COVID-19 Update - March 25, 2020


Dear DCBIA Community,

We are sharing with you a summary of yesterday's Mayor's Order on Essential Businesses. Please let us know if you are unsure if your business falls in the essential or non-essential as we are compiling a list to bring to the attention of the Mayor. As of right now, if you are not specifically mentioned you should err on the side of caution and protecting the public health.

Today, DCRA held a virtual town hall in response to their need to close their in-person services. On this call, DCRA received a number of questions and will be sharing a comprehensive FAQ as soon as it's ready.

A few initial takeaways from the call:

DCRA 

  • In this telework environment, you are reminded to use the agency's customer relationship management (CRM) tool with any questions you have on any DCRA subject. Add your concern/topic to the subject line.
  • Also use the CRM for raze permits. Responses are expected within 24 hours.
  • The Velocity program is no longer in-person. DCRA intends to continue at same levels and schedule, using a web conferencing tool.
  • Trade permits can be accepted online, including historic.
  • They are working on the recorder of deeds concerns.
  • DCBIA members submitted a number of additional questions. DCRA will provide more answers as their team moves to telework today.
  • DCRA also shared these service updates prior to the call.

DC Water

  • DC Water itself is only performing emergency work. They will not conduct hydrant flow tests. New connections and shut downs will not occur.
  • DC Water will open their offices at Blue Plains, 5000 Overlook, SW beginning on Monday, March 31 for in-person drop off of plans or check payments for invoices or permits. They are only accepting checks at this time. They will also set up a mail or FedEx option at the Overlook location.
  • Reviewers are available to you remotely.
  • Questions: (202) 646-8600.

DDOT

  • All DDOT employees are currently telecommuting.
  • On-line payments can be made through TOPs. Checks can be dropped off at 1101 4th Street NW (OCFO offices), directly across the street from DCRA's building.
  • No parking signs can be printed and picked up at MPD stations.

DOEE 

  • DOEE encourages all to continue to reach out to them through their reviewers who will be working remotely.
  • They are working on an electronic way for declaration of convenants filed for stormwater, particularly the last step at recorder of deeds which is usually done in person. One option noted on the call is to use https://www.deeds.com/forms/ which can file for $15.
  • Continue to contact Nakia Barnes at DCRA, 202-309-5812, for walk-through permits.

It's clearly been a tough few weeks and the longer this outbreak lasts and impacts our daily lives, the more questions we all have. We are all in this together! DCBIA Executive Committee member Richard Lake put it this way today in the Washington Business Journal:

“Building owners are not designed to have all their income evaporate either,” said Richard Lake, founding principal of Roadside Development LLC. “Landlords need to help tenants and banks need to help owners. We all need to think about this as if we’re in it together. If everyone is thinking about their own, narrow interests, we will make a difficult problem much, much worse than it ever had to be.”

I can't agree more. We are focused on our health and our future. The city continues to do its best to respond to this evolving outbreak. DCBIA will also continue to encourage healthy and safe protocols while development projects remain open.

See below for more updates including summaries of the historic federal relief package on its way to a Senate vote.

Take care of yourself and each other.

Best,

Image

Chief Executive Officer

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