Public Meetings on Zoning Regulation Revisions Being Held

Planning's draft transit zone map showing walkability to modes of transit.

Planning’s draft transit zone map showing walkability to modes of transit.

One issue I’m trying to get my head around is the zoning regulation revisions that the Office of Planning has proposed. The revisions are currently in the middle of the community review and feedback process and are the first major revisions to the D.C. Zoning Code since 1958.

According to the flyer announcing the eight public Ward meetings on this, “The Zoning Regulations themselves need substantial revision and reorganization, ranging from new definitions to updated development and design standards, and even new zones.” The meetings for Ward 6 and 2 have already been held. The Ward 8 meeting is tonight and the Ward 1 meeting will be on January 5th at 10 a.m. The location has yet to be determined.

Other meetings are scheduled for:

  • January 8 (Ward 3)
  • January 9 (Ward 5)
  • January 12 (Ward 7)
  • January 16 (Ward 4)

All meetings will be the same and all are open to the public.

The Office of Planning has been working on revisions and reorganization of the zoning regulations for the last four years. With input from a task force, topic-focused working groups, and numerous community meetings, as well as general guidance from the Zoning Commission, the Office of Planning has prepared draft proposals for modernizing the zoning regulations.

Based on my limited exposure to the revisions, it sounds like one of the most significant proposed changes to the code will be on area parking. To use the proposed development at the corner of Otis Place and Georgia Avenue as an example, current zoning indicates that it should provide 1 parking space for every 2 living units it builds. As residents know, the developer has applied for relief from this requirement. However, in the Office of Planning’s proposed zoning revisions, the property would not be required to include any parking. This would be due to the property’s location within a transit area that has bus and Metro access. The Office of Planning has been handing out a four page flyer at its public meetings on transit zones which includes additional details on them and two maps (one of them above).

If nothing else, its clear that a rewrite of the D.C. Zoning ordinance is complex. I hope people interested in this will attend the public meeting on January 5th. I know I will — and I will definitely be reporting back to the community.

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