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Can Prohibition Ease DC’s Parking Crush?

by Shilpi Paul

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Tenley View, the first building to break the no-parking barrier.

Trying to find street parking in Logan Circle, Columbia Heights or Capitol Hill gets more and more difficult by the week. Multi-family buildings, chopped up rowhouses and an ever-increasing slew of nightlife options mean that the parking space search can turn into a game of musical spaces: there are just not enough spots on the street for every household.

As new residential developments are proposed in the city, developers are taking a new approach to keep the parking problem from getting worse. Specifically, they are prohibiting residents from parking on the street.

A recently proposed micro-unit project in Logan Circle would not have any parking spaces, but to eliminate the extra stress that its tenants would have on street parking in the area, the developers are prohibiting tenants from obtaining a Residential Parking Permit (RPP).

If approved, the Church Street project would join an increasing number of parking-free developments. Douglas Development’s Tenley View (formerly The Bond at Tenley) started the trend when it received the go-ahead to move forward, parking-free, in the fall. Like with the Church Street project, its residents will be prohibited from acquiring RPPs.

Developers going this route seem to fall in one of two categories. One group is taking the gamble that their tenants will be carless folks who use bicycles and public transit to get around and have car2go and Zipcar memberships to use when they need four wheels. Both Tenley View and the Church Street project seem to fall in this group; Douglas’ Paul Millstein is confident that they can find carless tenants, and the Logan Circle project aims to fill its micro-units with the “consumption-weary.”

““There is no doubt in my mind that we will fill the units with 60 people without cars,” said Millstein at an ANC meeting last year. At the time, he stated that Douglas Development is planning to set every resident up with a one-year subscription to Capital Bikeshare, a one-year subscription to Zipcar, and a $50 Metro card.

The other group consists of those hoping to redirect its tenants to existing parking lots with excess space. The 41-unit project that we reported on yesterday in NoMa is a good example. A couple years ago, Cohen Companies built the Loree Grand on the same block with a large parking lot. Now, the lot is sitting half empty, and they are hoping that car owners at the new development will utilize the excess spaces. A proposed church-to-condo conversion in Columbia Heights is also forgoing parking, in the hopes that drivers will utilize the nearby DCUSA parking lot.

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The Church Street project, from the back. Courtesy of Peter Fillat.

When Douglas suggested the solution of prohibiting RPPs, some were skeptical that such a mandate could be enforced. How would the developers know whether or not their tenant covertly requested an RPP from the city? Would the DMV need to monitor each property and each application?

When developer Brook Rose and his team proposed their parking permit ban for the Church Street property, they came to the table with a few solutions in mind: they could periodically check in with the DMV to make sure that none of their tenants had requested a permit, and the RPP prohibition would also be written into the lease, which would be terminated if it was discovered that the tenant had a permit.

Earlier this week, Councilmember Tommy Wells introduced a bill that he is hoping will make this enforcement a bit easier. According to Housing Complex, the proposed bill would allow a property owner to make a particular address ineligible for a permit. This would eliminate the need for developers and building managers to constantly monitor DMV records.

As a Greater Greater Washington discussion noted yesterday, an earlier version of this bill failed because some feel that you can’t forbid a few residents from using a public resource — street parking — that other residents are free to use.

In any case, the city is charging ahead towards a less-car-dependent reality.

In his Sustainable DC plan, Mayor Gray stated that he wants public transit, biking and walking to comprise 75 percent of all commuter trips by 2032. To that end, the city has been investing in car-less transit options: the streetcars (are projected) to start running within a year, car sharing outlets are becoming more prevalent, and BikeShare continues to grow.

The new zoning code revision may also make parking-free developments easier for developers to build. Right now, the code dictates that developers provide a minimum number of parking spaces when building a residential complex.

In the proposed revision, the minimum parking requirement may be removed in certain high-density areas, leaving the number of spaces up to the discretion of the developer. This doesn’t mean that parking will be eliminated; at a recent ANC meeting, a developer of a building filled largely with two-bedroom units said that they will probably build even more parking spaces than zoning dictated, because their residents are likely to be car owners and parking would be a desirable amenity. If the market seems to demand parking, developers would likely see it as a good investment.

