One woman exiting the DCRA permit center this afternoon wasted no time expressing her displeasure: “This place sucks!” she said. “Fenty sucks!”

She’s an architect whose been dealing with DCRA for five years, and she finds herself here as many as five times a week. And, she says, it’s rarely a quick or pleasant experience. (She doesn’t want to give her name, because of her frequent visits: “Then I’ll be blacklisted!”)

“You have some people who really want to do their job, and you have people who don’t,” she says. And the system, she says, demands some familiarity. Not that that will get you that far: “I know how to navigate the waters, and I’m still frustrated.”

The issues, she says, come down to communications: “Some people have a hard time articulating how to direct the public.”

Some things have certainly improved, the architect says: A new walk-up desk has made review of minor projects—-interior renovations, roof repairs, detail work—-relatively easy.

“But new construction? Ugh! But a new addition? Ugh!