Posted tagged ‘Office of Planning’

Introducing Ward 1’s New Community Planner — Joshua Silver

July 15, 2014
Josh Silver, the Office of Planning's new Community Planner for Ward 1

Josh Silver, the Office of Planning’s new Community Planner for Ward 1, at the GACDTF meeting.

Since the departure of Tarek Bolden from the Office of Planning last year, Ward 1 has been without a permanent Community Planner. That changed on June 2, 2014, when Josh Silver was hired to take on the roll. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Mr. Silver twice. Not only did he attend and introduce himself at the July 14th Georgia Avenue Community Task Force meeting, but he also joined me on a walk through the Park View community on Saturday morning, July 12th. We walked a good amount of the neighborhood and Josh took several notes on his observations of our planning challenges.

My initial impression is very favorable. While his background is impressive, what I like most is how engaged he is. Much of the outreach he has done so far has been self-initiated. With just over a month in the role, he has already done a significant amount of outreach and values communication and accessibility, meaning he is approachable and interested in partnering with the community on our planning challenges.

As you can read from his bio posted on the Office of Planning Web site and below, I’m also encouraged by his experience with historic preservation.

Bio from the OP Web site:

Mr. Silver comes to the DC Office of Planning from the Montgomery County Planning Department of the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission, where he worked for seven years in the Historic Preservation Section. His work at the planning department focused on historic preservation, design review analysis, and land use planning. Mr. Silver holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Mr. Silver is a District resident and looks forward to serving the residents of Ward 1 and commuting to work by bicycle.

I’m looking forward to working with Josh in the coming year — especially as the District’s Comprehensive Plan is revisited next year.

OP’s Summary of the Zoning Regulations Review Amendments and Their Impact on Our Neighborhood

March 10, 2014

Late last week I received a summary of how the proposed Zoning Regulations Review (ZRR) amendments would impact ANC 1A from the Office of Planning (OP). It is my understanding that OP has sent such a summary to each Advisory Neighborhood Commission, so if you live in a different area of town you may want to reach out to your Commissioner or OP directly.

According to OP, the summaries provides a bit of background on the ZRR process and a description of current and next steps, but they mostly address the question “what is of relevance to my ANC?”  Topics covered include zone naming, including a list of zones in each ANC (page 7); use permissions; low density residential; parking; accessory apartment; alley lot; corner store; commercial zoning; industrial zoning; downtown; and campus / school plan proposed provisions.  Maps are included to help one locate where various provisions would, or would not, apply within the ANC. I’ve posted a copy of the report below for those interested in reading the summary.

ZRR screen shot

Based on my review of the summary, the following proposals of the ZRR would apply to the neighborhood:

  • Front-yard setbacks, which would help ensure new development is consistent with existing street character would be established in R-4 zones;
  • Incentives to “fill in” narrow courts and side yards in rowhouse zones  would be eliminated;
  • For areas close to the Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue Metro stations, and along the 16th Street, 14th Street, and Georgia Avenue metro bus corridors, parking would still be required for new construction, but requirement would be reduced by 50%;
  • In the R-4 zoned areas, a flat, or two units, is already permitted. The proposal would allow the second unit to be in a separate accessory building on the lot, subject to access conditions; and,
  • Corner stores would be allowed in R-4 zones. Currently, only grandfathered corner stores are allowed as it is not a permitted use. In Park View, there would be little to no impact as most of the corner stores operating in 1950 are still operating today.

According to OP, the summary is based on the version of the proposed text set down by the Zoning Commission (ZC) on September 9, 2013 for public hearing.  A paper copy of the September 9th version is available at each DC public library, with our closet location would be the Petworth Library.  Copies of the full text are also available on our ZRR website ( and the Office of Zoning website (

Each summary has also been uploaded to the OP ZRR website with a notice on the OP blogsite, and uploaded to the on-line Office of Zoning record for this case (08-06A).

Anyone with questions or comments on OP’s ZRR proposals should feel free to contact OP at or 202-442-7600. There are still a few open houses that OP is holding in March. The dates and times are below. Again, notice that the next meeting is Tuesday night at the Petworth Library.

Date Time Location
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 4:00 – 8:00 PM Petworth Library4200 Kansas AVE NWWashington, DC 20011
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:00 – 8:00 PM Deanwood Recreation Center1350 49th ST NWWashington, DC 20019
Friday, March 14, 2014 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM DC Office of Planning1100 4th ST SW, Suite E650Washington, DC 20024
Saturday, March 15, 2014 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS2427 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SEWashington, DC 20020
Friday, March 21, 2014 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM DC Office of Planning1100 4th ST SW, Suite E650Washington, DC 20024
Friday, March 28, 2014 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM DC Office of Planning1100 4th ST SW, Suite E650Washington, DC 20024

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