Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Due Process Demolition.


§ 42–3173.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.

(2) “Deteriorated structure” means a structure that:

(A) Is unoccupied;

(B) The Mayor has determined:

(i) Constitutes a threat to the public health, safety, or welfare; or

(ii) Contributes to the deterioration or dilapidation of the community in which the structure is located; and

(C) Violates one or more provisions of the District of Columbia Construction Codes, as defined in subsection 101.2 of Title 12A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (12A DCMR § 101.2), or the District of Columbia Housing Code, set forth in Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (14 DCMR § 100 et seq.).

(3) “Enclose” means to use barricades, boards, fences, or other means to preclude access, including access by environmental elements, to a structure or site.

(4) “Interested party” means, with respect to a deteriorated structure:

(A) An owner, as recorded in the real estate tax assessment records of the District of Columbia;

(B) A titleholder, as reflected in the records of the Recorder of Deeds; or

(C) A lienholder, as reflected in the records of the Recorder of Deeds.

(5) “Site” means the deteriorated structure and the lot or lots on which the structure is located.

(6) “Sufficient action” means the action specified by the Mayor pursuant to § 42-3173.05(a)(8).

(7) “Unoccupied” means not occupied by an owner or a tenant, as defined in § 42-3501.03(36).


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 441; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 29(c), 49 DCR 8140.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-213, in par. (6), substituted “§ 42-3173.05(a)(7)” for “§ 42-3173.05(a)(8)”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to D.C. Law 14-114, the “Housing Act of 2002”, see Mayor’s Order 2003-39, March 21, 2003 ( 50 DCR 2508).


§ 42–3173.02. Authority of the Mayor to demolish or enclose deteriorated structures.

(a) The Mayor may determine whether any structure in the District of Columbia is a deteriorated structure.

(b) The Mayor may demolish or enclose a deteriorated structure if:

(1) The Mayor takes the actions required by §§ 42-3173.03 and 42-3173.04;

(2) A notice of initial determination is prepared and posted under § 42-3173.05;

(3) An interested party does not take sufficient action by the latest of:

(A) Thirty days after the notice of initial determination is mailed;

(B) Thirty days after the notice of initial determination is published; or

(C) A date specified by the Mayor which is not earlier than the date specified in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph;

(4) A notice of final determination is prepared and posted under § 42-3173.07; and

(5)(A) A petition for review challenging the final determination has not been filed under § 42-3173.09 within the time period specified by § 42-3173.09; or

(B) A petition for review challenging the final determination has been filed under § 42-3173.09 within the time period specified by § 42-3173.09, and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or other court of competent jurisdiction has issued an order authorizing the Mayor to act, enters final judgment against the petitioner, or dismisses the petition.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 442; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)


§ 42–3173.03. Redevelopment feasibility analysis.

(a) Prior to posting, mailing, publishing, or filing a notice of initial determination of a deteriorated structure under § 42-3173.05(b), the Mayor shall request from the Department an analysis of the cost of rehabilitating the structure and the feasibility and likelihood that the site will be redeveloped without demolition of the structure. Upon requesting the analysis, the Mayor shall cause notice of the request to be published in the District of Columbia Register. The Mayor shall consider the analysis provided by the Department in determining whether to issue a notice of initial determination under § 42-3173.05.

(b) If the Department does not provide an analysis to the Mayor within 60 days after the Mayor requests an analysis under subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor may post, mail, publish, or file the notice of initial determination under § 42-3173.05(b).


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 443; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.02 and § 42-3173.05.


§ 42–3173.04. Designation of potential historic structure.

(a) Prior to posting, mailing, publishing, or filing a notice of initial determination under § 42-3173.05(b), the Mayor shall file with the Historic Preservation Review Board a notice which shall include the following information:

(1) The address of the deteriorated structure or, if the address is not available or does not adequately describe the location of the structure, a description of the location of the structure that is sufficient for its identification;

(2) A photograph of the structure clearly documenting the appearance of the structure and its immediate surroundings; and

(3) A statement that the Mayor intends to make a determination that the structure is a deteriorated structure.

(b) Within 60 days after receiving the notice from the Mayor, the Historic Preservation Review Board shall make a preliminary determination whether or not there is a substantial possibility that the structure is eligible for designation as a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district.

