Dear PoP – Advice for Building a Pop Up

Tasteful pop up from 13th and Kenyon St, NW.

“Dear PoP,

A longer-form question/submission for the Ask PoP or the readers who might have experience dealing with the DC bureaucracy:

I am considering adding a pop up to my house near U St. and was wondering 1) what readers experiences have been trying to get permission for that, and 2) how people have dealt with seemingly inconsistent rules enforcement in the city.

The reason the second question is that four of my neighbors have built full pop ups – four complete walls making a completely new floor – while another has only built a half-pop up because, they say, District zoning rules prevented them from doing a full one. They skirted the rules by saying that the half-pop up is actually the maximum sized landing for the stairs, and then they built a deck for the remainder.

Thus, I guess the crux of my question is how come four of the neighbors got to “break” code rules while the others had to follow them? Any advice for how I should approach this project if I wanted to remain legal yet build a full pop up? I would rather not start getting official rulings on things before doing my homework!”

It sounds like you’ll need a variance which we recently spoke about here. Any advice for someone who’s looking to build a pop up?

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