The Corner Forum
Monday, Dec. 1, 2003
Issue #57

DCRA: Nuisance Properties Should Be Resolved Within Three Weeks

The following is from the official report of the ANC 6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee, reporting on the committee's Oct. 28 meeting. The committee is chaired by ANC Commissioner Cody Rice (6A03), who can be reached at 544-3734.

The committee heard a presentation by David A. Clark, Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Four staff members from DCRA also attended.

DCRA provided an overview of DCRA's role and responsibilities for consumer and regulatory affairs with a video presentation.

Some important points from the presentation and the following questions and answers:

• According to the video, 96 percent of citizen inquiries are responded to within 7 days, and DCRA should resolve nuisance properties within 3 weeks. Clark asked that residents inform his office at 442-8936 if their concerns are not resolved within this time period.

• Although DCRA has broad responsibilities, other D.C. agencies have primary responsibility for certain nuisances. The Department of Public Works is responsible for clearing debris from alleys and removing abandoned cars. The Department of Health is responsible for restaurant inspections and rodent control. The Metropolitan Police Department handles criminal activity.

• Many of the D.C. agencies participate in a Cross-Agency Enforcement Initiative, so inspectors from various DC agencies can issue citations for a variety of infractions and should pass information to their co-workers in other agencies.

• Residents should report nuisance properties to the mayor's call center at 727-1000 or directly to DCRA at 442-4400. For evening and weekend emergencies, call the Emergency Management Agency at 727-6161 and ask to speak with the "Duty Officer at DCRA."

DCRA now has teams working extended hours and on weekends to deal with illegal construction. Note that special permits are required for construction between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and on Sundays.

• In early spring 2004, DCRA will be launching an online tracking system so that residents can follow the progress of complaints from intake, through inspection, citation, owner notification, and abatement. Currently, only complaints and inspections can be tracked through the RAPIDS system at http://www.dcra.dc.gov/information/NSO/index2.shtm. §