by Paul Alan Levy
This morning I attended a hearing at the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment in a case relating to a neighborhood issue in which I have been engaged – an appeal by our local Advisory Neighborhood Commission of the issuance of a building permit that allows Bogdan Builders to “pop-up” a row house into a four-unit apartment building without providing the usually-required off-street parking for two cars, one for every two units. Our neighborhood has been campaigning for a rezoning to prevent such developments. Many of my neighbors are more concerned by the size of the new buildings, but for me, what worries me more is the loss of dwelling units big enough to raise children but close enough to downtown to be walkable.
After the hearing ended with a procedural victory for the developer, I spoke to him privately, mentioning the first of a series of gripe sites have been created created to discuss his actions in our neighborhood, and noting that even if he manages to get his building permits, the neighborhood will be picketing when his units go up for sale. I suggested to him that he might be better served if he could find a way to sit down with his neighbors to find a compromise instead of standing on his existing rights under current zoning rules, lest the neighbors also stand on their First Amendment rights to protest his conduct.
His lawyer told me that she would be filing for a TRO to prevent "harassment" of her client Bogdan Builders. I have written a letter explaining to Ms. Mazo why her planned litigation cannot possibly succeed, as well as some of the adverse consequences that could follow from the bringing of such litigation.