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Ten days later, DCRA’s permits chief told Mr. Gray’s attorney the matter would be referred to DCRA’s Inspections Division by the following week if not resolved. On Feb. 24, the permits chief followed up: “Unfortunately, Mr. Gray’s contractor has yet to complete the application process at either DCRA or DDOT.”

Mr. Gray was advised in a March 4 DDOT letter his retaining wall and fence were in violation of D.C. regulations, and that failure to apply for a permit within seven days “could result in a fine of $300 per day,” with more fees if DDOT forces him to remove or alter the fence.