fla ave last vacant

From a press release:

“The Property Disposition Reform Amendment Act of 2017, aims to get vacant and blighted properties owned by District government into productive use by engaging licensed real estate brokers to sell these properties on the District’s behalf. The bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development—which currently has up to 180 vacant and blighted properties in its portfolio—to follow a broker disposition process used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This would put properties on a faster track to getting back into use for affordable housing or other purposes, but does not change the current mission of selling these Property Acquisition and Disposition Division or “PADD” properties to non-profit organizations at a significantly discounted rate for the purpose of redeveloping them for low and moderate income residents. (more…)

appeal

“Dear PoPville,

I just closed on a new condo and would like to appeal my DC property tax assessment. It’s a three-unit building (all units are brand new construction with same materials), and they’ve assessed our unit as the most expensive by far ($120K more and $76K more than the other two units) even though ours was the mid-priced one in terms of the list price and the eventual purchase price when comparing the three units to each other.

I am definitely going to appeal the assessment and have read many threads on this site and others about how to do it. My remaining question that I hope to have answered here is: (more…)

Barry-No-Parking

From the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor:

“Please find attached a press release for the report, “Internal Weaknesses Found in Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program” (MBSYEP) from the Office of the D.C. Auditor. ODCA was directed to evaluate multiple years of the summer youth jobs program to assess whether the program has met and is meeting program objectives. The report is a review of MBSYEP during 2015 and 2016 and is the last of four reports intended to fulfill the Council’s directive.
The report’s findings include:

  • Some $43K in unaccounted-for transportation expenses.
  • Instances when DOES exceeded legally-mandated wage rates and hours of work for MBSYEP participants.
  • Weaknesses in the information technology system procedures used by MBSYEP that pose risks for waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • The lack of sufficient advance planning that caused adverse consequences for the effectiveness of the program and unnecessary costs.
  • Inefficient payroll processing, including 18 payrolls processed for a six-week program.”

You can read the full report here.

mpd bowser safety tech
Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Bowser joined the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to highlight DC’s innovative use of technology to improve public safety and combat crime. Since launching the Administration’s Safer, Stronger DC public safety agenda in 2015, multiple DC Government agencies have found new ways to use technology to respond to crisis situations, such as the report of a missing person, and spread awareness around criminal activity.

“Building a safer, stronger DC requires our public safety agencies to be innovative, nimble and responsive,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we make more people in the community aware of open cases, we can work together to keep our neighborhoods safe. Through the use of technology and social media, our public safety agencies have found new ways to solve tough cases.”

Most visibly, in 2016, the MPD Youth and Family Services Division started aggressively using social media to generate immediate public attention for missing persons. The Department’s tweets generate significant public attention which is often a key contributor to finding missing persons. (more…)

hot tub
Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

I can’t find any information on DC government websites about regulations for putting a hot tub on a roof deck. Structural engineer has given the approval, but I don’t want to run into any problems after I’ve already bought the thing. Any thoughts?

In other news, the “Housing and Property” link on the DC website doesn’t work!”

newsham

Ed. Note: Councilmember Charles Allen previously wrote:

“I take the Council’s role in confirming a new Chief seriously, as I do our responsibility to engage District residents and our officers. The Committee will hold three public hearings in the coming weeks for public comment on the nomination — two roundtables held in the community and one public hearing at the Wilson Building. Dates and locations will be announced shortly.”

If planning on attending please RSVP at [email protected] so they can plan accordingly.

MPD CoP Nominee Hearings Flyer

In an interview with the Washington City Paper, Jeffrey Anderson asked:

“LL: The FOX5 report dredged up allegations of domestic abuse and alcohol abuse, among other things. (Newsham did not comment for the FOX report, which disclosed that he had his service revolver taken away from him years ago when he was found passed out on the sidewalk.)

Newsham: More than 15 years ago I had a custody dispute with my ex-wife over custody of our two children. I’m not going to talk in detail about it. It was a difficult time for my family. I’m not going to criticize someone who I loved and who is the mother of my children. I’m not going to dispute criticisms. It’s something I have to live with. It troubles me to have my family have to hear unfair things that will be said. They didn’t sign up for that.”

