Decision Summary HPA No. 91-43
- HPA Number
- Building Name
- Taylor Residence
- 3153 19th St. NW
- Date of Order
HPA Number: 91-43
Name: In Re
Date of Order: 1/14/1992
Date of Case Summary: July 25, 2006
Alice Taylor (the “Applicant”), the owner of the subject premises located in the Mount Pleasant Historic District, appealed the denial of a permit to alter her front porch on the basis of undue economic hardship. According to testimony submitted for the Historic Preservation Division, Applicant proposed building an uncovered porch which would resemble the face of the original, but would not include the distinctive columns and roof of the original, such that the new porch would be inconsistent with the continuous row of covered porches along the remainder of the block. Because Applicant failed to submit the required financial documentation to substantiate economic hardship, and because Applicant failed to provide any evidence substantiating her claim at the hearing, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that Applicant had not met her burden of proof. The Mayor’s Agent ordered that the porch alteration permit not be issued and that Applicant’s application be dismissed.
Mayor’s Agent – Procedural:
• Although Applicant did not file her financial records and written statements prior to the hearing, the Mayor’s Agent allowed the hearing to proceed in the interest of judicial economy.
• Failure to comply with filing requirements of 10 DCMR 2516.4 is “by itself sufficient grounds to deny the appeal.”
The Historic Preservation Review Board determined not to issue the permit for the porch alteration on the grounds that the “porch design is not consistent with the purposes” of the Act. On appeal, Applicant claimed that failure to issue the permit would result in “unreasonable economic hardship” to her. The Mayor’s Agent noted that the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations require that when an Applicant appeals on the basis of “economic hardship,” the Applicant must submit financial records and statements to substantiate the economic hardship at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing. (10 DCMR 2516.4(a)(1).) Applicant failed to submit her financial records and written statements prior to the hearing and failed to submit substantial evidence concerning economic hardship at the hearing. The Mayor’s Agent twice agreed to extend the deadline for filing of these financial records, but Applicant still failed to submit the required documentation. The Mayor’s Agent concluded that Applicant had failed to sustain her burden of proof as required by 10 DCMR 2516.4(a).
Relying on the testimony of a Historian for the Historic Preservation Division, the Mayor’s Agent determined that “[p]orches are one of the important features of the [Mount Pleasant] neighborhood, which is part of why the Historic Preservation Review Board made it the Historic District in the first place.”
The Mayor’s Agent quoted testimony from the Historian against the proposed porch design, who explained that “the subject property is one of a continuous row, which are defined by the covered front porches” and that Applicant’s proposal for a partial front porch, which would not include the distinctive columns and roof of the original porch, “would adversely affect the appearance of the residence and its surroundings by introducing a new form.”