Handy telephone numbers
For most DC government business,
phone the Citywide Call Center at 202-727-1000 Police: Emergency Calls 911
Non Emergencies 311
Fourth District, 6001 Georgia Ave. NW 202-576 6745
Metro Transit Police emergency 202-962-2121
Metro/Bus & Rail Information 202-637-7000
Rock Creek Park:
Information 202-426 6832
Carter Barron 202-426 6837
Nature Center 202-426 6829
Pierce Mill 202-426 6908
Park Police Substation 202-426-7716
Park Police Emergency 202-619-7300
Report a power outage 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662)
Report an electricity emergency 202-872-3432
Report a natural gas emergency 703 750-1400
Poison Control Center 202-625-3333
The Mayor and the 13 members of the City Council are each elected to four year terms. The Council consists of one member from each of the District's eight wards…four members elected at large…and a chairman elected at large. Council terms are staggered so that not all of the members of the Council are up for election at the same time.
You can connect with all DC government agencies through the Citywide Call Center at (202) 727-1000.
DC residents have no voting representation in the U.S. Congress. No other democracy in the world denies a vote in its national legislature to residents of its capital district. DC voters do elect one non-voting Delegate to the House of Representatives. The currently office holder is Eleanor Holmes Norton. Despite the Delegate’s efforts, members of Congress can—and often do—meddle in District affairs, since they have the power to overturn anything passed by the Council or DC voters…and to enact additional measures applicable only to our city.
If you own your Crestwood property, the amount of property tax you pay is determined by two factors: the city's assessment of the market value of the property and the tax rate set by the City Council. As explained below, you may appeal the amount of your assessment…and you can exempt from taxation a significant amount of the market value of your property if you are eligible to take advantage of programs such as the Homestead Deduction and Senior Citizen Homestead Tax Relief.
In 2005, the City Council approved measures that cap the amount your property tax bill may increase in any one year at 10% (down from the previous 12%)…lower the tax rate to 92 cents per $100 assessed valuation…and increase the Homestead Exemption from $38,000 to $60,000.
Each year, an assessor estimates the market value of your property by looking at actual sale prices of similar properties (called comparables) and at computerized data describing your property and others like it (using CAMA, the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal system). Your assessment notice should be mailed out by March 1.
If you believe your assessment is unfair, appeal. If you don't appeal, you are officially telling the city government that your assessment is fair and that the information on file on your property is accurate. Assessors often have inaccurate information about properties; they may list, for example, too many bedrooms for a property or show that a home has a finished instead of an unfinished basement. Also, since assessors can raise the valuation of properties in an entire neighborhood across-the-board by a certain percentage (a practice that was struck down by a court in September 2005 but is on appeal), an assessment that is too high one year may keep having an impact on your taxes in subsequent years.
To determine how fair your assessment is, look at the comparables yourself. The official DC website includes a searchable database of both property sales and assessments. Assessment rolls are also available in the lobby of the District Building, in the One Judiciary Square building at 441 4th Street NW, and at several city libraries—including Martin Luther King, Mt. Pleasant and Petworth. Libraries also have the Lusk Sales Directory, which lists sale prices of properties. You can also call 727 4829 to contact your assessor and check the data on file for your property…or ask through the CAMA office. Make sure your assessor corrects the record.
To appeal your assessment to the Board of Real Property Assessment and Appeals (202-727 6860), you must file the proper form with the Board on or before April 30. You can include photos and other information, including data you gathered on your own. After the hearing, the Board can decide to keep your assessment where it is, lower it, or even raise it…so you are opening yourself up to some risk by appealing.
If you don't agree with the Board's decision, you must pay the full tax—but you can appeal to D. C. Superior Court.
Paying Your Taxes:
Your property taxes are paid in two installments, due on March 31 and on September 15. If you have a mortgage, your mortgage company may insist on paying the tax for you from a mortgage escrow account…or you may have to make the payment yourself (you can now pay your property taxes on-line on the DC website). Either way, the District should send notices to you…so make sure you know who's paying. It is not unheard of for homeowners and mortgage companies to both send checks for the same tax bill. Of course, you must get the full amount in on time even if your mortgage company forgets or if you never get a bill from the District government. For information or to find out how much you owe, call the Department of Finance and Revenue at 727 6441 or check your property’s status on-line. Late payments incur a ten percent penalty, plus one percent interest for each full or partial month past the deadline.
Homestead and Seniors Homestead Deductions:
If your property is owner occupied, you get to deduct $60,000 from the assessed value of the property before the tax rate is applied. If you have just purchased your home, file for this Homestead Deduction right away to make sure you get tax relief for the entire tax year (which begins in October). Thereafter, homeowners complete a qualifying application every five years.
Homeowners at least 65 years of age may be able to cut their tax bills in half. You can qualify for the Senior Citizen Homestead Tax Relief program if you meet the age requirements…and if the total adjusted gross income of everyone living in the property was less than $100,000 for the prior calendar year. Apply as soon as possible. Once approved, the program remains in place – but you have the responsibility to informing the city if you no longer qualify.
First-time homebuyers in the District may also qualify for a federal tax credit of $2,500 or $5,000.
Let's talk trash
Trash day in Crestwood is every Thursday. Your Supercan and your blue recycling cart should not be put out until after 6 p.m. on Wednesdayevening. Close both of them securely—raccoons are skilled at breaking in. As a courtesy to neighbors, keep the can out of sight at other times. In homes not serviced by alleys, both your Supercan and your recyclables are picked up from the front curb. Otherwise, they go out by the alley.
Whenever there is an official DC holiday during the week, trash day is postponed according to the DC Slide Guide. Try to remember, so that the trash doesn't sit outside for an extra day.