Read the full interview here.

“Dear PoPville,

I learned that Mayor Bowser has nominated Peter Newsham, and I want to let the city know why I don’t think this is a good idea, and to urge my fellow citizens to contact their council members and ask for a public hearing on the new police chief nominee.

First letting me state angers me that this process has not been transparent at all. The mayor over sent out a survey for the city to weigh in on public safety, and in no way has there been enough time for her in her office to go through all the response before making her decision. (more…)

dc51state
Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Senator Tom Carper (DE), Shadow Senator Michael Brown, Shadow Senator Paul Strauss, Shadow U.S. Representative Franklin Garcia, and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to announce the introduction of the Washington, DC Admission Act. With a record number of cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Norton introduced her bill to make Washington, DC the 51st state. Senator Carper will introduce the bill in the Senate.

“We are here today because we are setting a bold path forward for DC statehood. DC’s values are American values – we all value democracy and believe that our country’s power should reside in the people,” said Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC has a self-sufficient, effective and responsible government; we are no more reliant on the federal government than any other city or state. Washingtonians serve our country in the military and pay more per capita in federal taxes than every other state, yet when the U.S. Congress votes on important issues that affect all Americans, we have no representation. It is time to fix this great civil rights injustice and give the 681,000 residents of Washington, DC full access to our country’s democracy.”

In the past, Congresswoman Norton has introduced DC statehood bills with each new Congress, previously known as the New Columbia Admission Act. The bill introduced in the 115th Congress will reflect the statehood efforts of the New Columbia Statehood Commission and the historic support of 85.6 percent of voters on the November ballot question. This is the first time that the bill will be called the “Washington, DC Admission Act” to reflect the new name selected by the DC Council. (more…)

shad
via DC Energy & Environment

From the Mayor’s office:

“Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by Tommy Wells, Director of DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), and Ann Honious, National Park Service’s Deputy Superintendent of National Capital Parks – East, to sign the Fisheries and Wildlife Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016. This legislation grants DOEE more authority over the protection of natural resources as well as the sale and regulation of licenses for recreational fishing, and increases environmental protections for aquatic life, wetlands, and shorelines in Washington, DC. The Act also authorizes the Mayor to impose penalties on persons who knowingly transport or trade in certain invasive plants and nonindigenous species.

amphipod
via DC Energy & Environment

“As the nation’s capital, we need to lead the way when it comes to preserving our environment, and part of this work includes protecting our important local wildlife and precious natural ecosystems,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today, we are taking another step to ensure that our natural habitats are protected for residents and future generations to enjoy.” (more…)

stop-work

Ed. Note: Last week the Washington City Paper reported:

“Just a few months ago, the D.C. government was unified in saying no to the proliferation of digital signs across the city and the powerful corporations behind them.

But that position has changed, at least in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office. Loose Lips has learned that Bowser is planning to circumvent her own government by attempting to reopen a backdoor already slammed shut by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of the City Administrator, and the Office of the Attorney General.”

“Dear PoPville,

Here’s an update on the stop-work order on the soon-to-be-former Douglas Development headquarters at 111 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Two things are happening:

Douglas is being sued by the District over what it calls the illegal installation of the giant LED signs that were the target of the stop-work order. The suit contends that a building permit for the installation of what are basically giant TV screens facing into the building was illegally used to mount those screens facing out in order to display full-motion video advertising to passersby along three sides of the building.

Douglas is among 10 defendants in the suit, along with other DC property owners and Digi Media Communications — an electronic outdoor advertising company with a slick brochure for their DC plans but no apparent track record. The litigation is currently in the discovery phase.

Meanwhile, the developer is on the verge of getting approval to tear that very building down to its skeleton and add several stories to it. Those signs are not depicted in the renderings for the new design. I’ve attended the last two Zoning Commission hearings, and, strangely, neither the signs nor the lawsuit have been discussed.

Anyone opposed to Digi Media’s plans to Jumbotron-ify Downtown, along with major corridors in and out of it including I-395 and New York Avenue, can speak out in any of these ways: (more…)