November 11, 2014

Charlene Nilsen

7220 Blair Road NW

Washington, DC 20012

Dear ANC Members,

Attached please find the information for the proposed garage in our back yard. I have attached the site plan, the drawings and this letter. Please let me know what additional information that you need. Below is the process that led us to the current proposal. I hope it is helpful.

My daughter (Wendy Nilsen), son-in-law (Ed Schelb) and I purchased the home at 7220 Blair Road NW in May 2013. Although it is a beautiful home, we soon found that it had multiple structural flaws that we had to correct. The most essential was a very leaky finished basement, but also plumbing that had been improperly installed, flooring that was dumped over rotten wood and a back yard that was a thin layer of soil covering the concrete and rubble removed from the house. We have taken care of the issues that most affect the house, such as the drainage (interior French drains and parged walls) and the plumbing. We have also worked on the exterior, by installing new gutters, planting traditional plants and by removing rock front the front yard and replanting the lawn. In our work, we found that the back patio dips toward the house and fills with water after a rain. This is causing water damage to the house. We also found out that the rubble from the house’s reconstruction prior to our ownership was all dumped in the back yard and covered by an inch of topsoil. We cannot grow grass nor plant adequately with the large dump of concrete in the back.

The patio issues and the concrete rubble have led us to look at ways to better finish the backyard, both to enhance its functionality and beauty. We decided that we would like to replace the patio with pavers that look like brick and then add a garage for the cars so that they are not parked on the lawn. This decision led us to you.

Attached you will see the site plan and drawing of the proposed changes. The architect Jasmine Ohi, met with Anne Brockett, and we modified the original plans based on her comments. Based on her comments, we are proposing a garage that faces the driveway with pavers in front of it. The drive-facing garage was suggested by Ms. Brockett. The garage would be wood painted to match the house with a carriage style garage door to maintain a consistent feel with the carriage track driveway. In front of the drive would be pavers that again look like brick and match the new patio. The landscaping company would remove all of the concrete and rubbish in the back yard and replace it with topsoil and grass. This should improve drainage on the property, as well as making it look better. Behind the garage will be a retaining wall, again made of brick.

Before beginning on this project, we had discussions with our immediate neighbors. We are now doing a formal survey with our neighbors on their opinions of our proposal and will have this with us at the November 24th meeting.

Thank you in advance for considering this proposal. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.


Charlene Nilsen