HPA No. 2001-094 (In re. Stommel Residence)
- HPA Number: 2001-094
- Building Name: Stommel Residence
- Address(es): 1613 Hobart St. NW
- Date of Order: 04-Oct-01
Applicants sought a post-construction permit for nine vinyl-style windows they had installed on the primary facade of their home located within the Mount Pleasant Historic District. The Mayor's Agent rejected their request, adopting the Historic Preservation Review Board's finding that the style of the windows was inconsistent with the regulations governing historic row houses. He also rejected their untimely assertion of unreasonable economic hardship finding that, although the order to replace the windows would be a significant financial inconvenience, it did not amount to a "taking," the standard by which to demonstrate unreasonable economic hardship.
Although he found that the order to replace several vinyl-style windows would be a significant financial inconvenience to the applicants (estimated from $4,655.55 to $10,224.95), the Mayor's Agent found that the order did not amount to an unreasonable economic hardship. The two standards for assessing unreasonable economic hardship under the Act are: (1) failure to issue the permit amounts to a taking of the owner's property without justification, and (2) (for low-income owners) "failure to issue the permit would place an onerous and excessive financial burden upon the owner(s)." Although he gave both definitions, the Mayor's Agent did not state which standard he used to assess the Applicants' situation.
Applicants installed twenty-four vinyl-style windows on their home located within the Mount Pleasant Historic District without the necessary permit. Working with the Historic Preservation Staff of the D.C. Office of Planning, they were able to retain fifteen windows (which were not visible to the public), but the Mayor's Agent, adopting the Historic Preservation Review Board's determination that vinyl windows were inconsistent with the regulations and policy for primary facades of historic row houses, ordered the replacement of the nine windows located on the primary facade.
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