A bit more helpful than nothing, permits

I once complained that DC wasn’t particulary helpful when it came to making permits public. I compared them to the county office in Florida that linked permits to properties, so the public could see what permits were approved for a house and what was supposidly done. The information would be helpful in helping the citizens help the city monitor whats going on, and help home buyers know a bit more history on their house.
Well, I stumbled upon the DC permit database, while googling a contractor that will be doing work near me. And well, it is a good start. I plugged in an address of a problem property and saw permits going back to 2005, and saw that the owner of said problem house has applied for permits this year as well. I threw in my own address and saw my permits. Now, there is no detail to the permits, only the tracking number what kind of permit, the applicant’s name, and their approval status. I gather I might get more info if I had the projected cost and date. But this is helpful in answering the question if a house has permits or not.


The last post’s comments have gotten way off topic so I’m going to try to move them here.
There is a comment I want to answer in a bit of a longer length.

Are all of these new businesses for the existing residents or to attract new, higher income residents? And if they are primarily to attract new residents, and push out the lower income families and residents who have been living there for decades – well, I think that’s a problem.
My question is what will happen to the ordinary hardworking lower income people as the professionals move in? Ironically, the young urban professionals who move into these areas looking for diversity, often end up driving out the “diversity” by raising the cost of living beyond the means of long term residents.
My question is how to prevent this from happening and to create a truly diverse community, comprised of every income level, educational background, race, religion, etc.?

Regarding new businesses, there was a demand (residents) that attracted the business, not the other way around. This is no Field Of Dreams. Business failure is a very real possibility, and with small businesses we could be talking about someone’s life savings, a mound of debts (business loans) on the hope that the perceived demand is not a load of hype. There was/is a great demand for the businesses in a way that residents go out of their way wooing and supporting (see Queen of Sheba, Vegetate). And in the case of Windows (feel free to correct me Scott) the business was already there, but over time expanded and changed. There were residents, people who’d been here from 20 years to 20 days whose demands for a dry cleaner, a place to go and sit and eat, a place to get a decent wine, etc were not met. So yes, the businesses are here for a portion of existing residents, as well as visitors, and sometimes those visitors decide to become residents.

esse, a commenter, answered the other part regarding long time residents quite well:

On my street, the long time residents are dying.I have lived on my street for 15 years. I have yet to see a single household “forced out”. 5 vacant houses have been renovated and have people living in them now, three houses were owned by seniors that died. Their kids sold the house,because they have their own house in the suburbs. One family did cash in and moved to the suburbs for more room and better schools. I think that many neighborhoods in DC are renovating, rather than than gentrifying.