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Downtown Tenants Wary of 24-Hour Demolition at Former Post HQ

by Tim Regan — January 14, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

(Updated at 11:52 a.m.) Some residents are losing sleep over 24-hour permits issued for the demolition of the former Washington Post headquarters at 15th and L streets NW.

Representatives from the nearby Presidential Cooperative apartments, Capitol Hilton and the University Club said that noise from the demolition — slated to begin next Monday —  would disturb peace and quiet in the area, especially late at night and in the early morning.

The group last month sent letters of concern to the D.C. Department of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs (DCRA), said Mike Fasano, who represents the Presidential, at last night’s ANC 2B meeting at the Brookings Institution in Dupont Circle.

“They allow them decibels of 85,” Fasano said during the meeting. “The limit under the D.C. noise control act is 60 decibels at night and 55 decibels in a residential zone.”

Fasano added that in order to justify issuing a 24-hour building permit, “DCRA has to make a finding that there is a threat to public safety and health, which clearly there is not.”

Fasano also alleged that Carr Properties, the company overseeing the demolition, “already violated whatever permit they have now.”

“This takes affect January 18, but I went out there on December 28 and they were doing demolition activities,” Fasano said. “It was loud.”

Abigail Nichols, 2B-05, said the issued permits have prompted complaints from local residents and from the office of Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans.

“There’s a lot of neighbors that are upset about this,” Nichols said. She added that the ANC was not given notice of the 24-hour permits before they were issued.

“I think the biggest concern is that no one was provided notification about this,” said Tom Lipinsky, Director of Communications at the office of Jack Evans. “This is something, if it was granted, that should have come before the ANC.”

“As best I know … there’s been no such discussions,” Nichols responded. “And there’s been every opportunity for it.”

Ultimately, the ANC unanimously voted to request the revocation of the demolition permit — barring a threat to public safety — and to ask DCRA to give “meaningful notice” of such permits in the future.

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