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Permits - Raze Permit

Bulldozer on top of demolished building

In order to raze a building, the property owner or contractor must first get a raze permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) in order to disconnect utilities and gain further regulatory approvals.

The owner or contractor must also get a supplemental razing operations permit, which approves the razing method and certifies that the utilities have been properly disconnected.

General Information

In order to raze a building, the Property Owner or Contractor must first get a Raze Permit, which starts the process of utility disconnections and further regulatory approvals. The Raze Permit approves the razing method and certifies that the utilities have been properly disconnected. 

Raze Permit fees are assessed based on information you provide; any fee adjustment necessary after field inspection will be assessed on issuance of the Raze Permit. Razing a building before you get a Raze Permit is a violation of the Construction Code and can result in significant fines and penalties.

  • Sidewalk deposits and/or tap bills may be required before Raze Permit issuance. Contact DDOT’s Public Space Management Administration at (202) 442-4670 to get more information.
  • Get the soil erosion package for Raze Contractors from DDOE’s Soil Erosion Unit, located in the Permit Center, to prepare your raze operation plan.
  • A plumbing supplemental permit, obtained by a plumber Registered and Licensed in the District of Columbia, is required for any water/sewer line cap.
  • Fees are required for abandonment of the water/sewer services in the public easement (paved road).
  • You must pay any outstanding water bills before a Raze Permit can be issued.
  • You are required to obtain a sign-off by any adjacent property owners when the raze involves party walls.

Steps to Getting Raze Permit

Step 1. Complete Areas 1-4 and Section A of the Raze Application Package and submit:

  1. Certification for Raze Permit Application
  2. Current Certificate of Insurance – General Liability
  3. Environmental Intake Form (EIF)
  4. Photo(s) accurately depicting premises

Step 2. For residential property, DCRA staff will prepare and forward clearance letters to the Rent Administrator for review and approval.

Step 3. DCRA staff will prepare and give letters to the applicant for the Historic Preservation Review Board and/or the US Commission of Fine Arts, if applicable. The applicant must get the necessary approvals and submit them to the Permit Division.

Step 4. Payment of the Raze Permit fee is required. Fee calculation is based upon the volume of the structure in cubic feet times .02.

Step 5. DCRA staff will prepare and issue clearance letters to the applicant for these agency approvals/sign-offs:

  • DCRA (Construction Inspection) 
  • Department Of Health (Vector Control) 
  • Washington Gas (Utility Cut-Off)
  • DCRA (Plumbing Inspection) 
  • DDOT (Public Space) 
  • WASA (Sewer/water line cut)
  • DDOE (Asbestos Abatement) 
  • PEPCO (Utility Cut-Off)
  • DDOE (Soil Erosion Control) 
  • Verizon (Utility Cut-Off)
  • DCRA Zoning Administration (Overlay Impacts on Site)

Step 6. The applicant is responsible for submitting clearance letters to required agencies, paying any required fees to the agencies, getting written approvals, and returning the originals to DCRA.

Step 7. Before DCRA will issue a Raze Permit, the building(s) must be unoccupied. If the building is still occupied, DCRA will accept and process the Permit Application, but will not issue the Permit until the applicant notifies the Permit Division that the building is vacant.

Step 8. After the applicant has provided all required approved clearance letters, vacated the property, and paid any additional fees as determined by the field inspection, DCRA will issue a Raze Permit granting the applicant the authority to raze the structure by the razing method specified in the Application.

NOTE: DCRA will not issue any Raze Permits before the end of the applicable 30-day Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) notification period unless the raze is necessary due to an emergency.

Razing a building before you get a Raze Permit is a violation of the Construction Code and can result in significant fines and penalties.

Raze Permit Fees and Other Action Steps

Raze Permit fees are assessed based on information you provide:

  • Any fee adjustment necessary after field inspection will be assessed on issuance of the Raze Permit.
  • A plumbing supplemental permit, obtained by a plumber Registered and Licensed in the District of Columbia, is required for any water/sewer line cap.
  • Fees are required for abandonment of the water/sewer services in the public easement (paved road).
  • You must pay any outstanding water bills before a Raze Permit can be issued.
  • You are required to obtain a sign-off by any adjacent property owners when the raze involves party walls.

Insurance Coverage

  1. You must submit a Certificate of Insurance covering the raze operation/contractor – unless the building you plan to raze is an accessory building 500 square feet or less in area and not more than one story, wholly detached from any other building on the same or adjoining premises.
  2. The Certificate should:
  • Show the holder of the insurance as: Deputy Director, Permit Division, 941 North Capitol St NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • Include a 30-day advance notice cancellation clause.
  • Include these amounts of insurance coverage: Bodily Injury, $100,000; Aggregate, $300,000; and Property Damage, $100,000.
  • State that the insurance covers “Razing Operations in the District of Columbia,” if the scope of the insurance is for blanket coverage.
  • If the insurance is for one specific address only, state that, “Razing Operations at _____”
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