Topic Tag: DCRA

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Topic Tag: DCRA

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General Discussion April 22, 2016 at 5:09 am

DCRA shuts down online building permit application status tracking (obpat) FOIA?

Recently they removed the site which allows people to check on building permit applications.

I’m curious what incorrect information they are referring. While talking to them on the phone regarding status, it’s often difficult to get the complete picture.

Any ideas? Is this information something FOIA can help? Or other ways to get this system back?

Real Estate February 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

Help! Filing A Structural Warranty Claim?


We have had multiple issues in my condo conversion, mostly related to plumbing. The builder has sent us on wild goose chases claiming the problems to be due to xyz and refusing to fix them when in fact they were often due to improper installations. I recently appear to have a leak in my shower which, after some failed attempts at fixing, turns out to be a bigger issue than I originally thought and might require the entire shower to be pulled out and redone. and which is going to cost plenty. Prior to this the issues were less expensive to fix, so we just handled them on our own, but given the cost associated with this issue and the inconvenience (not being able to use a shower to shower!) I am going to pursue filing a structural warranty claim. Does anyone have any insights into how I might do so, and tips? Building was registered as an LLC, but builder does appear to have filed a letter with the city for 10% of conversion costs (not sure if the letter is still valid or with DCRA, but building is still under structural warranty period).

Thank you!

Real Estate October 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Solar Rights – Dealing with a popup with the new DC Regs

Hi PopVille,
Guess what? I get to be patient zero with the new DC regulations for the R-4 zoning laws, new pop up rules, and solar rights.

I’m scared…. Very Scared. I don’t want to ruin the hard work of everybody who came before me.

How can I get a reputable shadow study (DCRA said I can create one in google sketch up or similar)?? I have a solar study from one of the companies who bid on the install. The company doing the install is having trouble completing a solar study. One of the first companies said it will decrease the productivity of the system by at least 30%.

Who can help me protect the solar system? Is there anybody I can contact who was involved with the solar rights issue / wants to be involved with this new law in practice?

Home and Garden May 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm

ground-level deck, building code, inspection

I’m trying to convince myself that I could install a small ground-level deck in my backyard. I.e., a wooden deck that essentially rests on the level ground (on buried concrete anchors) and has it’s deck surface only 8-12 inches above ground level. A call to the DCRA Homeowner Center suggests I buy a survey drawing on which to indicate where the deck would go, and then also provide a drawing detailing how the deck would be built, and they can issue permits. I began tip-toeing into DC building codes just to make sure I addressed things, like how deep to bury concrete pilings below frost line, what size 2x boards to use, etc, but quickly got beaten down. I welcome any wisdom in terms of how to best find all the info I need so I can make sure to check all the boxes and build this thing that seemed fairly straightforward until I called DCRA. E.g., can I avoid putting rails and stairs since it’s so low to the ground? Many thanks.

Home and Garden April 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

DC Water Holding Reno Permit Hostage

I am in the process of gearing up to renovate my residence (and by “process” I mean I have been awaiting a permit from DCRA for 6 months and counting). True to the experiences of many my permit has encountered the tradional ‘flags’ that others have run into; I have confirmed that my architect has been diligently responding to the numerous, sundry reviewer comments. That said, we’ve run into one stumbling block that my architect has never experienced while getting approval to renovate a residential row house. My project includes the addition of a bathroom. DC Water has flagged the permit citing that the copper water service lines servicing the house – at 5/8″ – are too small. This is a code revision that is less than 10 years old. The water meter pit for my house sits in my front yard and about 5 feet from the front of my house. It is reasonable(ish) to me that I (as the resident) might appropriately held responsible for upgrading the water service line that leads from the meter and connects directly into the house. ***My frustration is that DC Water is insisting that I (the homeowner) am also responsible for upgrading the line from the water main (in the middle of the street) all the way to the water meter pit.*** The fact that all of water lines OUTSIDE of the house reside on public property made me raise an eyebrow about any of this requirement. But, making the homeowner financially responsible for tearing up the street, sidewalk and the front yard up to the water meter pit seems criminal. I am left with either removing the bathroom/scaling back the project or paying and ASTRONOMICAL and unexpected price to tear up the street/sidewalk/yard. In the meantime DC Water is holding my permit hostage; refusing to sign-off on their portion of the permit approvals. Anyone had any experience with this type of requirement from DC Water for a residential row house in DC?

Real Estate February 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

DCRA Third Party Inspection

Hello fellow denizens of DC,

We just finished a basement renovation and we need to get the third party inspectors at DCRA inspect the work. Apparently, Pepco needs some paperwork before they can come and close off our electric box.

We’ve been calling and calling DCRA, leaving voicemails, but have not be successful in getting in touch with a real, live person who can help us with the final inspection.

Anyone have any experience getting a third party inspection from DCRA? Any advice you have is really appreciated!


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