But for those who believe they can rent or sell their units without parking spaces, the new code would allow them to do so without gaining special approvals. Currently, the prohibition has come up in negotiations with ANCs and other community groups worried about overstressing an already burdened street parking system; if negotiations are no longer necessary, will developers still feel moved to prohibit RPPs?

To ANC 2F Commissioner Matt Raymond, the proposed solution and ensuing negotiations are a glimpse of the sort of discussions that are likely to become more common.

“Overall, the District is clearly moving in the direction of requiring less parking and providing more multi-modal transportation options, which I think are good things and definitely in step with our urban environment,” he told UrbanTurf. “It’s probably in everyone’s best interests if we start trying to adapt to this new reality sooner rather than later, and that seems to be at least one signal some of these developers are sending.”

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See other articles related to: tenley view, parking, loree grand, church street

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/can_prohibiting_parking_permits_ease_the_parking_crush/7157

40 Comments

  1. eponymous said at 10:36 am on Friday June 7, 2013:

    Are you kidding?! How about we prohibit Maryland and Virginia drivers from parking in our neighborhoods? A commuter tax would also be nice.

  1. Melissa said at 10:45 am on Friday June 7, 2013:

    I think this idea will work fine for the Church Street project as the renters there will live a very New Yorkish lifestyle i.e. more likely to not own cars and more likely to spend time outside their apartment than inside.

    With the Tenley project, I can see it being a bit more difficult to attract tenants, as the neighborhood is far from downtown and more car-oriented.

  1. EmptyNester said at 12:55 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    I know a young woman who lived the past couple of years in Tenleytown with no car.  Red line, buses, walking distance to lots of stuff. 

    But if no one car free will live there, isnt that the developer’s risk to take?

  1. Jason said at 2:16 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    I’m weary of the city allowing any developer or landlord to make a lease contingent on a tenant giving up their legal right, including the right to own a car and obtain an RPP for where they live, and pay taxes and other DMV fees.

  1. Justin S said at 2:31 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    If it’s necessary to get the much-needed buildings built, that’s unfortunate. However, I’d love to see this sort of blatant state-sponsored discrimination tested in court later on… especially if it turns out that all the people being protected happen to be rich white people.

  1. anon_1 said at 3:03 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    it’s not preventing anyone from owning a car—just from obtaining RPP permit.

  1. kob said at 3:26 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    This is really nasty, rotten work, and if Wells supports this he’s a fool.

    Developers are willing to trade-off the long-term needs of their residents so they can win the approvals they want.

    It’s creating a group of second-class citizens, permanently barred from RPP.

    What do they get in exchange for giving this up? There’s no one to fight for these future residents. Wells isn’t going to fight for them.

    What do they get in return for giving up RPP? Not a thing. They are totally screwed, thanks to the developers and growing list of completely useless elected officials.

  1. bodiddly said at 5:26 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    So first the developers pay off City Council to relieve them of the requirement to provide underground parking and now they want to try to take away a citizens right to an RPP?  This is lunacy!

  1. metagram said at 6:09 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    I think this is a rediculous idea. What happens if my downtown DC based company decides to send me to work in our Baltimore office and I can’t live carfree for sometime?
    I don’t think people should have to give up this right just so a landlord and other more fortunate landowners can benefit. I’m all for walkable cities, but a long term plan needs to includes all transport options, not favoring certain ones over others.

  1. jag said at 6:47 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    ...I don’t understand if some of the commenters don’t understand the situation or what.

    Metagram - don’t live in the building, then, if you want an RPP. It’s not that complicated. People aren’t being forced to do anything against their will.
    The market being able to decide in this case makes a lot of sense. Forcing every single new build to provide parking is what is “ridiculous”. If I don’t want to pay $30K+ for an underground spot then I shouldn’t be forced to. That’s not for the landlord’s benefit - that’s for my benefit. Cheaper, car-free buildings make plenty of sense and there should be as many as the market demands.

