his decision:

1. Its too-close proximity to nearby residences’ front porches;
2. Its failure to streamline with the existing use of the open space where adults and children play, walk, and rest; and
3. Its location between two heavily used athletic fields (I live there … they are rarely used).

But here’s the thing … DPR essentially chose the location! The group worked with DPR to find the right location! How is this possible? Does no one at DPR talk to each other?

This reflects extremely poorly on DPR, Mayor Bowser, and Councilman Todd. It gives me no confidence in our elected officials and the DC Government.

Maybe your readers have some suggestions on what this group can do to get this decision overturned?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

“Dear Popville:

I got this announcement from a friend about community meetings on DC’s Comprehensive Plan, which PoPville readers should know about.

Wednesday is the first meeting–in Columbia Heights. Agenda and more detail on the process is here. The meeting will be held at the Columbia Heights Education Campus (3101 16th Street, NW) from 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

The DC Office of Planning (OP) is amending the District’s Comprehensive Plan, a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development in the city and shapes the places we live, work, shop, and play. OP launched the second amendment cycle to the Comprehensive Plan this year to ensure that the Plan remains responsive to the needs of the community.

Your ideas are essential to a successful amendment process. Between October 19th and November 14th, OP is hosting a series of 7 community meetings. The meetings are organized geographically by Area Elements. Since the Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year plan, OP uses Area Elements as opposed to Ward boundaries since Ward boundaries can change every ten years. Please refer to plandc.dc.gov to learn more about the Area Elements and see the map below for Area Element boundaries. Come learn about the amendment process, share your ideas and help shape the future of the District!

Meeting Dates and Locations: (more…)


“Dear PoPville,

I live a block off of H Street NE. The city has been towing cars either blocking street car tracks or parked in street sweeping spots to our block and leaving them here. And it seems people can’t find their cars because weeks later and they are still here! Also, a few blocks away at my kids’ school, there is a car that was towed from one tow zone to another and now has a stack of tickets on the windshield. I’m certain that these people aren’t intentionally leaving their cars for weeks at a time… including with an open window in the rain. I’m pretty sure this happened to a couple in the spring. They reported the car stolen only to find out it was towed.”


From Councilmember Elissa Silverman’s Office:

“Today, D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (At-Large) introduced a bill requiring property sellers in D.C. to disclose knowledge of any Stop Work Order issued on a property under consideration for purchase. The “Stop Work Order Disclosure and Regulation Amendment Act of 2016” will increase consumer protections by providing homebuyers with necessary information to make an educated purchase decision. The bill, which was co-introduced by Councilmembers Anita Bonds (At-Large), Mary Cheh (Ward 3), and Jack Evans (Ward 2), came as a result of resident testimony at oversight hearings on the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

“This legislation is a basic consumer protection for homebuyers,” said Silverman. “DCRA Director Melinda Bolling and her staff are working hard to improve the permitting and inspections systems to ensure renovated homes are safe and up to code when they’re sold. Still, bad actors find ways to slip through the cracks. This bill will create a safety net for homebuyers when that happens.”

A Stop Work Order indicates that a DCRA inspector found the renovation of a property to be substandard, or otherwise in violation of issued permits. (more…)

“Dear Popville,

Thought this might be of interest, an interactive map showing DC Parking violations over the month of May 2016. This was the most recent month of data published by DC Open Data.

There are three layers that can be activated via the layer selector in the top right a corner. Density, Time Animation(Showing violations is aggregated into a 24hr period), and violations catorgorized by State Tags.

For reference there were ~126,000 violations for this dataset.

Randy Smith”

From the Mayor’s Office:

“This afternoon, Thursday, September 29, Mayor Muriel Bowser hosted a signing with Channing Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (USAO) and DC Attorney General Karl Racine (OAG) to announce a partnership between them to advance the Safer, Stronger DC public safety program. This partnership calls for the Bowser Administration to transfer $1.2 million in funds to the OAG to be used for the hiring of additional attorneys and enhanced training of attorneys who will be detailed to the USAO where they will help prosecute crimes. The partnership will hasten bringing to justice those charged with violent offenses and help protect residents and neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.

Full press release after the jump. (more…)


Since August we’ve relayed numerous reports of streetlamps out all over the District. From a press release:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a week-long effort to identify street light outages in all eight wards of the District and launched Text to DC311. Immediately following the announcement, teams of District Government employees went into neighborhoods across all eight wards where residents have reported the most outages to take an inventory of broken street lights.

“We have 70,000 street lights in the District and too many of them do not work. By fixing street lights, we can make District streets safer, stronger and brighter,” said Mayor Bowser. “By launching Text to DC311, we are offering residents a more convenient way to report outages, as well as other issues. We know that everyone’s time is valuable, and we are doing everything we can to bring city services to your fingertips.” (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

“Dear PoPville,

I’m trying to update the address on my D.C. License and also renew my vehicle registration. Online it states you can change your address while updating vehicle registration but I don’t see this option. It also states you save the $20 change of address fee when you change your address with another service (like registration).”

Anyone do this recently with success?