DCRA NEWS | A Regulatory Affair | November-December 2018

Having trouble viewing this email? View as a webpage.


A Regulatory Affair Email Header

November-December 2018 | Volume 3 | Issue 7  

Director's Desk

Director Ernest Chrappah




Thank you for your kindness and support as we start our new journey together. I’m very excited to build upon the progress that has been made and optimistic about the progress we will make going forward.


I’m very humbled that Mayor Bowser has placed her trust in me to serve as Interim Director for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.


Although there will be challenges, my goal is that we approach each obstacle with a strong determination to find solutions that serve our customers’ best interest and meet their demand for high quality service. It’s critical that all of our stakeholders – old and new – work together to better serve District residents and businesses.


As the New Year approaches, I look forward to incorporating the feedback I receive from the external and internal listening tours, into a shared vision, for the agency and outlining some key steps that could help propel us forward.


Again, thank you for the warm welcome.





Ernest Chrappah

Interim Director

Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs


Did You Know?

DCRA Blitzes Illegal Construction in Wards 3 & 7


Last month, DCRA conducted it’s “Illegal Construction Blitz” in Wards 3 and 7. The initiative deploys teams to inspect construction sites to determine if the activity has been permitted and within the scope of work.


Eleven (11) stop work orders (SWO) were issued for illegal construction throughout the Deanwood neighborhood in Ward 7, totaling more than $51,800 in potential fines. No SWO were issued in Ward 3 but more than $7,600 in minor violations were cited.

In total, more than $271,000 in potential fines for illegal construction have been issued during the blitz.


Each blitz consisted of inspection teams that covered pre-determined locations and routes within each ward. In June, twenty-three (23) SWOs were issued for illegal construction in Ward 1; eighteen (18) SWOs were issued in Ward 4 for a blitz in October.


Illegal Construction Blitz Ward 7 Pictures

DCRA Wins Energy Institution of the Year Award


DCRA's Green Building Division received the "Energy Institution of the Year Award" from the Association of Energy Engineers' (AEE) National Capital Chapter. An awards ceremony was held at George Washington University's Science and Engineering Hall.


The award is presented to a public sector entity for outstanding accomplishments in developing, organizing and implementing its comprehensive energy management program.


DCRA received this year’s award for its coordination, introduction and enforcement of energy and green construction codes in the District; and the development of its voluntary residential Net Zero Energy program.

Founded in 1977, AEE is as a nonprofit professional society whose mission is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for "sustainable development."


DCRA Green Logo

New Interpretive Zoning Guidance Available
for RA-1, RA-6


DCRA's Office of the Zoning Administrator (OZA) has published an Interpretation of Zoning Regulations Guidance Document 2019-001 concerning expansion of existing residential buildings in zones RA-1 and RA-6. 


The guidance, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, specifies when special exception relief is needed for residential buildings expanding into larger multiple dwelling buildings pursuant to Subtitle U, § 421. The zoning rules are silent on the treatment of building expansions and several recent building permit applications have prompted the need to provide a clear interpretation.


Interpretation of Zoning Regulations Guidance Document 2019-001

DCRA Recognized as Technology Solutions Award Winner


The Public Technology Institute (PTI) announced its winners and significant achievement award recipients for their 2018 Technology Solutions Awards.


DCRA’s Office of Information Systems (OIS) was recognized in the “Web Services, E-Government and Mobile Apps” category by PTI for its web portal that enables residents and businesses to complete complex permitting and property related regulatory activities in a user-friendly online environment.


Established in 1971, PTI is an advocate and resource for local government officials to identify research opportunities, develop leadership activities and share technology solutions that could impact local governments.


DCRA Technology Start Here!

DCRA Closed on Christmas Day


In observance of Christmas Day, the District of Columbia Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs will be closed & no construction is allowed on Tuesday, December 25, 2018. Construction is not permitted on federal and District Government holidays. In observance of Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 2018, all construction work, for which a permit is required, is illegal and could result in a Stop Work Order and may be subject to fines.  