  1. Judith Claire said at 8:15 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    Be grateful for zip cars and bicycles and walking! Just do it!

  1. that girl said at 8:39 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    @jag - I think people understand the situation just fine. 

    This is not for your benefit or your landlord’s benefit, it’s for the benefit of neighbors who think they have a God-given right to park in front of their homes for $25 a year. They are about the last people I think the city should be indulging.

    I think it’s a valid concern that people are concerned that while they don’t want/need a car now, but that could change faster than they can residences. I didn’t have a car and wouldn’t have cared about an RPP, until I woke up with a disability. Kind of sucked.

    If this goes through there is not going to be another multi-family building in this city where someone can get an RPP. This is a *huge* give away to NIMBY neighbors.

    Tommy Wells wants to be mayor and is caving to the most obnoxious people in his ward who spend their time whining about how “traditional row house residents” can’t park where ever they want. How apartment dwellers will “change the family nature of their neighborhood.”

  1. Adriana said at 11:38 pm on Friday June 7, 2013:

    This is a giveaway to developers. The present infrastructure supports low density housing.  I’m okay with developers providing high density housing but they should be made to follow the rules, same as everyone. They’re free to build low density housing I’m sure, without parking requirements. But they don’t want to. They want to make all the money, and leave all the problems to the residents. Both present and future.

  1. jag said at 1:08 am on Saturday June 8, 2013:

    It’s entirely reasonable that the neighborhood not be completely screwed by a developer looking to build on the cheap and not include off street parking.
    It’s entirely reasonable that once in awhile a new building goes up without forcing the residents to pay big $$ for a parking space they don’t need.
    This plan is a great middle ground - don’t force residents to pay a huge chunk of money for off-site parking and thereby induce demand for car ownership in the city, but also don’t screw the neighborhood by simply taking up hundreds of new RPPs. Again, don’t rent in the building if you want access to parking. It’s that simple. If there’s no demand for it then the developer is screwed. If there is demand by people who don’t want the added cost of parking then it makes sense to have a more buildings like this.

  1. Sue said at 2:29 pm on Saturday June 8, 2013:

    There are thousands of residences of all types (apartments, condos, rowhouses, duplexes, flats, single-family homes) in DC that don’t have on-site parking.  They were built before 1958.  “Parking-free” buildings are nothing new in this market. 

    And post-1958 multi-family buildings are typically required to have somewhere between .5 and .25 parking spaces per residential unit.  Which, in practice, means that in rental apartments, parking is generally not bundled with rent.  Not everybody can have it (not enough spaces), not everybody wants it, you decide whether or not to rent a garage space. 

    So it’s just not the case that car-less households are forced to pay for parking they don’t need or want.  I’ve never owned a car, I’ve lived in the city for 25 years (in a variety of neighborhoods) and haven’t paid for parking.

  1. Fran said at 9:42 am on Sunday June 9, 2013:

    “Are you kidding?! How about we prohibit Maryland and Virginia drivers from parking in our neighborhoods? A commuter tax would also be nice.”

    You prohibit Md. and Va. drivers from parking in D.C. and there goes more than half of the D.C. economy. Good luck with that.

  1. Frank said at 9:58 am on Sunday June 9, 2013:

    And mind you it’s Md. and Va. drivers that are coming in to PATRONIZE District businesses who more than likely could not survive on District patrons alone. The bars and restaurants along 18th St., 14th St., and H St. would not be there if they could not draw customers from the entire region. Those neighborhoods have become destinations for everyone in the entire Washington area. Would be like telling residents from NJ and CT they could no longer drive into Manhattan. The District has a population of about 600k. Three to four million people live in Greater Washington. Really, the District economy would IMPLODE without Md. and Va. And I love when some recent transplant from Ohio or some other state in the Midwest bitches about Marylanders and Virginians. Go back to Iowa.

