Saturday, February 20, 2016

DCRA adds weekend hours for illegal construction inspection staff

See this 02-18-2016 press release from DCRA:


DCRA Strengthens Illegal Construction Enforcement

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Agency adds weekend hours for Illegal Construction inspection staff

(Washington, DC) The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) announced today that the agency has added regular weekend inspections to address illegal construction.  Weekend tours of duty for illegal construction inspections will enable DCRA to respond to weekend complaints as they are submitted.
 
“Illegal construction affects safety and quality of life for residents and businesses,” said DCRA Director Melinda Bolling.  “With weekend inspections, we intend to stop more illegal construction while it’s in progress and strengthen the deterrent against doing it in the first place.”

Effective immediately, DCRA inspectors will be on duty from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday.  During those hours, residents should call 202-442-STOP (7867) to report any observed or suspected illegal construction through a voicemail.  Any messages left during weekend business hours will be immediately transmitted to an on-duty inspector.  The on-duty inspector will then place a return call, acknowledging receipt of the complaint.

When illegal construction is found, DCRA sanctions the offender through stop work orders and citations.  A stop work order prohibits a permit holder from performing any additional work until the order is lifted.  The most significant citations for illegal construction carry $2,000 per-violation fines.
“The bottom line is that illegal construction—no matter the day of the week—will not be tolerated,” said Bolling.  “We encourage members of the community to report illegal construction to us when they see it, so that we can put a stop to it as quickly as possible.”
  
Residents can check whether a nearby property has an appropriate permit by visiting DCRA’s Property Information Verification System at pivs.dcra.dc.gov.

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