HPA No. 98-281 (In re. Bowie-Sevier House)

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HPA No. 98-281 (In re. Bowie-Sevier House)

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  • HPA Number: 98-281
  • Building Name: Bowie-Sevier House
  • Address(es): 3124 Q St. NW; 1817 10th St. NW
  • Date of Order: 09-Nov-98


Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Miller ("Applicants") sought approval of an application to subdivide lots 17, 18, 62, 64 and 821 in Square 1270 into four record lots. The Bowie-Sevier House, an individually designated landmark, is located on lot 64. All of the affected lots are located within the Georgetown Historic District. The subdivision proposal involved adding 2,000 square feet to lot 64 and reconfiguring the remaining four lots into three lots of record. The DC Historic Preservation Review Board adopted its Staff Report and recommended that the Mayor's Agent approve the subdivision because of its consistency with the purposes of the Act. The Mayor's Agent held that the proposed subdivision was consistent with the purposes of the Act and thus necessary in the public interest.

Consistent with Purposes of the Act:

The Mayor's Agent held that the subdivision was consistent with the purposes of the Act because it would enlarge the protected landmark lot and would be consistent with the character of the Georgetown Historic District.

Mayor's Agent- General:

  • The Mayor's Agent is bound by the terms of the Act in rendering a decision and formulating a remedy. D.C. Preservation League v. D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 646 A.2d 984, 991 (1994). Consequently, "the Mayor's Agent herein has no jurisdiction or authority to credit the ANC's [request] that a covenant or easement be imposed on this property."
  • The Mayor's Agent must "abide by its enabling statute, regardless of public policy considerations to the contrary." Baker v. District of Columbia, 494 A.2d 1299, 1302-03 (D.C. 1985).

Necessary in the Public Interest:

  • The Mayor's Agent's review of a subdivision application is limited to issues presented by the subdivision itself; concerns about future development on the site are not pertinent to the analysis. "All of the persons in opposition to the granting of this application either go beyond the statutorily limited scope of the subject subdivision application, i.e., opposition to eventual consideration on the site and related potential impacts, or the opposition's standards for what is in the 'public interest' do not relate to the criteria or the Act. As such, their opposition, while relevant in a general context, cannot be considered in this case which is solely limited to the issue of subdivision"
  • The criteria that determine necessity in the public interest are limited to those expressly discussed in the Act. "Issues of traffic, parking, impacts of future development on adjacent properties and vistas, property values, and width of streets are most certainly matters of concern. However, none of those items is a measuring standard under the Act for considering what is necessary in the public interest."

Subsequent History:

See HPA No. 06-007 order of February 2, 2006 for subsequent case regarding this property.


Title: HPA No. 98-281 (In re. Bowie-Sevier House)
Author: Government of the District of Columbia. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Office of Adjudication
Abstract: Decision and order concering an application for subdivision and demolition permits for the property at 3124 Q Street N.W.
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10822/761255
Date Created: 1998
Subject: Subdivision; Consistent with Purposes of the Act; Mayor's Agent - General revised; Necessary in the Public Interest

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