Illegal PopUps Only Further Existing Community Concerns

Detail from Stop Work Order.

Detail from Stop Work Order.

In looking around the immediate community, its hard not to spot construction dumpsters, and popups. With so much permitted work going on, it seems like some builders are jumping the gun hoping their unpermitted construction will not get challenged. Here are two examples which jumped out at me. Not so much because work beyond the scope of the permits was being done, but because both were placarded with Stop Work Orders, only to get second Stop Work Orders citing failure to comply with the first Stop Work Orders (i.e. they continued to work without first adhering to the terms of the original Stop Work Orders).

431 Quincy Street, NW

431 Quincy Street, NW.

431 Quincy Street, NW

The first property is located at 431 Quincy Street, NW. In checking DCRA’s permitting database, a permit was issued on November 13, 2014, for interior demolition of non-bearing elements in a space up to 5,000 square feet (464.5 square meters). Another permit was issued December 4, 2014, for interior renovation work as per plans with mechanical, electrical and plumbing work to be done. None of the permits described a third story addition, which is probably why a Stop Work Order was issued on February 6, 2015, for “ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION/WORKING WITHOUT A PERMIT.” As a side note, presuming this popup is completed, it will negatively impact the solar roof panels of the abutting homeowner at 433 Quincy Street, NW.

As the photo below shows, it is a deep lot and it appears that the house’s footprint is going to expand quite a bit as well.

431 Quincy (431 Quincy viewed from the alley.)

729 Princeton Place, NW

The other property is at 729 Princeton Place, NW, which not only began to build a popup without a permit, they decided to begin this work on a Sunday. In this case, it wasn’t DCRA which originally stopped the work, but rather our local police. Again, in looking at the permit database, I find that a permit was issued on December 4, 2014, for “INTERIOR RENOVATION WORK AS PER PLANS WITH MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING WORK TO BE DONE.” As with 431 Quincy, 729 Princeton Place has two Stop Work Orders posted — the first one is for “Illegal Construction/Working without a permit,” which in this case was for working on a Sunday and building a popup, which clearly isn’t interior work. They received their second Stop Work Order for going back to work on the property a few days later without correcting the original violations.

729 Princeton(729 Princeton Place, currently idle due to constructing a popup without the proper permits.)

Regardless of what one’s views are on the pros and cons of Popups, unpermitted/illegal work is cause for concern as it can adversely impact abutting property owners and result in unsafe living environments.

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14 Comments on “Illegal PopUps Only Further Existing Community Concerns”

  1. Frank Says:

    Agreed; bring on the pop ups, for they should be following the permitting process!

  2. Frank Says:

    err… Agreed; bring on the pop ups, -but- they should be following the permitting process!

  3. JS Says:

    Ha – that’s funny, it looks like 733 Princeton Pl also has a stop work order.

  4. whodat Says:

    733 and 729 Princeton pl and owned by the same person that owns 431 quincy. Seems like him MO is to rack up stop orders.

  5. PFL Says:

    Wow! This really seems like it should be getting some local news coverage to me.
    Maybe using this guy as an example since this seems to be his business model.

  6. K Says:

    The entire structure at 723-725 was constructed illegally several years ago and would’ve finished with no permits if it wasn’t shut down because neighbors wouldn’t let DCRA overlook it any longer.

    It still stands today and the same owner (after jail for other offenses) under a different company name has been attempting to periodically finish it but keeps breaking the law. There is another SWO currently on the property from unpermitted work.

    Lesson from DCRA “Don’t bother with permits, if you get caught just wait it out and continue building again illegally – eventually you’ll finish and PROFIT”

  7. Quebecois Says:

    729 has been a nightmare. The tarp and Tyvek flap around all day and night. Isn’t there some kind of legal action that can be brought against this clearly negligent owner?

  8. Park-what? Says:

    Pop-up haters: now you will have this blighted property around you for years to come. Well done!


  9. […] is accomplished without permits and the impact this has on safety. Back in March I posted about two row houses in the area that received Stop Work Orders because they were constructing pop-ups without the proper […]


  10. […] the yard being dug out and lowered to street grade. Later that month I began to work with DCRA when unpermitted popups began on Princeton Place and other areas nearby. In passing, I asked DCRA to explain how height was […]

  11. Donna Says:

    2401 E Street NE continues to do illegal work with no permits and DCRA hasn’t stopped them.


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