*HPA Number: 2002-421
*Name: In the Matter of: Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, Inc.
*Location: 1800, 1802 & 1804 9th Street N.W.
*Date of Order: 8/8/2003
*Type of Permit: Alteration permit for replacement of windows
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington (Applicant) sought approval for the already completed installation of 39 vinyl replacement windows on two buildings in the Greater U Street Historic District. The Mayor's Agent denied the application and ordered the installation of compliant windows, concluding that the Applicant's unilateral installation of the 39 vinyl replacement windows was not consistent with the purposes of the Act and that denial of the permit would not subject the Applicant to unreasonable economic hardship under the Act.
*Mayor's Agent Procedural:*
The Mayor's Agent concluded that "[t]he Applicant has not been singled out for selective enforcement of the law, as a valid complaint was investigated and revealed a pattern of violation, which simply cannot be ignored."
*Unreasonable Economic Hardship:*
*Despite financial strain the Applicant might face in replacing the 39 vinyl windows with windows that meet the requirements of the Historic District, based on Applicant's financial information and cash flow, the strain did not amount to unreasonable economic hardship.
*"Unreasonable economic hardship is defined as circumstances where failure to issue a permit would amount to a taking of the owner's property without just compensation or, in the case of a low income owners or owners, as determined by the Mayor, when failure to issue a permit would place an onerous and excessive financial burden upon the owner(s)." 10 DCMR 2599.
*Requiring replacement of the windows with conforming windows did not constitute a taking. Rather, installation of conforming windows would enhance the value of the property by bringing it into compliance with the law.
*The HPRB properly concluded that the 39 windows did not comply with the statute and regulations, including the HPRB's 1997 Guidelines and 2001 Standards regarding repair and replacement of windows in historic districts and historic landmarks.
*The 1997 Guidelines require window replacements to reasonably match the prior historic windows in all respects - configuration, method of operation, profile, dimension, material, and finish. The HPRB set a more flexible standard in its 2001 Standards.