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Neighbors, ANC Support Raze Permit for Dent Place Home

The home at 3324 Dent Pl. NW is registered as a blighted property.

Though frustrated by the demise of an historic home, the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission and neighbors of 3324 Dent Pl., NW agreed that a raze permit was the only way to address the blighted property.

Deyi Awadallah of Falls Church, Va. purchased the detached, single-family home in May 2012 for $560,000.

Prior to purchase the home was registered as vacant in July of 2010 and has been on the blighted list since November 2011. In August 2011, a tree fell on the home, crushing the roof and delivering a "deathblow" to the home, as Commissioner Ron Lewis described it.

Neighbors showed up in force at the meeting to request an immediate demolition, even though there are no building plans proposed.

Dik Saalfeld described a scenario of neglect, vermin, mosquitoes and general blight.

The structure has "gaping holes" in the side and it can really not be considered a house anymore, explained Saalfeld.

"The house has ceased to exist as a habitable unit," he said. No amount of work would be able to "save that dump," he said in explaining his support for the raze application.

Lewis said the situation was "frustrating" and the home's decline "looks like classic demolition by neglect."

"It would not be the right thing to do to save what's left," added Lewis, noting how rare it is for the ANC to approve a raze permit of any sort.

Given the "extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the condition of the property, Lewis proposed a resolution to support the demolition.

"The demolition caused by the tree simply compounded the demolition by neglect in progress at that point to the extent that we do not believe it would be appropriate to attempt to restore this structure," according to the ANC resolution.

The ANC also noted that the "historic merit" of the home should be respected in future development on the site, which should be restricted to similarly the same size, height and setbacks as the original home.

The raze application goes before the Old Georgetown Board Thursday. If it is aproved there, a permit could be issued within several weeks.

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