A HOME RENOVATION THAT HAS DISRUPTED A BLOCK OF 31ST STREET
UPDATE: Council Member Jack Evans has assigned a member of his staff, Sherri Kimbel, to the parking/dumpster/renovation issue. If you need to talk with her, the number is 202-724-8058. Her position is simple: "People should be able to come home from work and park on the street where they live." This extends beyond 31st Street. If there is a home renovation that is making your parking life hell, call her.
Earlier this week I wrote about a new Georgetown home renovation that is consuming the short block of 31st between O and P Streets. The contractor has claimed six parking spaces -- that's right, six -- and is causing quite a raucous among the neighbors. Not just because of the burden the multiple "no parking" signs have put on the tax-paying residents, forcing them to find alternate parking in an already parking-challenged neighborhood, but because they find the contractor's attitude toward them to be, in their words, consistently "arrogant." There have been some contentious moments, espeically after the renovation work flooded a neighbor's basement.
It was topic "A" on the street this morning as some of them gathered to discuss their frustration. I know one of them has reached out to Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans, but they also talked of wanting an intervention from the ANC and the Citizens Association of Georgetown.
The parking, obviously, is just one of the problems with this renovation, but it's a festering problem. It's created a perfect storm, really, of rippling lost parking spaces for the residents. Half a block over, another new homeowner has been renovating a house for months and months, consuming several parking spaces, including a dumpster, on 31st between P and Dumbarton. Half way down O Street, there's another renovation that is using a dumpster, (but, to its credit, has consumed only one parking space and the workers use the homeowner's driveway, too.)
Add to this the related fleets of service trucks and vans that also take up parking spaces. And the timetable runs into November and beyond.
"My housekeeper comes once a week for four hours and gets a ticket every other time," said one of the frustrated neighbors this morning, "but these trucks sit here and nothing happens." The residents come home from work to a block where, normally, it was easy to find a parking space. No more. Typically they could go to O Street, but that's where a lot of the service trucks park.
1. Require homeowners, before a renovation, to reach out to neighbors to discuss the demands of their renovation and the concerns of the residents in the vicinity.
2. Limit the spaces a contractor can claim for a home renovation. There's no excuse for 6 spaces.
3. Limit the number of renovations that can happen in proximity to each other. One at a time and only one at a time within a block or two. Sorry, you just have to wait. (And that is completely fair).
4. The ANC should have a street mediator who talks the arrogant out of arrogant contractors and calms the concerns of insulted neighbors.
5. Don't allow dumpsters. Dump trucks in, dump trucks out. The dumpsters are eyesores, becoming stinking pits of garbage, attract vermin of all kinds.