We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


A wealthy and well connected white developer has to return thousands of dollars to tenants after he illegally charged them for water. 

According to a settlement reached with the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, developer Chris Donatelliagreed to pay $450,000 back to current and former tenants of the Park 7 Apartments in Northeast because he charged more than 470 of them for water despite lease agreements saying that utility was included in their rent. 

But as City Paper’s Mitch Ryals notes, the District government is still working with Donatelli. 

“The announcement comes two days after the D.C. Council awarded Donatelli Development a $47 million subsidy to build permanent supportive housing in Hill East for residents leaving homeless shelters,” writes Ryals. The multimillion-dollar contract was granted even after public outcry

Park 7 tenants have previously raised concerns about terrible living conditions, dating back to at least October 2018. Mouse, roach, and bed bug infestations and chronic leaks and water damage led tenants to threaten to withhold rent at one point if conditions did not improve. When Ryals visited Park 7 tenants over the summer, a light fixture in the room where residents gathered fell from the ceiling in the middle of a community meeting. 

Donatelli faulted the management company for the illegal water charges. He personally took over management of Park 7 in February. But advocates with Stomp Out Slumlords, who have called a lot of attention to Park 7 residents on social media, don’t think that’ll change much. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • The agency in charge of St. Elizabeths Hospital still doesn’t know what caused the bacterial contamination that led to a month-long water crisis. [WCP

  • ICYMI: Thanks to stricter city government rules, a very pregnant woman experiencing homelessness was turned away after requesting emergency shelter. [WCP

  • Poll: Slight majority wants Mayor Muriel Bowser to run for a third term. But more than 70 percent of wealthy white residents think D.C. is going in the right direction while fewer than half of lower-income black residents think so. [Post]

  • Workers to WMATA: End privatization [WAMU

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • D.C. ethics board could reopen its investigation into Ward 2 CouncilmemberJack Evans. [Post]

  • There are enough allegations against Evans to keep the ethics board’s entire staff busy. [Twitter]

  • Arts commission grants Mayor Bowser access to the city’s art collection. [WAMU

  • At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds stands in the way of rent control reform. [DC Line]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • DC9 is reviving the famed Palenaburger throughout the month of December. [WCP]

  • The Commodore couldn’t negotiate a lease agreement and will close on Nov. 30. [WCP]

  • Union Pub provides specials for journalists working the impeachment hearings. [Washingtonian

  • Read this before opening your own food truck. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, byKayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Workplace comedyWhite Pearlshines at Studio Theatre. [WCP]

  • Staying in town for Thanksgiving? Here’s what you can do this week. [WCP]

  • The new bookDemocracy’s Capital: Black Political Power in Washington, DC, 1960s–1970s examines the dynamic between local and federal power before the Home Rule Act. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Four players scored in double digits and the Georgetown men’s basketball team upset No. 22-ranked Texas, 82-66, to advance to the finals of the 2K Empire Classic tonight. [Casual Hoya]

  • MLB and the Nationals will premiere a documentary on Dec. 2 at The Anthem detailing the team’s wild World Series run. [WTOP]

  • Tickets for the Washington football team’s game against the Detroit Lions this Sunday at FedExField are going for as low as $4. [WUSA9]

  • The Wizards’ offense is actually, somehow, really good. [SB Nation]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to newsletters@washingtoncitypaper.com.