Decision Summary HPA No. 93-401, 93-402
- HPA Number
- 93-401, 93-402
- Building Name
- Scot Optical and Hong Kong Restaurant
- 1739 Connecticut Ave. NW
1749 Connecticut Ave. NW
- Date of Order
Full Text of Order
Applicant was informed by the U.S. Department of Justice that two tenant stores in its building (a building found to contribute to the Dupont Circle Historic District) were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), since they had steps at their entrances presenting barriers to wheelchair access. Applicant applied for permits to install ramps to come into compliance with the ADA. The Mayor’s Agent denied the permits, concluding the proposed ramps would be inconsistent with the purposes of the Act. He noted, however, that the required action under the ADA, was not readily achievable since the businesses involved were small husband and wife operations that had tried to accommodate disabled people in the past, and that alternate modes of construction would likely force both operations out of business. He also noted a provision of the ADA that permits deference to the preservation of significant historic structures when compliance measures threaten the historic significance of designated buildings.
Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:
The Mayor’s Agent concluded that Applicant’s proposed construction of ramps outside two of its tenant stores located in the Dupont Circle Historic District were inconsistent with the purposes of the Act, adopting the report and recommendation of the Historic Preservation staff and Review Board since the ramps would be a physical and visual intrusion into the Connecticut Avenue streetscape: a streetscape predominantly characterized by small-scale, low-rise buildings.