(c) The Mayor shall not issue a notice of initial determination under § 42-3173.05 and shall not demolish a structure under this subchapter unless:

(1) The structure is not a historic landmark, a contributing building in a historic district, or a structure for which the Historic Preservation Review Board has made a preliminary determination that there is a substantial possibility that the structure is eligible for designation as a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district;

(2) The structure is a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district, or the Historic Preservation Review Board makes a preliminary determination that there is a substantial possibility that the structure is eligible for designation as a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district, and:

(A) The Mayor determines, pursuant to the procedures and standards of subchapter I of Chapter 11 of Title 6, that demolition of the structure is necessary in the public interest, as provided in § 6-1104(e); or

(B) The Mayor intends to enclose, but not demolish, the structure; or

(3) The Historic Preservation Review Board does not make a determination under subsection (b) of this section within 60 days after receiving the notice filed by the Mayor under subsection (a) of this section, and the structure is not a historic landmark or a contributing structure in a historic district.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 444; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.02, § 42-3173.05, and § 42-3173.07.


§ 42–3173.05. Initial determination of deteriorated structure.

(a) If the Mayor determines that a structure is a deteriorated structure, the Mayor shall prepare a notice of initial determination which shall include the following information:

(1) The address of the deteriorated structure or, if the address is not available or does not adequately identify the location of the structure, a description of the location of the structure that is sufficient for its identification;

(2) A statement that the Mayor has determined that the structure is a deteriorated structure and the basis for the Mayor’s determination;

(3) A description of the analysis of the Department under § 42-3173.03 and a statement regarding the Mayor’s consideration of the analysis or, if no analysis was provided, a summary of the Mayor’s reason for issuing the notice of initial determination absent the analysis;

(4)(A) A statement that the structure is not a historic landmark, a contributing building in a historic district, or a structure for which the Historic Preservation Review Board has made a preliminary determination that there is a substantial possibility that the structure is eligible for designation as a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district; or

(B) A statement that the structure is a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district or the Historic Preservation Review Board has made a preliminary determination under § 42-3173.04 that there is a substantial possibility that the structure is eligible for designation as a historic landmark or a contributing building in a historic district, and a statement that:

(i) The Mayor has determined, pursuant to the procedures and standards of subchapter I of Chapter 11 of Title 6, that demolition of the structure is necessary in the public interest, as provided in § 6-1104(e); or

(ii) The Mayor intends to enclose, but not demolish, the structure;

(5) A statement that the Mayor intends to demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure if an interested party does not take sufficient action within 30 days after the mailing or publication of the notice, whichever is later;

(6) If the Mayor intends to demolish the structure, a statement describing why the Mayor intends to demolish, rather than enclose, the structure;

(7) A statement that the Mayor shall not demolish or enclose the structure if sufficient action is taken within 30 days after the mailing or publication of the notice, whichever is later;

(8) A description of the action which, if taken, shall be considered sufficient action; and

(9) A summary statement of the final determination procedure and judicial review provided by this chapter.

(b) After the notice is prepared under subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor shall:

(1) Post the notice on the deteriorated structure;

(2) Mail the notice to all interested parties by certified mail, return receipt requested;

(3) Publish the notice once in a newspaper of general circulation in the District of Columbia;

(4) Publish the notice in the District of Columbia Register.

(5) Transmit the notice to the advisory neighborhood commission in which the structure is located; and

(6) File the notice with the Recorder of Deeds.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 445; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.01, § 42-3173.02, § 42-3173.03, § 42-3173.04, § 42-3173.06, and § 42-3173.07.


§ 42–3173.06. Action by interested parties.

Interested parties shall have 30 days after the mailing or publication of the notice under § 42-3173.05, whichever is later, to take sufficient action.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 446; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.07.


§ 42–3173.07. Final determination of deteriorated structure.

(a)(1) If sufficient action has not been taken within the 30-day period of § 42-3173.06, the Mayor shall prepare a notice of final determination.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor may revoke the notice of initial determination or hold in abeyance further action under this subchapter if, prior to the end of the 30-day period, an interested party:

(A)(i) Submits to the Mayor a written plan for the prompt completion of the sufficient action; and

(ii) The Mayor approves the plan with or without conditions; or

(B) Submits to the Mayor written reasons why the Mayor should not take the action specified in § 42-3173.05(a)(5); provided, that, in such case, the Mayor may also amend the notice of initial determination.

(3) The Mayor may extend the 30-day period for 30 days or less upon the written request of an interested party and for good cause shown.

(b) The notice of final determination shall be prepared within 30 days after the end of the 30-day period or within 30 days after the end of any extension of the 30-day period.

