Thursday, January 04, 2007
Making Urban Blight Slightly Safer
I just received word that Shiloh Baptist Church is cinder-blocking over the entrance to its vacant property at 1526 9th Street. I imagine that the other vacant buildings on this block will receive a similar treatment soon.
On the one hand, this will help secure these buildings from intrusion and further interior vandalism by homeless and miscreants. On the other hand, it appears that Shiloh intends to continue its reign as worst neighbor on 9th Street by keeping these properties as vacant eyesores. It appears that their offering for the purpose of "refurbishing" these vacant structures may have been insincere.
Two things to investigate: 1. Do they have a work permit for doing this? If not, I believe a Stop Work Order and a fine may be in order. 2. Did the Historical Review Board approve this (they might not have to with vacant properties)? I somehow doubt it, but you never know. Not that I want to thwart the securing these buildings for crime prevention purposes, but Shiloh needs to play by the rules if they're calling others to task for the same (e.g., Vegetate and Queen of Sheba).
As always, you can report illegal construction (construction without a permit) by calling DCRA’s Illegal Construction Unit, at 202.442.STOP (7867).