Friday, February 19, 2016

DCRA e-newsletter dated 02-19-2016

A newsletter from DCRA...?

Here you go:

From: "DC Government" <>
Date: February 19, 2016 at 2:29:41 PM EST
Subject: DCRA: A Regulatory Affair Newsletter

The Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs Newsletter

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A Regulatory Affair

Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs Newsletter

February 19, 2016

Track DCRA

Regulatory bytes for the data junkie

This is your centralized data section of the newsletter to access permit issuance information in seven different categories for all eight wards across the District. 
We hope these stats provide a better insight into developments happening in and around your respective communities. Please stay tuned for data related to enforcement and business licensing activities to be released in future editions. 
Below see the general business licenses* issued February 8-12, 2016:
*A general business license applies to all businesses that have a tax identification number, and perform business activity that is not licensed under another basic business license endorsement category, and is comprised of principals who are not required to maintain licenses granted or regulated by local, state, or national certification board or body.
Below access vacant and blighted property data from February 8-12, 2016: 
Below see the permits issued by Ward from February 8-12, 2016:
Below see the Zoning Determination Letters by Ward for February:

Ward 6 - 22 M Street NE

You're Invited

Your social calendar to DCRA's world

February 25th 
March 2nd 
Permit Stakeholders Meeting – 10am-12pm
Permit Stakeholder Meetings serve as a platform for DCRA and various sister agencies (such as DDOT, DOEE and DC Water) to share valuable information with development, architectural and design industry professionals relating to policies, regulations, and processes that impact the agency’s permit process.  Additionally, these meetings provide an opportunity for the agency  to exchange ideas, consider improvements, and take action based on valuable feedback from key stakeholders in attendance.

We'd like to hear from you! 

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A Message from the Director

Dear Stakeholders,
During the past year, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has produced some great results.  In 2015, we successfully launched our new Customer Service Unit, responsible for fielding over five thousand monthly calls from residents across the District.  Additionally, we developed a Residential Review Team in order to effectively manage the plans reviews of the city’s one and two family dwellings.  But we’re not done yet!  The new year is here, and it is full of promise and opportunity for the District and our agency.  DCRA’s leadership is continually looking for innovative and creative ways to improve our agency processes and services.  We know that we owe it to you to keep you informed about and engaged in our work— and the direct impact it has on the District’s visitors, residents, and businesses.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to A Regulatory Affair, our new agency newsletter designed to keep you updated on the city’s development, business activity, enforcement issues, and agency initiatives that may have a lasting effect on your ward and the lives of your constituents. 
I recognize transparency and communication are the keys to successful working relationships.  As Director, I pledge to keep you informed about agency progress and future plans.  A Regulatory Affair is our way of sharing what we’ve done and the best that’s yet to come.  I hope it serves as a useful source for DCRA news and information.

Melinda M. Bolling
Director, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

In The Know

Keeping your ear to the DCRA streets

Strengthening Illegal Construction Enforcement
Practically every day, DCRA receives reports of alleged illegal construction from residents and business all over the city. You voiced your concerns and our agency leadership heard you- and delivered! Yesterday, February 18th,  DCRA announced that effective immediately, inspectors will be on weekend duty- helping to put an end to illegal construction activity in the District in a much faster and effective way. From 8:00 am – 5:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday, residents can report construction activity believed to be unregulated or illegal at 202-442-STOP(7867) while benefiting from quicker turnaround time on inspectors arriving at the scene.
For more details, please access DCRA's press release regarding our new weekend inspections.

New Third Party Program Manual
Hot off the press... Check out the 2016 edition here

New Solar Permit
Near the close of 2015, DCRA went out with a bang and announced the launch of a new permit category to support the growing number of green developments in the District.  Introducing the first Solar Permit from DCRA – designed specifically for solar projects, the permit specifically reviews system size, system type and mounting style.  The Solar Permit was designed with ease and efficient processing in mind – and its greatest feature is that it can be applied for exclusively.  This means customers may be able to cut through needless disciplinary reviews and potentially eliminate the lengthy application process typically associated with building permits. We will continue to support innovation and development by creating regulations and implementing processes that make it easier to build green in DC.  The Solar Permit is just one example of DCRA’s commitment to the District’s sustainability.  
To learn more about the guidelines for projects that should apply under DCRA’s new solar permit, please visit here and here or contact DCRA’s Green Building Division at (202) 442-9554.

