Archive for the ‘Blighted property’ category

Area Vacant and Blighted Property List for August 2012

September 5, 2012

DCRA recently released its bi-annual vacant property list.  The  DCRA Office of Vacant Property web page has the complete lists of vacant and blighted property as well as additional information on how to report  such properties. In determining whether a building is vacant, DCRA must consider whether the building has:

  • low or no utilities usage;
  • an accumulation of mail;
  • a lack of furniture or window coverings;
  • open accessibility;
  • deferred maintenance, including loose or falling gutters, severe paint chipping, or overgrown grass;
  • been the subject of neighbor complaints about the property; and
  • been boarded up.

For those who are not familiar with the DCRA lists, the properties on them are not D.C. owned.  They are privately owned.  DCRA’s job is to enforce a set of regulations on  the owners that makes it hard for them to own a vacant property.  Vacant properties tax rates change from .85 cents per $100 of assessed value, to $5 per $100 of assessed value.  Blighted property tax rates are $10.

In comparing vacant and blighted property in the Park View area from March 2012 to August 2012, the following changes are noted:

  • There are currently 10 blighted properties compared to 9 in March;
  • There are currently 16 vacant properties compared to 32 in March;
  • 24 properties — 22 vacant and 2 blighted — have been removed from the list in the last 6 months;
  • 2 properties — 1 vacant and 1 blighted — were returned to the lists after having been removed; and,
  • 7 properties — 5 vacant and 2 blighted — were new to the lists

Below is a map showing where the vacant (green) and blighted (red) properties are in Park View. Sites in yellow indicate vacant and blighted properties that have been removed from the list since March 2012. Properties in purple were on the list in 2011 or earlier.

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Area Vacant and Blighted Property List for March 2012

March 28, 2012

DCRA has just released its bi-annual vacant property list.  You can view the entire list for the first half of 2012 here. The  DCRA Office of Vacant Property web page also has additional information on how to report  vacant and blighted properties. In determining whether a building is vacant, DCRA must consider whether the building has:

  • low or no utilities usage;
  • an accumulation of mail;
  • a lack of furniture or window coverings;
  • open accessibility;
  • deferred maintenance, including loose or falling gutters, severe paint chipping, or overgrown grass;
  • been the subject of neighbor complaints about the property; and
  • been boarded up.

For those who are not familiar with the DCRA lists, the properties on them are not D.C. owned.  They are privately owned.  DCRA’s job is to enforce a set of regulations on  the owners that makes it hard for them to own a vacant property.  Vacant properties tax rates change from .85 cents per $100 of assessed value, to $5 per $100 of assessed value.  Blighted property tax rates are $10.

In comparing vacant and blighted property in the Park View area from August 2011 to March 2012, the following changes are noted:

  • There are currently 9 blighted properties compared to 12 in August;
  • There are currently 32 vacant properties compared to 20 in August;
  • 12 properties — 8 vacant and 4 blighted — have been removed from the list in the last 6 months;
  • 5 properties currently classified as blighted were on the August list; and
  • 11 properties currently classified as vacant were on the August list.

Below is a map of where the vacant (green) and blighted (red) properties are in Park View. Sites in yellow indicate vacant and blighted properties that have been removed from the list since August 2011.

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Vacant and Blighted Properties List Soars in 2011

September 7, 2011

732 Lamont is listed as a pending blighted property, which it has been for years. However, recent renovations and improvement have clearly improved the property

Last week, the Washington Business Journal reported that District properties designated as either Class 3 (vacant) or Class 4 (blighted) rose dramatically this year. This year’s tax roles show an increase of 671 properties on the vacant list, up to 1,115 properties from the 444 Class 3 properties listed during the first half of this year. Class 3 properties are taxed at $5 per $100 of assessed value.

An additional 243 properties are listed as blighted (including properties being appealed or pending the status) and will be taxed at the Class 4 rate or $10 per $100 of assess value. The full DCRA list of vacant, exempt, and blighted properties can be found here.

Below is a map of where the vacant (green), blighted (red), or vacant and blighted (purple) properties are in the Park View neighborhood.

While it’s nice to know where our local vacant and blighted properties are, it is also useful to know how our neighborhood compares to the rest of Ward 1 and how Ward 1 compares to the rest of the city.

430 Manor Place, NW. Listed as vacant since 2006. Finally listed as blighted in 2011.

Here’s the good news — Ward 1 doesn’t seem to be too bad off compared to the rest of the District, having 73 (9%) of the listed vacant property and 47 (10%) of the listed blighted properties.

Here’s the bad news — Within Ward 1, the Park View neighborhood has 24 (33%) of the listed vacant property and 12 (26%) of the listed blighted properties. While numerically this might seem low, for a relatively small neighborhood within Ward 1 I find these percentages to be alarmingly high.

Yet, the numbers might indicate that District agencies are doing a better job of addressing problem properties than they have in the past. The change in status of 530 Manor Place from vacant to blighted occurred this year after engaging DCRA on issues of rats, unsecured property, and lack of yard maintenance. But then again, other properties such as 610 Newton Place which are equally blighted, do not appear to be on any list as vacant, exempt, or blighted.

610 Newton Place, NW, has been in disrepair for a few years now. Future plans for its development is not known at this time

Graph comparisons showing how the Wards rank against each other are after the jump. (more…)

430 Manor Place Really Bringing the Community Down

June 8, 2011

430 Manor Place, NW. Listed as vacant since 2006

As I walked around the community over the past week, I noticed a fair number of homes that hadn’t cut their lawns in a while. As of April 21st, grass is not to exceed 10 inches in height. Failure to maintain one’s lawn can result in a fine of $500.

Of course, this presumes that the house is occupied and that there is someone to fine. While I feel fortunate that Park View doesn’t have too many of these, there is the added problem of vacant properties, such as the one at 430 Manor Place.

Overall, Manor Place is generally well maintained and there are many attractive properties there. I think it’s safe to say that 430 isn’t one of them. In reporting the property for the overgrown yard I was able to learn the following about the property.

Some of the many well maintained homes on Manor Place, NW

According to DCRA, the property has been vacant since at least 2006.  It has also been taxed accordingly, with the exception of FY2010 and the first half of FY2011 where it should have been classified as blighted (DCRA is currently working to reclassify the property correctly). Sadly, the property owner according to the DC Real Property database lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and no taxes have been collected on the property in over 6 years. It’s also  been sold at tax sale on three different occasions.

The current tax liability on the property (all vacant taxes included) is $315,355.02 which is well over the 2011 assessed value of $272,090 (it goes down to $236,150 in 2012).

This all makes me wonder how this property is going to be returned to active use. It seems unlikely that someone is going to buy it for more than it’s worth. The city has stepped in and included it on tax sales but that clearly hasn’t worked. An auction could work, but here again the District isn’t likely to get every penny it’s owed. Is anyone familiar with a similar problem that eventually got a new owner and was successfully brought back to active use?

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