Customers are encouraged to plan ahead for services requiring an in-person visit as we may experience a high volume of customers during the business days before and after a holiday closing. DCRA has many online services and portals, enabling customers to Skip the Trip to our offices and conduct DCRA business 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.


Christmas Day Closing Graphic

Event Recaps

5th Annual Women’s Reentry Conference

DCRA and MORCA Welcome Re-Entering Women  

The Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA) held its 5th Annual Women’s Reentry Conference last month at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. The conference aims to empower women who were previously incarcerated by providing them tools to create their pathway to success.


Staff members from DCRA’s Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration (OPLA) gave a presentation describing how it offers licenses in more than 125 occupational and professional categories.


Dr. Ivy Hilton, a local meditation minister and opera singer, gave the keynote presentation entitled, “Embracing the Light with your Super Powers: Consciously Creating Your Hearts Deepest Desires. 

DC Board of Funeral Directors 2018 Practitioners Forum


DCRA’s Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration (OPLA) hosted its annual DC Board of Funeral Directors 2018 Practitioners Forum on October 12th  at Gallaudet University.


The forum provides practitioners an opportunity to voice their concerns and exchange ideas with government officials on how to improve service delivery to public. Some key issues addressed included:


  • The DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) provided useful tips for more efficient processing of cremation requests from licensed funeral directors in the District.
  • DC Health’s Vital Records Division is developing a new Funeral Home Portal that could improve death registration and certificate issuance.
  • The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) is seeking feedback from funeral service licensees to align sales and use tax regulations with current business practices.


DC Board of Funeral Directors 2018 Practitioners Forum


This Month’s Livestreams


ProjectDox Training

This ProjectDox Training reviews how to use and operate our plan submission system.


DC Bar Pro Bono Clinic

Attorneys from the Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic, sponsored by the DC Bar Pro Bono Center, offer information on business formation, contracts, leases, taxes and answer other questions related to small businesses.


For more information and to view additional livestreams of our workshops and meetings, visit dcra.dc.gov/livestreams.


Upcoming Events


SBRC's One-On-One Session: Basic Steps to Obtaining a Business License
Monday - Thursday
10:00 am – 3:00 pm (By appointment)
DCRA – 1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor (Room E-268)
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com                                

Understanding Your Rights Seminar for Landlords
Friday, December 28, 2018
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
DCRA – 1100 4th Street, SW
3rd Floor (Room E-300)
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46386 

How to Develop a Successful Business Plan

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
DCRA – 1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor (Room E-200)
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46387  

All Things Non-Profit
Thursday, January 10, 2019
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor (Room E-200)
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46477  

Learn the Process of Starting a Business at the DC Public Library
Monday, January 14, 2019
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Francis A Gregory
3660 Alabama Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46340

Senior Entrepreneurship Program
Thursday, January 17, 2019
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Bernice Fonteneau
3531 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20010
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46520  

Money Smart for Small Business Workshop: Credit Reporting
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor (Room E-200)
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46418

Mobile Vending Regulations Workshop
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
3:00 pm – 11:00 am
DCRA –1100 4th Street, SW
2nd Floor (Room E-200)
Washington, DC 20024-4451
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46495



Enter DCRA Dashboards  

DCRA Dashboards is a tool that graphically displays DCRA permits, business and professional licenses, enforcement, and inspections data. The dashboards provide greater transparency, allowing customers to take a look at DCRA’s performance.

Search for DCRA Data  

DCRA Data Connect is a tool that allows access to information about permits issued, illegal construction, and vacant building data. Data can be viewed via CSV files and maps.

If you have any questions regarding this communication, please contact DCRA's Communications Department at DCRACommTeam@dc.gov. DCRA actively uses feedback to improve our delivery and services; please take a minute to share your feedback on how we performed in our last engagement. For the latest news and updates, check out DCRA's Communications Portal