Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legislation to Dispose of DC Govt owned vacant properties

Well we'll see where this goes.....
Councilmember Elissa Silverman has introduced some legislation that is supposed to deal with all the vacant properties that the DC Government owns. The legislation is called "Property Disposition Reform Amendment Act of 2017" and you can find the proposed legislation at this link.

The way I read it, there is a catch. Not a horrible catch, but a catch. Check out line 77 section 8B where it mentions something about residents with an income at or below 120% of the AMI. The 2016 AMI is $108,600, but if you want to get into household size and all that, check out this PDF. So she threw in a affordable housing idea. It doesn't appear it is a requirement.

I do hope it is like the way HUD disposes of property, giving possible owner occupant first dibs and then letting everyone else try for it afterwards to do whatever they want with it.

Monday, March 6, 2017

1538 9th St NW- Off the list

The National Park Service FINALLY, finished the home of Carter G. Woodson.
I posted about the problem the structure was in February 2014.
  by In Shaw
3 years ago the property was a problem. The NPS put up a fence that was supposed to keep the homeless men who used the basement and door/window wells as a hang out and sleeping area. However, it extended out to the street blocking the sidewalk. So if you wanted to walk down 9th you had the option of walking in the street or crossing around 4-6 lanes to the other side.

Ten years ago, the blogs original author Ed mentioned it, and it was abandoned then too. Previously it was owned by Shiloh Baptist Church which still owns many, many crumbly 9th Street properties with no shame and no real plan. It was acquired by NPS in 2005.

Usually I complain about DC government properties that stay vacant for-ever, when no one has any idea what will happen to the property. When the federal government, the NPS, purchased it, there was a plan. But that was 12 years ago. Over a DECADE. So in the case of already vacant properties, remember this and a dozen other places around the city and things tagged "government" when even entertaining the suggestion that the city or the federal government take over, unless you're into waiting a decade or more for change.

Now don't plan a trip to the Carter G. Woodson house just yet. It still is not open to the public as of yet. It's safe enough for the NPS to let in a few VIPs for special visits. Good enough to me.


HT: DCist

Friday, March 3, 2017

448 Q Street NW- Looks vacant to me

I've passed by 448 Q Street NW many times and found the lack of stairs to the front door odd (notice in the 2004 photo left).
According to DCRA's PIVS the inspector does come out once a year since 2014 and most of the time it is cited as vacant. One year, 2015, it was noted as occupied. Only the adjacent neighbors know for sure because the lack of stairs into the front a home (I know this sounds crazy) does not necessarily mean it isn't occupied. There is always the back door. All I know is when I come by, Summer, Winter, or Fall, day or night, I see no signs of life, just maintenance.
When I look for the latest sale date I see 1901! Yes, according to DCRA's PIVS the last date of sale was over 100 years ago. Going over to the tax assessors website, there is no date but I see the owner, Andres R. Alquinta is receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead deduction. Yeah..... my aunt was 102 when she died and has been paying that discounted homestead deduction after her death, so I'll have to dig further to see if the owner is still alive, or more than likely dead like my beloved great-aunt.
Looking at the paper trail, it appears Alquinta is out of the picture and hasn't signed for anything in this century. He (I'll just assume male) has a guardian, as one might have as one enters the twilight of one's life and that guardian has been dealing with what looks to be developers MSC Development and the 448 Que Partnership.
I'll keep my eye on this one. If there is an elderly person living here using the rear please alert me so I can take this post down.

NOTE: I have the memory of a gnat- I've posted on this house before.


1801-1803 6th St NW- Now a vacant lot

Just a quick note. 1801-1803's townhouses have been torn down and now are technically a vacant lot.
I don't really do vacant lots here. They are less of a concern than vacant structures.
So off the list they go.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1801-1803 6th St NW- New thing

Well the last thing I posted here was 1801-1803 6th Street, NW and I was meaning to post other properties, but I noticed a new thing today on my way to the Shaw/Howard metro. This!
I saw the brick and I thought, "So it finally collapsed." Nope. I have no idea where those bricks came from. maybe the kitty I saw last time did it. Instead I saw what is pictured. I'm not sure what is going on here. The plywood against the fence is new.
I should note, that the next time I look this property up on the tax database, it is 1801-1806 6th St NW. All owned by  David E. Samuel, whose address is listed as 1801 6th St W. Don't know how he's getting any mail since there ain't no mailbox there. And in the database the lot number is 0058. Historically, 1801 is lot 27, 1803 lot 28, and 1805 lot 29. Also I think 1806 is a typo, as this is the odd numbered side of the street.... Whatever it is, it is not taxed at the vacant property rate. And what is in the database looks, incorrect.

Looking at another resource, David E. Samuel bought 1803 6th Street from 1901 D St LLC in May of 2008. For 1801 6th Street, he's E. David Samuel and it looks like he's owned it since the 1990s. And 1805 is not a part of this. 1806 is on the other side of the street and it's condos.

