Council Chairman and mayoral hopeful Vincent C. Gray expressed frustration Thursday with his limited options for dealing with the non-regulation fence that surrounds his Hillcrest home.
Gray learned last month from an obscure but powerful city committee that he must lower or relocate the fence because it exceeds the District's 42-inch height limit for fences built in a public right of way.
"I can't cut it down," he said Thursday, "and if I move it back it will be in my living room."
"Short of any appellate process," he added, "I will take it down and lose $12,600."
In a letter to Gray dated June 9, the head of the Public Space Committee said Gray has 30 days to comply with the panel's decision. John Lisle, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation, explained that the fence will be inspected 30 business days from the date of the letter, giving Gray until July 22, if you include the July 4 holiday.
"If the homeowner does not comply, then we can remove the fence and bill him for the costs," Lisle said in an e-mail.
Gray put up the fence two years ago, but it became an issue in December when the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs began asking questions after articles in the Washington Times described the fence. It determined that there was no permit on file.
Decisions by the committee, which is technically overseen by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, are final. But Gray joked Thursday, "Maybe I will appeal to the mayor and see what he says."