Without a registered address, it is not possible to do very much on an un-named alley lot (even if it has a lot/square number) apart from cleaning it up, as no city permits can be granted to a lot without a street address. After five meetings at DCRA, I have formal word from the Chief Building Official that an address shall be assigned to the alley lot. The official address will now allow us to apply for official permitting of perimeter fencing, a storage container, further excavation beyond 50 ft2, and an electric hookup. Great news, and a big thanks to DCRA (who are great folks doing hard work with limited resources).
For the code geeks: the lot is zoned R-3, and the planned fencing, garden installation, lighting, and construction of a garage is fully permitted under current R-3 zoning regs (for buildings, specifically see 11-204 ‘accessory buildings’ and 11-2507 ‘building on alley lots’). DCRA was originally citing 18.104.22.168 (below) as cause to not assign an address to the lot. After further meetings the code official decided that an address could be assigned under 124.6.3 and 124.6.4, given the public welfare benefits this project will convey– the lot is currently unfenced, poorly lit, and a regular source of illegal parking, dumping, and occasional criminal activity– just last week a stolen abandoned vehicle had to be removed from the lot. Relevant sections of DC Code are below.
DC CODE (excerpts)
124.5.2 Street Numbers
22.214.171.124 Every record and tax lot that is legally capable of supporting a structure or a site facility shall have an address regardless of whether the property is occupied or vacant.
126.96.36.199 When a record lot is vacant, but within an existing tax lot that contains a structure or structures, the vacant lot should be assigned the same street number as the tax lot.
188.8.131.52 Every building with an entrance from a public, private street named alley shall have an assigned street number.
184.108.40.206 No street number shall be assigned to a building, site facility or occupancy that has its access onto an unnamed street or alley. If an address is required for an occupancy, structure or site facility in such an instance, the street or alley must first be named according to the process described in Section 124.6.3 below.
124.6.1 The code official shall maintain a master file of assigned addresses and maintain a master address mapping database.
124.6.2 The code official is responsible for determining whether an address is required for any given parcel, structure, site facility or other condition.
124.6.3 The code official may grant a waiver of the business rules contained in this Protocol, based upon the evidence presented, if the code official finds that the waiver:
220.127.116.11 Benefits the public health, safety and welfare;
18.104.22.168 Does not create conflicts or duplicate addresses; and
22.214.171.124 Is in the best interest of the District of Columbia.
124.6.4 The code official is responsible for assigning a new address under the following conditions:
126.96.36.199 A new parcel of land (whether tax lot or record lot) is created through the subdivision process;
188.8.131.52 A new structure is constructed on a vacant property;
184.108.40.206 An existing structure is reconfigured to create additional occupancies or units;
220.127.116.11 A new structure is constructed on property already containing one or more structures that have addresses;
18.104.22.168 A new site facility that is constructed on a property parcel, or right-of-way;
22.214.171.124 An existing structure is renovated to relocate the main entrance to a different street frontage.
124.6.5 The code official, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the E-911 Coordinator shall confer on recommended street names for public streets to ensure that no duplication occurs and that no streets with names that sound alike, or could create confusion for the delivery of emergency and non-emergency services, are created.