DCRA's PIVS has something interesting for 1801 6th Street. In 2008 it got a permit for "Demolition of two non-load bearing (front and rear) exterior brick veneer walls and rebuilding same non-load bearing walls." In 2014 a Construction/Fence permit ( F1400130) to put up a "Temporary 6' chain link construction fence installed at site perimeter." In 2015 it got a Construction/Raze for a "TWO STORY BRICK SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING" (R1400153).  Well the fence is up. There are other permits, one received in December 2016 to extend the raze permit and this year an electrical permit (E1702856). There are no permits for 1803 6th St NW. Last year it appears someone was set to inspect the property (SVP1601799) but it was cancelled, or something happened. 

There are ways of avoiding the vacant property tax rate. Permits are one way. Neighbors should keep an eye on this property, as it has been vacant for a number of years and nothing done.

Friday, December 16, 2016

1801 & 1803 6th St NW

So I really wanted to capture the little kitty going under 1801 6th St NW. Unfortunately kitty was spooked by my approach and it was a dark colored kitty in the evening light right next to a black hole, so no one is going to see kitty. So instead I'm posting a photo of an empty electric meter box.

Since last posting about this property in December 2013, there is a fence around 1801 6th St NW. There are huge cracks in the building and I am amazed it hasn't fallen over, yet. But then there was some clue that 1803 was occupied, maybe. There is a vacant sticker on 1801 but not 1803. Since spotting the removed meter, and the cracks in the facade I'm thinking this may be vacant too.

Monday, November 7, 2016

1530 3rd St NW on BACA agenda for zoning variance

On TONIGHT (11/7/16)
1530ish 3rd St NW
At the Bates Area Civic Associating meeting tonight there is an agenda item regarding this vacant property.
As of this time there is no rear on the back of this property. That is due to the developers. Several years ago there was a fire in the house and it became vacant. Then the bank sat on it. Then last year it sold to a developer. Before that sale I'm sure there was a rear wall.

I have no idea what the developer is asking for.

It might be a reasonable request to modernize something that was a problem.

It might be something stupid and ugly or something that will hurt current and future neighbors.

Won't know until the meeting.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

45 Bates Street NW

So 45 Bates Street NW, which has been abandoned for years and a problem for years and years is up for sale.
According to Redfin, it is on the market for $575,000 as a handyman special. It is more than likely a shell or may as well be a shell.
January 7, 2014 is was bought or acquired by " CAMERON PROPERTIES OF DC INC" for $50K.As far as I can tell no taxes have been paid since 2011. The tax owed is $96,749.38.

The sale is currently pending.

The Vacant Property Enforcement Amendment of 2016, Bill 21-0598

So here is a link to the committee report. I read half of the PDF file as I decided to skip the testimony. That's background and not the legislation.

If the goal is creating affordable housing, this surely won't do that. What it looks like it will do is maybe, just maybe get DCRA to create something so people could find out about vacant properties and better report such properties to the city. Maybe. Maybe not, we'll see. That's the only thing I liked about it, and even that part I'm not too hopeful about. The other stuff was more fees, or more of the same.

Mentioned an the background material was something about getting the fees so that they would not get absorbed in the cost of doing business...... Um, I don't think that's how it works. Example, properties where the over due  property taxes are higher than the market value of the property. There's a word for properties with no room for profit, 'abandoned' or 'underwater.' Neither of those types of properties tend to lead to affordable housing unless the government steps in gains the property through eminent domain, hold on for too many years, have a neighborhood suffer through a zillion RFPs maybe a PUD or two, lotsa tax credits, and in 10-20 years you may get subsidized housing. The formerly vacant residential properties featured on this blog do not fall under the heading of "affordable".

509 O St NWAnother thing mentioned in the background material were the exemptions, but not so much in the legislation. A significant residential project can take a year, depending on how you count the start of it . Anyone who has had a kitchen remodeled or the like knows these things, once you get a contractor who returns your phone calls, takes 2-3 times longer than the contractor says. It seems you still only get a year. Probate was also mentioned, but not addressed. So this does nothing about places like 509 O Street NW, which is as far as I know, still in legal limbo between the owner and the bank. Now it will be taxed beyond 'worth it' and still in legal limbo. Same goes for properties passed to bickering relatives or to be divided by spiteful divorcing spouses.

What I found more irritating was the press on it. According to the Washington City Paper "It will soon become harder for landlords to neglect vacant or blighted properties under a bill the D.C. Council unanimously passed today." Nope. For one 'landlord' was used incorrectly, if it is vacant or blighted it is not being rented and thus the owner is not being a landlord, just an owner. Since this is just increasing fees and decreasing the construction exemption I see no change for properties owned by abandoned LLCs or dead people. 

What would have been awesome with a supersized cup of amazing would have been legislation of how long DC Government owned buildings could sit around abandoned, blighted and vacant. Or apply these same requirements to the agency that holds several blighted residential and commercial  preterites and have the vacant tax rate come out of their budgets and credited to the owners who live adjacent to them, year after year. I guess I want real leadership and less 'do as I say not as I do.'