HPA No. 1991-543 (In re. Joe and Rogers Residence)
- HPA Number: 1991-543
- Case Name: In Re 1927 Kenyon St., NW
- Location of Property: 1927 Kenyon St., NW, Lot 152, Square 2604
- Date of Decision: 12/9/91
- Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Alteration
- Disposition: Approved
- Date of Case Summary: 7/24/06
Summary of Decision:
Tom Joe and Cheryl Rogers (the " Applicants ") applied for a construction permit to alter their home, a rowhouse located in the Mount Pleasant Historic District, by removing the front porch overhang and footings. The Applicants sought permission to remove the porch because there was foundation damage due to slip soil and underground water movements, not to their own or neighbors' negligence. The Mayor's Agent agreed with Applicants' claim that any repairs the Applicants would make to the porch footings would cost $2400 - $3000, and would need to be redone again and again; and that there was no long-term solution offered by the Historic Preservation Review Board (the "Board"), which had denied applicants' application, or any other party. The Mayor's Agent found that although the porches on Applicants' and their neighbors' houses were substantial parts of the contributions their houses made to the historic district, the Applicants would suffer unreasonable economic hardship if they were not allowed to remove their porch overhang and footings. The Mayor's Agent "conclude[d] that failure to issue the required permit will result in an unreasonable economic hardship to the owners of the above premises."
Unreasonable Economic Hardship:
Mayor's Agent concluded that applicant would suffer unreasonable economic hardship if the permit were denied, because the shifting foundation is not permanently remediable, and will require frequent, expensive, and unending construction to preserve the porch. The Mayor's Agent did not discuss the statutory standards for proving unreasonable economic hardship, which are tied to the standards for proving a taking under the U.S. Constitution, holding only that it would be "unconscionable to require the owners of the above premises to expend thousands of dollars to resupport the porch when admittedly such resupporting would be at best temporary... particularly when no alternative solution was proferred."
Advisory Neighborhood Commission:
The applicable ANC Commission recommended that the Mayor's Agent grant the application, stating that "this is not a problem which is correctable in the long term, and continued repair would present an economic hardship."
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