If District residents have been waiting ages for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to halt illegal construction in their neighborhoods, it might be because the agency’s inspectors are plenty busy stopping unlicensed work in their own building. As of Jan. 12, a bright-orange stop-work order was posted in a first-floor hallway of the building at 941 North Capitol St. NE, home to DCRA headquarters. The sign, which hung above some exposed copper pipes in the wall, cited a revoked permit. But even if their work was delayed, the transgressors wouldn’t have to spend the afternoon on hold with the agency’s automated phone system: The note’s author suggested they simply head upstairs to Suite 2000 and ask for an inspector. The bit of self-policing impressed at least one citizen, who paused in the hallway last Wednesday to read the notice’s fine print.
“They ticket themselves, even,” he marveled. “That’s pretty good.” —Dave Jamieson