Thursday, July 23, 2015

team that submitted the Grant Circle Historic District application sued by Grant Circle developer

Click on the link to read the entire WAMU article.

Oh heavens.  Let's see where this goes.

July 23, 2015

A planned renovation of a number of rowhouses in the Grant Circle area of Petworth has sparked a particularly virulent fight between a developer and a group of residents, prompting a $25 million lawsuit in which the developer says residents abused the city’s historic preservation process to delay permits he needed to renovate and expand the homes.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Jay Gross, a developer who purchased three rowhouses located along Grant Circle, accuses a trio of residents — including Thomas Woodruff and Stephen Wright, who live next to one of the houses he bought — of conspiring to stop him from renovating and expanding the homes.
Gross says they did so by working with Oscar Beisert, who lives in the neighborhood, to nominate the Grant Circle for a historic district. In historic districts — like those in Capitol Hill, Mt. Pleasant and Georgetown — any changes to the exterior of homes requires review and approval by the Historic Preservation Review Board, which can extend the timeline on any project.  

In the lawsuit — which was first noticed by the National Law Journal's Zoe Tillman — Gross says that the historic designation applications were part of an underhanded campaign aimed at stopping him from renovating and expanding the homes he purchased.

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