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“Dwelling in the Past” (11/1). How ironic! How distorted! How missing-the-point! Making an urban hero out of Larry Quillian, who:

* for over 30 years allowed his properties to decay, imposing an enormous burden on his neighbors and the community;

* knew the rules, buying the shotgun house long after the historic district was created;

* has held off developing his Pennsylvania Avenue properties, hoping

to make a killing through demolition by neglect and getting exceptions to the regulations;

* asks for sympathy because he wants to use the shotgun-house

property for a commercial driveway for trash trucks, delivery vehicles, and parking access (despite the fact that he has a curb cut on Pennsylvania Avenue);

* tells the world he won’t spend a dime to respect his neighbors or mitigate the problems.

Some hero. The shotgun-house saga is really about rewarding greed and scofflaw behavior. And about government inaction to preserve community values.

Capitol Hill