This is a problem that's not unique to Georgetown, but in Georgetown home renovation can have a particularly strong street impact because parking is beyond precious. The impact is caused by dumpsters - aka a "roll off debris container" - parked in what would otherwise be residential parking spaces. In this compact neighborhood where I live, we're accustomed to, and usually patient about, new homeowners who post signs claiming a space or two for a dumpster. But this week brought something many of us have not seen before: several "no parking" signs claiming as many as six parking spaces, and on a very short block of 31st between O and P. The resident who brought it to my attention is up in arms and plans to protest. Who can blame him?
A lot of new people are moving to Georgetown and paying dearly for the privilege. It's not uncommon to hear of home sales in the multi-millions. And it's worth it. Georgetown is a wonderful place to live. But what seems to go with the big ticket purchases is major renovations (and often of homes that were renovated by the previous owner, and the owner before that, and the owner before that). Some people move here from suburban communities, where home renovation does not directly disrupt the neighborhood. For long-time Georgetowners, who have lived through various real estate booms and busts, there's not a whole lot of attention given to the flux, and the renovations - UNTIL IT IMPACTS PARKING.
In the years I've lived in Georgetown I've seen dumpsters on my street half the time. They usually remain in place for one year, but sometimes longer. Still notorious is a renovation that happened on Dumbarton Street that drove residents mad for at least two years. But that renovation, if I recall correctly, did not suck up six parking spaces on a short block. There's been a renovation underway at 31st and O that has compromised residential parking but with that house -- and it's a big house - there's only one dumpster, using about two parking spaces. That project uses up residential parking for the daily influx of plumbers, carpenters, painters and electrticians. The neighbors, who often can't find parking until after 6, aren't pleased but make do.
What's the solution? Obviously, when any of us take on a big renovation that involves a dumpster we should take into consideration the burden it puts on neighbors. Also, limit the number of contractors who take up residential parking during the day.