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Petworth gas station owner files lawsuit against D.C.

The gas station owner is being blocked from redeveloping the site

Photo via Google Street View

The owner of a Shell gas station in Petworth wants to redevelop the site into a 57-unit condo building, but the owner may have to sue the city first to do so.

The city approved the redevelopment plans in 2006, but the recession delayed the construction, located at 4140 Georgia Avenue NW. It wasn’t until 2014 when the gas station owner tried to sell the estimated $2 million site when he discovered that no one was interested in buying it because of a D.C. law that protects gas stations from being redeveloped. According to WAMU, D.C.-based realtor and developer John Formant has now filed a lawsuit against the city because of the decades-old D.C. law.

While D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh believes the restrictions are necessary, Formant has said that he believes the government is violating the Fifth Amendment.

Attorney General Karl Racine told WAMU that the owner of the gas station could still convert it if he wanted to—that is if he is willing to pay a $20,000 fine for violating the law.

Once A Gas Station, Always A Gas Station? D.C. Sued Over Law Blocking Redevelopment [WAMU]