JBG Takes U Street! 
Whether you are a native Washingtonian or new to the District, U Street is known as the pulse of the city by most. From lounges, to restaurants, to trendy apartments, the corridor has become one of the most sought after places to live and spend a night out on the town.  But if this District gem wasn’t attractive enough to residents as it was, a shiny new development has graced this Shaw neighborhood with its presence. In June of 2015, JBG broke ground on the Shay and the Atlantic Plumbing buildings - two new development projects at the corridor’s Shaw North End, consisting of mixed-use retail and residential space. 
DCRA was proud to play an instrumental role in this project, ensuring that residents would soon be able to reap the new community benefits and perks that a development of this scale and magnitude offers. DCRA participated in weekly conference calls with JBG, discussing over 30 business/retail tenants including, a movie theater, multiple restaurants, an art gallery and much more. (During these calls, the agency identified key milestone goals to ensure the timely processing of the development’s permit and licensing needs.) For efficiency purposes, agency management assigned staff to track the status of permit and licensing activities for each tenant through the point of issuance.
To date, as a result of DCRA’s project management efforts, more than 90% of the planned tenants in JBG’s U Street Corridor development are open for business—ultimately transforming the texture and quality of life for District residents.

Modern Schools for a Modern DC 
In 2007, the District of Columbia adopted a $3.2 billion plan to modernize schools throughout the District’s Public School System.  Since then, the modernization of dozens of schools has been completed. In 2015, DCRA took our agency involvement a step further by coordinating a proactive effort between our Permit Operations Division (POD) and the Department of General Services (DGS). This collaboration enabled DCRA to effectively manage and track the issuance of permits critical to these District school renovations, ensuring a fluid process with timely issuance of appropriate permits, so that the doors of these beautiful new public campuses could be experienced by our youth without delay.
Below is a list of the most recent public school modernizations:
  • Cardozo High School (Ward 1)
  • Dunbar High School (Ward 5)
  • McKinley Technical High School (Ward 5)
  • Peabody Elementary School (Ward 6)
  • Anacostia High School (Ward 8)
  • Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Leckie Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Moten Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Simon Elementary School (Ward 8)

DCRA Snags Industry Honor!
DCRA takes great pride in establishing and enforcing the District’s building code. Our codes were not only designed to serve the booming development activity of the city, but, additionally, to protect the life and safety of residents across all eight wards. In 2015, DCRA received one of the greatest building industry honors by receiving a top-tier rating of 3 from the Insurance Service Organization’s (ISO) Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS). 
ISO’s BCEGS program assesses the quality of a community’s building code and how well it is enforced. Recognized for our modern construction code, staff certifications, and our strategic use of enforcement to encourage compliance, the District is now among the top 20 percent of building departments in the more than 20,000 jurisdictions surveyed.   While this distinction is an incredible accolade for the agency and city, it’s perhaps even more of a win for our residents. Our ISO rating means that our families, children, and friends are living in some of the nation’s safest, most resilient buildings ever!  

DCRA Strikes Gold at 2015 Standard Bearer Awards
Compliance with building energy codes is critical to the District's Sustainable DC Initiative, particularly in attempting to achieve net-zero energy standards.  For the past five years, DCRA has taken great strides towards encouraging and enforcing the District’s sustainability through green construction and development. In 2015, The International Code Council (ICC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) announced at the ICC Annual Conference that the DCRA was the recipient of the 2015 Standard Bearers Award.  The Standard Bearers Award is a national program designed to celebrate innovation and leadership in the enforcement of energy code compliance at the state and local level. 
The award recognized DCRA as a jurisdictional leader in energy code compliance for the work of the agency’s Green Building Division.  To help promote compliance with the energy codes, which were adopted in 2014, the Green Building Division hosted bi-weekly energy training workshops, provided energy verification sheets as a part of the city’s building permit approval process, and authored the Green Building Program Manual – an educational resource available citywide.
Our new 2014 energy codes employ affordable mechanisms to ensure that structures function in ways that not only reduce the monthly energy/water bills for owners, but also provide a safe and healthy environment for residents.  The District’s leadership, coupled with DCRA’s management of green compliance has catapulted our city to the top, making the District one of the greenest and most sustainable jurisdictions in the nation.

Amnesty NOW!
It’s no secret, even great businesses can fall on hard times. To help mitigate some of the financial strain impacting the District’s small-businesses community, DCRA announced a temporary Business License Amnesty Program that allows businesses to come into compliance with licensing requirements by obtaining business licenses, corporate registrations, and weights and measures device registrations without being fined $2000 for operating without proper licenses/registrations.
The amnesty program began on January 1, 2016, but will continue through February 29, 2016.  All business within the District of Columbia, operating with an expired license or without a license qualify to participate in the program, as do any and all customers with missing or expired corporation filings/weights and measures device registrations.  Late fees will not be imposed upon individuals or entities that take advantage of the program.
By encouraging compliance through forgiveness, DCRA is protecting consumers from unlicensed, unregulated, and dangerous business activity. 

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