Chapter 1400 of Title 24, District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) sets forth regulations related to the process of closing streets and alleys. When an application is filed, the following information is required:
1. A completed Surveyor’s Office Application Form;
2. A written statement by abutting property owners in support of the application when filing for a closing without a public hearing using Form SA-1.
3. A letter, which describes in detail the purpose and nature of the street or alley
4. A suitable sketch of the proposed closing;
5. The initial $2,750.00* filing fee, made payable to the DC Treasurer, and a hearing fee of $1,287.00* (must be paid before hearing);
6. A completed Retail Tenant Displacement Form;
7. First Source Employment Agreement; and
8. Six sets of the site development plan with a copy of the official street, grade, map or alley grade sheet for the particular street or alley to be closed, whenever the purpose is for the following:
- Assembly of property for subsequent sale
- Office building
- Apartment house
- Multiple building site
- Commercial utilization
- Industrial utilization
- Church affiliated use
- Educational facility
- Enhancement of parking
* INCLUDES 10% ENHANCEMENT FEE.
Completing the Application
1. The application and all required supporting documents shall be filed with the Office of the Surveyor along with the prescribed filing fee. Make checks payable to DC Treasurer.
2. A public hearing is required unless the application is of a category that can be accomplished on the basis of written support by certain property owners. The categories of streets and alleys eligible for this process are stipulated on the application form prescribed for use “without a public hearing”. You must use the appropriate form furnished by the Office of the Surveyor for this purpose.
3. Upon completion of the required review, you will be notified by the Surveyor of the results and given instructions to resolve objections, or to accept conditions set forth by the reviewing agencies or utility companies. You will also be notified of any additional fee that must be paid, based on your application. Any deposits that are required by the reviewing agencies must be paid before the closing plat will be recorded. Applicants will coordinate directly with the responsible agency in making such payment, and must provide evidence of this fact to the Surveyor.
4. Reverting or Vesting of Closed Street or Alley: The reverted street or alley will normally be divided down the middle and vested in the
owner of each abutting property. You should consult with the Surveyor as to the manner and procedure for vesting other than by this general practice.
5. Streets and alleys whose titles are held by the District or the United States Government: Where title to the street or alley, of which all or part is to be closed, can reasonably be determined to be held by the United States or the District, the Council may dispose of the property to the best advantage of the District and may assess the fair market value of the land and the value of the District’s improvements on the land to the person(s) to whom the title to the land is to vest.
6. Contingency: The City Council may make the approval of a closing of all or part of a street or alley
contingent upon any or all of the following:
- The dedication of any other land for street or alley purposes;
- The granting to the District of specific easements for public purposes;
- Any other condition(s) the Council deems necessary.
7. L’Enfant Plan Streets: If the street to be closed is located on the L’Enfant Street Plan, the application will be
reviewed by the Historic Preservation Review Board. The Surveyor will make the referral when processing the application.
8. National Capital Planning Commission: All applications for street and alley closings are reviewed by the National Capitol
Planning Commission except for special cases of alley closings. The Surveyor will make the referral when processing the application. The special cases not requiring referral are as follows:
o All or part of an alley where the width of the alley is 10 feet or less, and the application has been supported in writing by all of the owners of all the property abutting the entire alley;
- All or part of any alley when the application has been supported in writing by all of the record owners of all the property abutting the entire alley, and when land in the same square is concurrently provided for alley purposes by dedication.
- All or part of any alley when:
- The closing is supported in writing by all of the owners of the property in
- The alley, all or part of which to be closed, is located entirely within 2/3 of
the square owned by the persons supporting the closing; and
- The owners propose to develop the entire area of the square which they
- All or part of any alley when the District or the United States holds title to all of the
property abutting the alley, all or part of which is to be closed.
9. Public Notice Requirements Written Notice, Signs and Certification Applications that Require Public Hearings
At least fifteen days and no more than sixty days prior to a public hearing you are required by law to:
- Give written notice of the date, time and location of the public hearing to all of the owners of all the property on both sides of the block(s) of the street which abuts the block(s) of that street to be closed or which abuts that entire alley. Information about abutting property owners is available at the Office of Real Property Tax of the Department of Tax and Revenue.
- Prepare and post a sign, which indicates the date, time, and location of the public hearing, at each end of the block(s) of that street to be closed or at each entrance from a street to any alley in the square.
- You are also required to certify to the Council of the District of Columbia that the notice has been given. You must provide the Office of the Surveyor with a post office receipt of proof of mailing of the notice to the property owner’s last known address and a photograph of each sign.
- You must pay the prescribed fee for a public hearing before the application will be sent forward to City Council.
- Written Notice, Signs and Certification for Applications that DO NOT require a public hearing at least fifteen days and no more than six months prior to final consideration by the Council of the District of Columbia of proposed legislation to close all or part of a street or alley, you are required by law to:
- Give a written notice of the Council’s intent to consider the proposed legislation to all of the owners of all of the property on both sides of the block(s) of the street or which abuts the alley system. The alley system consists of all alleys in the square;
- Certify to the Council of the District of Columbia that the notice has been given. You must provide the Office of the Surveyor with a post office receipt of proof of mailing of the notice to the property owner’s last known address and a photograph of each sign; and
- Prepare the statement of property owners’ support, which shall be in the format prescribed by the Office of the Surveyor. You are required to obtain an ownership certification in the Office of Real Property Tax of the Department of Tax and Revenue, each sheet of the statement; you should then deliver the certified statement to the Office of the Surveyor.