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Court to Hear Boys Town Appeal

The D.C. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments today on whether a proposed Girls and Boys Town facility at Potomac and Pennsylvania avenues Southeast will move forward as planned.

The Boys Town appeal comes on the heels of a May 2002 decision by the Board of Zoning Adjustment in favor of the Southeast Citizens for Smart Development, a residents’ group that had sought the repeal of community-based residential facilities building permits for four youth care homes at Potomac Avenue Southeast. SCSD maintains that the four houses should be considered part of one structure and that they therefore violate District zoning laws.

If the court rules against the Omaha, Neb.-based organization, Boys Town will need to seek a special exception from the BZA to proceed.

In related news, the BZA last week ruled that three of the four houses built by Boys Town as single-family homes met the requirements for a single-family permit. The SCSD had appealed an earlier Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs decision to convert Boys Town’s original building permits to single-family home permits. Boys Town had sought the conversion after the BZA’s May 2002 ruling against them.

SCSD has not yet decided whether it will appeal that decision, said Ellen Opper-Weiner of SCSD.

— Bree Hocking

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