Monday, May 25, 2015

neighbor observes that a rear addition has just been constructed at 13 Randolph Place NW, without proper DCRA permits

See this 05-24-2015 message from a Bloomingdale resident regarding the rear renovations at 13 Randolph Place NW.

Apparently the new owner of 13 Randolph Place NW has built a 2-story rear addition overnight with what appear to be permits for interior renovations only.
How does this get past DCRA?
At least two neighbors called DCRA to report this on Friday afternoon but no action was taken and by Saturday afternoon the addition was “complete” with siding and windows.
The owner, who property records identify as Pete Koutromanos of Kensington MD appears to have been flipping properties in DC for decades, according to online records.  He purchased the house for $500k from the estate and descendants of the long-term much loved owner who died in 2012.  The sale went through on 4/27/2015 and yet in less than a month he has already gutted the house and built a rear addition.  (Koutromanos’ name is spelled “Pete Cruchamono” on the permits issued by DCRA.)
Anyone who has ever worked with DCRA knows that this process usually takes months and often involves zoning review, environmental review, plat review, drainage plans, wall checks and many inspections, including those of the new footings, foundation and groundwork before the structure can be built.
On Thursday (May 21) there was a row of cinder block around the base of the pre-existing rear porch which had been partially demolished.  By Friday at about 1pm they had started closing in what remained of the porch (which was in bad shape) with plywood, retaining the pre-existing porch roof.  The attached photo was taken at about 2:30pm – after at least one call had been made to DCRA (who had confirmed permits for interior renovations only) requesting an inspection for suspected illegal construction.  The second photos were taken after work finished yesterday Saturday (May 23) by which time the addition had been covered in siding and doors and windows installed. 
It does not appear that any inspections have been made by DCRA.  Apparently inspectors finished work at 2pm on Friday and will not be on duty again until Tuesday.  It seems that a holiday weekend is a very good time to build a new structure on your house without any regulatory oversight.
The new owner has also built piles of cinder block on the retaining wall (a car port perhaps or a garage, maybe even a deck?).  The new addition extends the “non-conforming court” (DCRA speak for the dog leg that is between many houses in Bloomingdale) – something which neighbors have been told is not permitted without a variance. 
Homeowners wanting to make simple changes to make their homes more livable get stuck in DCRA bureaucracy when they follow the rules, yet flippers apparently come in and are able to literally build additions overnight – on a holiday weekend --to make a quick buck.

Update:  another neighbor passed along a few pics of renovations on the two-story rear addition at 13 Randolph Place NW, taken today, Monday, 05-25-2015 -- Memorial Day,

Are there holiday work permits posted?


  1. One developer told me it all depends on which inspector they are working with at DCRA. I have no idea if this means money passes hands but shouldn't there be an investigation, especially when it seems there is a slick way to get past the rules by building over a holiday weekend?

  2. I understand from DCRA that individuals who call to complain about illegal construction have the right to learn from DCRA the status of inspections of that property. I would suggest that you call DCRA on a daily basis to learn that status. Additionally, if the building is still ongoing, you can call 911 and ask the police to come out and write a report, which may help on follow-up down the road.