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D.C. Takes Aim at Illegal Construction

The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has added regular weekend inspections to address illegal construction.

The weekend tours of duty for illegal construction inspections that began in February will enable the department to respond to complaints as they are submitted, officials said.

“Illegal construction affects safety and quality of life for residents and businesses,” said department Director Melinda Bolling. “With weekend inspections, we intend to stop more illegal construction while it’s in progress and strengthen the deterrent against doing it in the first place.”

Agency inspectors will be on duty from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. During those hours, residents should call 202-442-STOP (7867) to report any observed or suspected illegal construction through a voicemail.

When illegal construction is found, the department sanctions the offender through stop work orders and citations. A stop work order prohibits a permit holder from performing any additional work until the order is lifted. The most significant citations for illegal construction carry $2,000 per-violation fines.

“The bottom line is that illegal construction—no matter the day of the week—will not be tolerated,” Bolling said. “We encourage members of the community to report illegal construction to us when they see it, so that we can put a stop to it as quickly as possible.”

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