…Are completely useless and meaningless if not enforced.
Back at the BACA meeting (I think) someone asked someone (one of the candidates, really I’m not trying for accuracy, just credit) why ugly crap gets built in Shaw and our part of town and not places like Georgetown. I can’t remember the exact answer but it boiled down to enforcement.
There is something good gad ugly going up on the pepto bismol colored house on Rhode Island Ave (NE?). Is it legal? Dunno? Thing is if no one, who is really interested (as I am only slightly interested) in fighting the erection of the ugly addition of another level, then the ugly thing gets built. If no one calls DCRA questioning it, or checks with the Zoning board or challenges the legality of it, then it gets built. Now if the pepto colored house was in Georgetown where there is a vigilant populace with various DC agencies on their speed dial, they more than likely would be challenging it as soon as the first cinder block was spotted. Of course, the addition on the pepto house could be all perfectly legal, with the proper papers and plans filed, and despite what I think the addition could be beautiful. Yeah.
There are also laws against construction work not between 7am & 7pm. Yet for about a year the contractor at 1617 NJ Ave NW started after 7pm. I would call and occasionally the police would come out and enforce the rules. That is if I wasn’t challenged by the dispatcher who thought it was perfectly legal to hammer away at 9pm.
Rules, laws and regulations created by the city that were not enforced by the city are like as if no rule existed at all. I understand that the city needs citizens to call in, write or whatever to alert the city when its laws, regulations and what have you are being violated. Citizens also need to know that they have to hold the city accountable for the enforcement of those laws when they alert the city to such violations. The government, thankfully, is not an all knowing, and all seeing Big Brother that knows immediately when wrongdoing is occurring.