Don’t put yard waste, hazardous materials, large items or recyclable paper, glass and plastic into your Supercan. Instead, pay attention to the information below:
Place recyclable items into the blue cart. It doesn’t matter if they are all in a jumble. Acceptable items include newspapers, office paper, paperback books, mail (although be selective to guard against identify theft), corrugated cardboard, paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.), metal cans, glass containers and narrow-neck plastic bottles. Do not include hardback books, wide-mouth plastic tubs (margarine, peanut butter, yogurt), light bulbs, window glass, glass cookware, Styrofoam, plastic bags (recycle plastic grocery bags at the store you got them from), carryout cartons, salad bar containers, pizza boxes, or bottles that contained toxic chemicals (like motor oil and insecticide).
Yard waste–including bagged leaves, grass clippings, and branches and limbs tied into four-foot lengths--is to be picked up on the same day as your regular trash pick-up. Bags and bundles should weigh no more than 60 pounds.
Vacuum trucks also come by during November and December to suck up fallen leaves. Homeowners are not supposed to rake or blow the leaves from their yard into the street. When they do, roadways are narrowed, water drainage is blocked, wet leaves make streets slick for driving, and some cars may park on top of leaves (which is a serious fire hazard). Please bag your leaves or put them on property next to the street (what the city calls the “treebox space”).
Household hazardous waste is defined as materials that are toxic, corrosive, ignitable or reactive. The Mr. Yuk or skull and crossbones symbols often are present on the labels of hazardous materials, along with words or phrases such as Warning, Danger or Keep Out of Reach of Children & Pets.
Here is a partial list of hazardous materials that should not be put in the trash: oil based paints and stains; solvents, like paint thinner, turpentine and mineral spirits; gasoline and antifreeze; motor oil; brake and transmission fluid; insecticides and pesticides; all kinds of batteries; chemical household cleaners and polishes; lawn, garden and swimming pool chemicals; drain openers; ink; nail polish and polish remover; mothballs; and all strong acids and bases.
The D.C. Department of Public Works publicizes collection days when you can take household hazardous waste or unwanted electronic items to drop off sites, such as Carter Barron Amphitheater. Keep all materials in their original containers so that workers can easily identify what’s inside. They will remove the containers from your vehicle for you.
Bulk Trash Pick Up:
The Department of Public Works collects large, bulky items by appointment (phone the Citywide Call Center at 202-727-1000). Only seven items may be collected at a time. Acceptable bulk items include household furniture, appliances (please remove refrigerator doors!), hot water heaters, air conditioners (empty of all fluids), vacuum cleaners, mattresses, bed frames, and tires and rugs (rolled up and tied).
Fort Totten Transfer Station:
You can also haul your own trash, bulk items and even construction debris (but not hazardous materials) to the citizens’ dump at 4900 Bates Rd. NE, just north of Catholic University. The transfer station is open 1- 5 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am-3 pm on Saturday. The dumpsters for citizens are on the right as you approach the transfer station; commercial haulers go beyond to a larger area.
It can be tricky to find. Take Upshur St. east until it ends. Turn left on Rock Creek Church Rd…then right on Harewood Rd., which will turn into Taylor St. Turn left before crossing the bridge (which goes over the railroad tracks) and go left on McCormick Rd. Then turn left on Bates Rd.
To vote in the District, you must be a resident registered with the Board of Elections at least 30 days prior to the balloting. If you live in Crestwood south of Upshur Street (or on the south side of Upshur), then you are in precinct 47 and you vote at Powell Elementary at 1350 Upshur Street. If you live in Crestwood north of Upshur (or on the north side of Upshur), then you are in precinct 48 and you vote at Sharpe Health School, 4300 13th Street (just north of Upshur).
All pets must be leashed or “otherwise under the immediate control of a person capable of physically restraining it” whenever the animal is off the owner's property. In other words, pets are not allowed to roam freely. The District also has a “pooper scooper” law requiring dog owners to clean up after their pets.
Dogs over the age of four months must be have an annual license and be vaccinated against rabies and distemper. Cats over the age of four months must be vaccinated against rabies. Note that the fee for a dog license is $13 for an animal that is spayed or neutered…but $46 for other dogs.
According to District law, anyone who owns five or more mammals larger than a guinea pig and more than four months old must have an animal hobby permit.
District law places restrictions on noise caused by construction and demolition work in residential zones and on the use of power tools such as mowers and leaf blowers.
Excluding “minor home repairs,” construction work in residential zones is prohibited at all times on Sundays and legal holidays…and may not occur on other days between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Therefore, construction work is allowed in our neighborhood only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday—and even then there is an 80-decibel limit. The “minor home repairs” mentioned above also have a decibel limit of 60 dB from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 55 dB from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Regarding those mowers and blowers, legally they can blast away without limit Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m…and on Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Still, your neighbors may not appreciate it if you or the workers you hire rev up those motors as early as legally acceptable. After 9 p.m., the 55 dB limit kicks in.
|Advisory Neighborhood Commission||See ANC Page|
|Animal Control||See DC Government Webpage|
|Abandoned Vehicles||Department of Public Works|
|City Wide Call Center||202-727-1000 (for DC services)|
|Fire Department (non-emergency)||202-462-1762|
|Hospitals||Washington Hospital Center|
|George Washington Hospital|
|Georgetown University Hospital|
|Libraries||DC Libraries Home Page|
|Metro||Metro Home Page (includes RideGuide)|
|PEPCO||Home Page, Phone: (202) 833-7500|
|Real Property Service Center||DC Government Webpage
|Trash/Snow Removal||Department of Public Works|
|WASA (Water and Sewer)||(202) 787-2000|
|Crestwood Contractor List||http://www.crestwood-dc.org/crestwood-contractor-list (Members Only)|