(c) The notice of final determination required by subsection (a) and (b) of this section shall include:

(1) The address of the deteriorated structure or, if the address is not available or does not adequately identify the location of the structure, a description of the location of the deteriorated structure that is sufficient for its identification;

(2) A statement that the Mayor has determined that the structure is a deteriorated structure and the basis for the Mayor’s determination that the structure is a deteriorated structure;

(3) The date or dates on which the notice of initial determination under § 42-3173.04 was posted, mailed, published, and filed;

(4) A statement that sufficient action was not taken within the specified time period;

(5) A statement that the Mayor intends to demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure; and

(6) A statement that interested parties have 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice of final determination to file a petition for review in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia seeking judicial review of the Mayor’s final determination and that the filing of the petition shall stay final action by the Mayor to demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure until a judicial order is entered.

(d) After the notice of final determination is prepared, the Mayor shall:

(1) Post the notice on the deteriorated structure;

(2) Mail the notice to all interested parties by certified mail, return receipt requested; and

(3) File the notice with the Recorder of Deeds.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 447; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 29(d), 49 DCR 8140.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.02 and § 42-3173.09.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-213, in subsec. (a)(2)(B), substituted “§ 42-3173.05(a)(5)” for “§ 42-3173.05(a)(4)”.


§ 42–3173.08. Duty of Mayor to demolish or enclose deteriorated structure.

(a) If a petition for review is not filed under § 42-3173.09 within the time period specified in § 42-3173.09, the Mayor shall demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure within 120 days after the notice of final determination has been mailed or filed, whichever is earlier.

(b) If a petition for review is filed under § 42-3173.09 within the time period specified in § 42-3173.09, the Mayor shall demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure within 120 days after the court issues an order authorizing the Mayor to act, enters final judgment against the petitioner, or dismisses the petition.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 448; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)


§ 42–3173.09. Judicial review of final determination.

(a) Within 30 days after the date of the mailing of the notice of final determination under § 42-3173.07, an interested party may file a petition for review in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia challenging the final determination.

(b) If a petition has been filed under subsection (a) of this section and the Mayor has been served with the petition, the Mayor shall not demolish or enclose the deteriorated structure under the authority of this subchapter until the court issues an order authorizing the Mayor to act, enters final judgment against the petitioner, or dismisses the petition.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 449; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3173.02 and § 42-3173.08.


§ 42–3173.10. Recovery of costs by the District of Columbia.

(a) Within 120 days after a deteriorated structure is enclosed or demolished under this subchapter, the Mayor shall determine the total costs incurred by the District to bring about the demolition or enclosure. The total costs shall:

(1) Include all reasonable costs, including administrative costs;

(2) Include the cost of repairing damage to adjoining premises; and

(3) Be reduced by the amount, if any, received from the sale of old material.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall assess the total costs determined under subsection (a) of this section as a tax on the lot on which the deteriorated structure stands or stood.

(2) A tax assessed under this section may be paid without interest within 60 days after the date the tax is assessed. Interest of 18% per annum shall be charged on the unpaid portion of the tax, if any, and interest on the unpaid portion of the tax shall accrue from the date the tax was assessed.

(3) If a portion of the tax assessed under this section remains unpaid one year after the date the tax was assessed, the property against which the tax was assessed may be sold for the tax or unpaid portion of the tax, with interest and penalties thereon, at the next tax sale in the same manner and under the same conditions as property sold for delinquent general taxes.

(4) In selling a property tax lien under paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Mayor may forgive up to 50% of the amount of any outstanding taxes owed on the property, and may forgive in full any penalties or interest accrued on the taxes owed, if the property is transferred to a low-income household, as defined in § 42-2851.02(10), or a nonprofit housing entity providing housing opportunities to low-income households; provided, that:

(A) The transferee, if a low-income household, shall maintain the property as his or her principal place of residence for at least 5 years;

(B) The transferee, if a nonprofit housing entity, shall:

(i) If the property is developed for homeownership opportunities, require that the homeowner maintain the property as his or her principal place of residence for at least 5 years;

(ii) If the property is developed for rental opportunities, maintain the rental units as units affordable to, and occupied by, low-income, very low-income, or extremely low-income households for not less than 20 years; and

(C) The transferee shall complete rehabilitation of the property within 18 months after the property is transferred.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 450; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)


§ 42–3173.11. Use of funds; deposit of funds.

(a) Amounts collected by the District of Columbia under this subchapter shall be deposited into the fund established by § 42-3131.01(b)(1).

(b) Amounts in the fund established by § 42-3131.01(b)(1), may be used to pay the costs incurred by the District to demolish or enclose a structure under this subchapter.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 451; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)


§ 42–3173.12. Nature of remedies.

The remedies set forth in this subchapter shall be cumulative and not exclusive.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 452; as added Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 102, 49 DCR 1468.)