driveway
Photo by PoPville flickr user Julian Ortiz

“Dear PoPville,

I purchased a home that has a driveway (in SE, where people have driveways), well, partial driveway. It looks like a driveway used to be there, but when the city was redoing the street or DC water was redoing plumbing lines, or whoever, they curbed the end of the driveway, making it unaccessible. Strange, I know. So, I have the driveway beyond the curb the city put in.

I found older pictures of the home, and neighbors have confirmed this to be true. Now, if I want it to turn it back to a driveway, I will have to pay thousands of dollars for drawings, permits, etc. This is something the city did when the house was abandoned so clearly no one stopped them or said something.

Any recourse I can do? Where do I even begin here?”

trash

“Dear PoPville,

We are located in a West End townhouse and share an alley with several other houses and apartment buildings. For the past year we have had massive issues with folks dumping their trash and unbroken down boxes in our bins. It’s come to the point where I’ve taken the addresses off the boxes and complained to their apartment buildings but most of the time it appears to be people who have moved out already.

Things hit a new low when someone left a BOX SPRING leaned up against our patio two weeks ago. Who does that? We have contacted the city, apparently someone came to inspect it but said it was no longer there and closed the case, even though we included thorough directions and a photo. We know the trash collectors won’t take it. It’s coming to the point where we may have to hire a junk removal service to pick it up but it would kill me to have to pay to remove someone else’s junk.

Has anyone dealt with this problem? It’s turning me into an insane person.”

psa
Photo by PoPville flickr user Chris Williams

“Dear PoPville,

On Monday around 9 a.m., while walking up the block to my office, I watched a nearby business open their door and swish a bucketful of water onto the sidewalk. No big deal…except that a few feet down the slight grade on the sidewalk were two homeless people who are always there. The water ran down the sidewalk to them, soaking their blankets and belongings as they sat there.

For a moment I was confused. The sidewalks were wet from the rain, so why the bucketful of water? Did I really just witness a business intentionally harassing or trying to shoo away homeless people? (more…)

noise
Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a small condo building and we are neighbors with a church. Our buildings do not share a common wall but instead there is a small maybe 8-10 foot wide “alley” between our two buildings that is patio space and a majority of the windows to all of our individual units are along this wall facing the church.

The church is also rented as an event space, most recently to an all-day punk rock festival. Because of the close proximity of the two buildings, as well as the lack of insulation in the church’s walls and windows facing our unit (which have window AC units which let the sound go straight through) means that this concert was extremely disruptive to all of the residents of our building, with some taking decibel readings inside their units approaching 100 or higher for 10 straight hours, to the level that even the lyrics and comments made by performers on stage were intelligible through two sets of exterior walls into our individual units.

So my question is – is there a legal limit to the level of noise that a neighboring building can create in a residential neighborhood? The police were called, and while sympathetic to our situation, they said they couldn’t do anything about it unless it was between the hours of 10pm and 7am. Some building residents found online noise ordinances stating the noise cannot be over 60 decibels at a property line – but no real way to enforce this. The music and noise in question is in no way related to church worship – and because the structure was not built as a concert venue and is quite old it does not have the same levels of insulation you would find at a typical music venue. (more…)

IMG_2805
3rd and L Street, NE

“Dear PoPville,

I’m having a problem with construction crews at 3rd and L St NE. This intersection is being illegally used as a staging area for dump trucks hauling away dirt from the new construction at 2nd and L (they’re finally putting in a building in the empty lot next to the Loree Grand building, where the old NoMa bootleg dog park used to be).

Literally dozens of trucks all start showing up around 6:45-7:15am for the first shift, and there’s simply too many of them for these small neighborhood roads to handle. The drivers are using the intersection at 3rd and L as their waiting zone by rolling up to the stop signs, and then not proceeding (pics attached). The dump truck drivers aren’t only illegally parking, but they’re also idling for extended periods (DC has a no-idling law and that’s supposed to be a $1000 infraction) but they’re also blocking the crosswalk. The worst is the the car traffic starts to back up behind them, not understanding the trucks consider themselves parked, so they all start honking at each other trying to get things moving. (more…)

linens

“Dear PoPville,

Neighbors around Lamont and Morton Street would like community input/reactions and advice. We all received a request to survey the inside and outside of our homes:

“Dear Owner/Resident/Authorized Representative:

We are contacting you concerning the soon to begin redevelopment of the ALSCO facility located at 713 Lamont Street near your property. Seismic Surveys, Inc. (SSI) is an independent, third party consulting firm that has been engaged by The Holladay Corporation, the developer of the ALSCO facility, to conduct pre-construction photographic surveys of the buildings and improvements that are adjacent to the project prior to the commencement of the construction. These surveys are being offered to property owners immediately adjacent to the site…. at no cost to you. (more…)

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Update: It was a typo but DDOT fixed it!

“Dear PoPville,

Street sweeping signs were recently put up on our street. While reading the sign I noticed that it indicates parking restrictions on Wednesdays from 9:30pm-11:30am. The other side of the street is now restricted on Thursdays, also from 9:30pm-11:30am. I’m assuming these mean no parking from 9:30pm on the stated day to 11:30am of the following day. Are 14 hour parking restrictions for residential street sweeping new? I usually only see them in 2 hour blocks so I’m hoping someone just made the signs incorrectly. I emailed DPW about this but have not yet heard back.”

Odd that it’s on both sides of the street but is it just a typo and should read 9:30am-11:30am?

wendys_georgia_ave
Georgia Ave at Randolph St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I currently have $500 worth of tickets from dining in at the Petworth Wendy’s and want to make sure it does not happen to anyone else. I was ticketed twice while eating there for $250 each. The first ticket I never even received, I only saw it online, so I do not have my receipt. The second time though, I came out after dining in and had a ticket on my car. Luckily, I had a receipt and saved it. It showed that I had gotten food less than 30 minutes before I was ticketed. I did not think to speak to the manager that day because I did not realize there was anything they could do once the ticket was issued and I had to get to class. I just saved the receipt and thought it would be easy to fight through DC adjudication services. I was wrong. (more…)

housing
Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

“Dear PoPville,

I’m a (small-time) landlord and have been using an application template that asks potential renters about past convictions. Always thought that was a silly question since I judge potential applicants based on their rental history, assets, income, and credit score. If those are good, why should I care if they have been convicted of something? I’ve been meaning to white-out that question from my forms and now this article reminds me to do so.

“But blanket policies of refusing to rent to anybody with a criminal record are de facto discrimination, the department says — because of the systemic disparities of the American criminal justice system.”

So I am deleting the question today, which is something I knew I should have done a while ago. Time to do the right thing.”

26254211925_93897cbe15_z

“Dear PoPville,

Over past few months my neighbors and I have noticed a “shady” vehicle that often parks in our street. The car’s registration and inspection expired over a year ago. This past weekend I decided to check the tags for outstanding violations and sure enough, I found that it has 38 outstanding violations totaling $5,307.

My question is, when does the DPW decide that a vehicle has enough tickets to boot and/or tow? We have called 311 to report the car whenever we see it, but parking enforcement only seems to ticket (they usually issue up to 3 tickets at the same time) but never request a boot/tow.

The scary part is knowing that if this person hasn’t renewed the registration in over a year, it is most likely they are driving around without insurance or without a driver’s license for that matter!”