DCRA NEWS | A Regulatory Affair | January 2019

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January 2019 | Volume 4 | Issue 1  

Director's Desk

Director Ernest Chrappah




Over the last three months, I have had the opportunity to speak at length with our staff and external stakeholders on developing a shared vision for the agency. Thank you all for your generous and insightful feedback.


During these discussions, the recurring theme that constantly made its way to the forefront was “how can DCRA better serve its customers?” The answer to this question is directly connected to our ability to dependably meet or exceed customer expectations with convenience and efficiency.


In the very near future, we will embark on a series of initiatives that will focus on moving our processes, technological capabilities and staff toward becoming the convenient and efficient organization that our customers demand.


I believe these initial steps are key adjustments that will lead to long-term sustainable solutions for the agency and its customers. There may be some challenges as we move forward, but I urge you to remain persistent in following our progress.




Ernest Chrappah

Acting Director

Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs


Did You Know?



On January 31st, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) hosted DC ECON UNPLUGGED, a free open house event that highlighted key government, nonprofit and community components that propel the District’s economic engine, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.


Acting DCRA Director, Ernest Chrappah, participated in a panel discussion that discussed the government’s role in contributing to the District’s vibrant, bustling nightlife and fashion scenes.


The event also featured performances from local musicians, dancers and artists. Refreshments were provided by local caterers and restaurants.



Building Plat Acceptance Extension


DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) Office of the Surveyor and the Office of the Zoning Administrator announced that building plats submitted with building permit applications will now be valid for two (2) years. Previously, building plats expired after six (6) months. Building plats must be included when submitting a building permit for exterior work on a property (i.e. building addition, adding a deck). Building plats issued before January 2019 may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine their validity.


Building Plat Acceptance Extension Graphic

Agency Revises Third Party Program Manual 

Third Party Manual Cover Page  


In December, DCRA updated its Third Party Program Manual (TPP). Some of the key improvements to the TPP program included flood plain project allowances for third party inspections, clarification of requirements, removal of the email boxes, the use of the Accela Mobile Office and minor erratum.


The manual also included clarification on when changes from approved plans are observed, who should be notified and requirements for plan revisions. Trainings on the updates will be announced. For additional details, please contact Third Party Program Analyst Robert Simpkins at robert.simpkins@dc.gov


Online Permitting Services


DCRA is your first stop in building a safe home and thriving business as we continue to provide simple solutions that produce safer outcomes. Whatever your pursuit, it Starts Here!


Click here to access our online permitting services that can assist you through the permitting process by allowing you to schedule an appointment, tracking your permit, researching the construction that is occurring in your community, paying and receiving permits, and more. 


These tools are accessible via our website 24/7 or by making a phone call to our office during regular business hours. 


DCRA Online Services Graphic

DCRA Launches Small Biz Workshop for Industrial Trades


On January 15, DCRA’s Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) and Office of Professional Licensing (OPLA) teamed up to host a workshop entitled “Understanding the Licensing Basics for Industrial Trades” held at the 1100 4th Street SW.

The two-hour workshop was attended by dozens of participants and highlighted the functions of several agency divisions and boards including: Board of Industrial Trades, which licenses tradesmen (i.e. plumbers, electricians and heating/ventilation specialist); Business Licensing Division, which regulates business activity in the city by licensing business owners and operators; Corporations Division, which serves as the Office of Corporate Registrar for the District; Investigations Unit, which reviews complaints against businesses and professional licensees; and Permits Division, which approves construction projects in the District.


Understanding the Licensing Basics for Industrial Trades Workshop Graphic

Event Recaps

DCRA Attends 20th Annual Senior Celebration


On December 12th, approximately 4,000 seniors were feted by Mayor Bowser at the 20thAnnual Senior Holiday Celebration hosted by the DC Office on Aging (DCOA) and held atthe DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol Street, SE.


The free event featured music, dancing and food for attendees. The annual event provides seniors with an opportunity get information about the variety of services available to them from District government agencies.


DCRA provided attendees with details on the services available to assist them.


SBRC & Community Outreach Attend Annual Senior Ball

Legendary Jazz Musicians Health Fair


On January 26th, the DC Office on Aging and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities teamed up for the first ever Legendary Jazz Musicians Health Fair held at 200 I Street, SE.


The free event, which featured lived music and health screenings, focused on aging musicians who may be struggling with access to affordable health care and other critical resources.


DCRA informed attendees on its role to protect residents and maintain suitable living conditions.


Legendary Jazz Musicians Health Fair Photos

St. Martin Health Fair


On January 27th, members of the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 1908 North Capitol Street NW, held their annual parish health fair which included several District government agencies and community-based organizations.


More than 60 parishioners and community residents attended the free event. DCRA informed attendees on its role to protect residents and maintain suitable living conditions.


St. Martin's Health Fair Photos

Mayor Bowser’s Employer Engagement 100 Program


On January 28th, Mayor Muriel Bowser led a discussion with some of the city’s top 100 employers on how working together can drive economic growth.


The Employer Engagement 100 Program, an initiative piloted by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP), proactively engages with District-based businesses and institutions to foster worthwhile relationships and offer resources to succeed in the city’s economy.


DCRA was invited to share its vision and the steps necessary on becoming more efficient and convenient in order to meet customer demands.


Mayor Bowser’s Employer Engagement 100 Program

Permit Operations & Inspections Division Quarterly Stakeholders Meeting


On January 29th, DCRA held its Permit Operations & Inspections Division Quarterly Stakeholders Meeting which highlighted some key operational updates.


Stakeholders received insights on:


  • New updates on the upcoming building code cycle;
  • Issuance of Zoning Guidance #2019-001 for new residential developments in RA-1 and RA-6 zones; and
  • The upcoming DMV Net Zero Energy Coalition Kickoff, a regional green building event in February.


View the recorded event here.


Permit Operations & Inspections Division Quarterly Stakeholders Meeting (January 2019)


This Month’s Livestreams


How to Obtain a Home Child Care Development Training

OSSE and DCRA are working collaboratively to meet the Mayor’s goal of creating 1,000 slots of child care in the District by 2020. This training video is going to be required to be viewed by child care providers who will be applying for grant money from OSSE, as a prerequisite for applying for and being awarded a grant.


Permit Operations & Inspections Division Quarterly Stakeholders Meeting

This event features updates on the newest enhancements and changes to the Permit Operations and Inspections Divisions.



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


Upcoming Events


Learn the Process of of Starting a Business at the DC Public Library

Monday, February 4, 2019

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Georgetown Neighborhood Library

3260 R Street, NW

Washington, DC 20007

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46341


Senior Entrepreneurship Program

Thursday, February 7, 2019

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Hattie Holmes Senior Center

324 Kennedy Street, NW

Washington, DC 20011

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46521


Franchising 101

Monday, February 11, 2019

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

1100 4th Street, SW

3rd Floor (Room E-300)

Washington, DC 20024

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46419


ProjectDox Training
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
12:00 – 1:30 PM
Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs
1100 4th Street SW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcraprojectdoxtraining2019.eventbrite.com


Navigating Government Contracting with DCPTAC
Thursday, February 21, 2019
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs
1100 4th Street SW, 3rd Floor, Room E-300
Washington, DC 20024
Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46839 


DOES - Employer Incentives to Support Your Business Goals
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs
1100 4th Street SW, 3rd Floor, Room E-300
Washington, DC 20024
To Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46845



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