Posted on 12 April 2012.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on TwitterÂ @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
Gun robberiesÂ are up, iPhones are still being snatched off Metro but have no fear, your tax dollars are hard at work. Inspectors from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and a detective from the Metropolitan Police Department are ensuring that anyone selling you second-hand books, clothes or other used items are not skirting the important and oh-so-necessary requirement for a second-hand business license.
Borderstan.com covers DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
Â Washington City PaperÂ reports that several book stores and record stores last Wednesday faced scrutiny when the city proclaimed that their operations were illegal unless they had a license. What’s the cost of not having a license? A $700 criminal background check, because according to city law, a used book store is the same thing as a pawn shop.
A number of owners report DCRA telling them at some point in the recent past that a general business license was sufficient, as they sold new items along with used items. Of course, DCRA now says “anyone” could read the regulations online and understand the licensing requirements.
Ah, DC regulations… where we expect business owners to ignore what officials tell them, apply for a more expensive and onerous license as a small business and then threaten to close down businesses for doing what another official told them was acceptable last year. Where’s that report that talks about how DC is one of the least hospitable places to open a small business?
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Posted in Business, Crime
Posted on 22 June 2010.
DCRA is now at 1100 4th Street SW at the Waterfront-SEU Metro Station on the Green Line. (Tom Hay)
From Tom Hay
The DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recently moved to a new headquarters building at 1100 4th Street SW from North Capitol Street. The new location is right on top of the Waterfront-SEU Metro Station on the Green Line. The agency, which has vast regulatory oversight, moved to the new location in March 2010.Â An added bonus at the new DCRA location is a new Safeway store in the building.
Inside DCRA’s new offices. (Tom Hay)
DCRA is familiar to any homeowner who has applied for a building permit. Permits are needed for home improvement projects such as building a deck or replacing a window to a full scale gut and renovate. (Check out the Washington Business Journal’s profile on DCRA Director Linda Argo.)
The agency also handles administration of certificates of occupancy and business licenses. In DC, any landlord who rents out an apartment or English basement is required to have a basic business license.
Internet workstations for visitors are part of DCRA’s new offices. (Tom Hay)
With the large number of 19th Century homes and English basement apartments in the Dupont-Logan area, I thought it was worth paying a visit to DCRA and let you know about the recent move and some changes at the agency. The new location is an easy trip from the U Street-Green Line to the Waterfront-SEU stop. I drove and was able to find free, 2-hour on street parking about a block away.
A few changes you will notice:
- Nametags: In order to be more customer friendly all staff now wear nametags.
- Internet Workstations: Â A wall of walk-up computers with internet access; no printers though.
- A Homeowner Center: Â For assistance with permits for basic home improvement projects.
- Permit and Licensing Center: The two centers share a clean, spacious and bright location on the 2nd floor.
A few tips before planning a visit:
- Check the DCRA website for forms and instructions since many transactions may completed online.
- DCRA has also created a web site, Â Rent Your DC Basement Legally, to assist landlords of basement apartments in becoming compliant with local laws and regulations. Â The site has checklists and advice to guide homeowners through the process.
- Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; and Thursdays, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (except District Government holidays).
Posted in Business, Politics & Government
Posted on 07 October 2009.
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted on 06 October 2009.
1618-A 14th Street NW: On Monday night the police tape was gone and the front gate was unlocked. The club is open for business again. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)
On our bedtime walk-with-the-dog, we went by 1618-A 14th Street NW, site of the early Sunday morning death of a patron at the location’s private club. The police tape was gone and the gate was unlocked.
After taking a gander at the building’s front, we headed down the 1400-block of Corcoran. There is an iron security gate on the Corcoran side of the buildingÂ and you can easily look into the back “garden” area of 1618. We heard a door open and saw light coming from the building. A guy stepped into the back area. I asked him if they were open for business. “Yes,” was the response. Read the full story
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted on 28 November 2008.
The D.C. government has suspended the standard regulations, making it easy for Washingtonians to rent their homes to visitors for the January 20 inauguration. (Image: BarackObama.com.)
You may have already heard the news, but it’s worth repeating for those in Borderstan who are thinking about renting their home to out-of-towners in January… for the inaugural festivities of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Borderstan is pretty close to ideal for anyoneâ€”resident or visitorâ€”who wants to take in some of the January 20 Inauguration festivities. We can walk to the White House and Pennsylvania Avenue… restaurants, clubs and stores are right outside our front doors.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has pretty much suspended the usual rules regarding permits, sales taxes and such for Washingtonians who want to rent out their homes as hotel rooms next month for the 2009 Inauguration.
TheÂ D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has even drafted a sample leaseÂ to use when renting to guests. You canÂ download the sample leaseÂ online (PDF).
Posted in Uncategorized