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Making it Easier for DCRA Customers: Improvements Made to Key Services

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
DCRA TO LAUNCH STREAMLINED DECK PERMITTING APPLICATION AND DECK GUIDE FOR HOMEOWNERS

For residents who own one- and two-family dwellings who want to construct a single-floor deck, permitting for this type of project just got easier.

As part of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) on-going efforts to streamline our permitting processes and make it easier for homeowners to improve their homes, the DCRA Homeowner’s Center will launch a new Deck Permit Application and Deck Guide on Monday, August 10.

Customers Are Empowered and Save Money

The Deck Guide was created as a resource for residents looking to design their decks without the help an architect or engineer. While you certainly can hire a professional, our goal was to give you everything you need—saving you time and money.

Customers Are Safer

The Deck Guide has been updated to reflect the most recent construction codes, ensuring that your project will be in compliance with current safety standards.

Customers Move Forward Faster

This streamlined process will save you time when you submit plans and apply for a permit. Once applications have been submitted and accepted, customers can have permits in hand in as little as 2-3 business days (3-5 days for deck plans that don’t utilize the Deck Guide).


BASIC BUSINESS LICENSE PORTAL GETS AN UPGRADE

The My DC Business portal, through which business owners manage their business licensure, reporting and renewals will be upgraded to a Wizard-based system to more easily guide business owners through the process.


EXPANDED SCOUT SEARCHES

Scout, our consolidated data system, allows customers to research property details including permitting and inspection activity, regulatory and enforcement action, business licensing information and other information on any specific address within the District.

As of Monday, August 10, Scout will be upgraded to:

  1.     Allow search results to be downloaded
  2.     Add housing code inspection results, including violations and repairs
  3.     Add vacant building survey results, identifying vacant and blighted buildings through the District
  4.     Include a review of tasks and comments on Certificates of Occupancy

To learn more about Scout, please check out the Help page to view a video and User Guide about the consolidated data system.


OFFICE OF THE ZONING ADMINISTRATOR: PROCESS AND WEBSITE IMPROVEMENTS

dcra.dc.gov Enhancements We are working hard to improve the display of information. Greater online access to all services will aid customers in finding documents easier and enable simpler searches of zoning related topics. Customers with large-scale residential and commercial projects will be able to file their plans easier and get started on their projects faster.

Requesting Zoning Compliance Letters A Zoning Compliance Letter is obtained from the Office of the Zoning Administrator and responds to questions about property addresses' zoning district, Certificate of Occupancy, uses, etc.

While the previous process was manual, a new online process for obtaining a Zoning Compliance Letter is being added. The new process will allow applicants to:

  1.     Conveniently make requests online
  2.     Receive their Zoning Compliance Letter electronically in as little as 3 business days once DCRA has conducted its initial review and accepted the request
  3.     Pay the nominal fees online:
  •     $25 fee for a single lot request, plus $2.50 Enhanced Service Fee
  •     $100 fee for multiple lots, split zone, or multi-residential use requests, plus $10.00 Enhanced Service Fee

To make the improvements to our systems and bring these benefits to our customers, dcra.dc.gov will be available, but our online systems will go down on Friday at 7 PM, August 7 through 8 PM on Sunday, August 9.  We apologize for the inconvenience.