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Take Action on this Empty Lot Blighting Kennedy Street NW

This petition had 120 supporters


The empty lot at 809-813 Kennedy Street NW has been a blight on our neighborhood and an impediment to business and community growth for a decade.

-  The lot leaks a constant stream of foul runoff through the adjoining alley, onto the sidewalk, into the storm drain and our water supply. This has been going on for at least four years.

-  The lot is host to trash, exposed metal, and a 7-foot deep, 3-foot wide PVC tube that could be a danger to children. This resulted from tearing down the blighted tenement that the owners previously maintained on the site.

-  The owners already owe nearly $10,000 in back taxes.

-  The lot has been listed for sale at an unrealistically high price for years, allowing the owners to avoid tax penalties for vacant land.

We call on owners, Mayor, and Council to take the following actions:

1. That the owners of the property, Richard Deeds and Lyle Waldron, immediately proceed to redevelop or sell this property to new owners who will put the space to productive use.

2.  That the Mayor and Council use the legal tools at their disposal to shepherd this property to productive use.

3. That the Mayor, through District agencies on environment and public works, enforce current law and fine the owners for potentially hazardous run-off, untended foliage, litter, and public safety hazards. Relevant DC agencies should test the run-off from the site, and take steps to eliminate the run-off and other prohibited public nuisances and public safety hazards at the owner's expense.

4. That the Council take legislative action to discourage landowners from allowing potentially productive land to lay fallow indefinitely, to enure this does not happen to other DC neighborhoods. Also, property owners shouldn't be able to avoid vacant or blighted property taxes by simply tearing down their vacant and/or blighted structure.

Taking into account their disregard for District tax obligations, public safety, environmental considerations, and general good neighborliness, we believe the owners of this lot have forfeited their right to have any determinative influence on how our community develops, now and in the future. We would welcome any steps that would help the community to progress with this property under more responsible stewardship.

With our city facing a shortage of housing and this community working hard to promote local business growth, we need what precious little vacant land we have to be put to good use.

Kennedy Street Development Association



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