  1. EmptyNester said at 9:19 am on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “It’s creating a group of second-class citizens, permanently barred from RPP. “

    not at all. It creates a second class group of BUILDINGS. If you move to a building that has RPP rights, you get RPP. As it is if you live in an RPP free block, IIUC, you don’t get RPP’s (which are usuable not just on a particular block, but across a ward)

  1. EmptyNester said at 9:23 am on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “Developers are willing to trade-off the long-term needs of their residents so they can win the approvals they want.

    It’s creating a group of second-class citizens, permanently barred from RPP.

    What do they get in exchange for giving this up? There’s no one to fight for these future residents. Wells isn’t going to fight for them. “

    I am a future resident (I hope). Right now whats keeping me out is the price of housing.  Requiring parking makes housing more expensive.  If, when I move, I want and can afford a new building with parking, thats still available in the market - but this will possible more buildings that might accommodate me if Im car free. 

    I feel like Wells IS fighting for me. 

    And what I get for giving up the right the right to RPP is a cheaper unit than in a building with parking and/or RPPs. If the landlord wont do that, why would people rent in his building?

  1. EmptyNester said at 9:26 am on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “The present infrastructure supports low density housing.”

    we are talking about places near metro, mostly. What do you mean the infrastructure only supports low density?

    ”  I’m okay with developers providing high density housing but they should be made to follow the rules, same as everyone.”

    But if the rules are dumb, can’t they be changed?

    ” They’re free to build low density housing I’m sure, without parking requirements. “

    You are incorrect.  Even small new buildings require parking under the current zoning code.  Older buildings and townhouses without parking were built before the current zoning code came into effect in 1958.

  1. me said at 10:47 am on Monday June 10, 2013:

    to EmptyNester

    I don’t believe only developments near the metro are getting this parking waiver. 

    I also disagree that the parking infrastructure rule is dumb.  The fact is that, with the building height restriction, DC is still in essence more of a big town than a small city.  The things you need are not necessarily within walking distance or public transportation distance - including your job or schools for your kids.  There are lots and lots of people that need to drive to get to their jobs. 

    And even if you (as a resident of such a building) abide by the rules and don’t get a parking sticker, it doesn’t mean that your very presence will not mess up the parking situation. You will have guests visiting you, after all.  Guests that may be DRIVING and parking their cars.

    I say - build the big buildings, but play by the rules and build the necessary infrastructure to support it.  Which includes parking.

  1. bodiddly said at 11:01 am on Monday June 10, 2013:

    JAG - where on earth are you coming up with this idea that you can be forced to purchase a $30,000 parking space when you don’t want one?  I have never seen a condo sale that didn’t price the parking separately.  Furthermore, if parking was rolled into the price, you could rent it, or possibly sell it, and easily recoup your costs.  Are you new here?

  1. EmptyNester said at 12:32 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “I don’t believe only developments near the metro are getting this parking waiver.  “

    developments that are in high transit areas - metro or some high frequency bus lines - plus very small building (like 8 units or under, I think).  Not all buildings in DC.

    “I also disagree that the parking infrastructure rule is dumb.  The fact is that, with the building height restriction, DC is still in essence more of a big town than a small city.  The things you need are not necessarily within walking distance or public transportation distance - including your job or schools for your kids.  There are lots and lots of people that need to drive to get to their jobs.  “

    and there are lots and lots of places for people who need a car to live.  This is not saying people can’t own a car in DC, or even that developers can’t choose to build buildings with parking. Its just about giving them a choice.  Just as with any other building amenity, developers want to provide what the market wants and will pay for.  There are already about a third of DC residents who are car free,  and with transit improving, biking becoming more popular, and an increase in what can be reached without a car, that may well increase. 


    “And even if you (as a resident of such a building) abide by the rules and don’t get a parking sticker,”

    Under this they won’t be allowed to get a sticker.

    ” it doesn’t mean that your very presence will not mess up the parking situation. You will have guests visiting you, after all.  Guests that may be DRIVING and parking their cars.”


    They will have to park for a short time, or at paid parking.  If parking is still too tight, maybe parking is too cheap?  When something is scare making it more expensive is a good way to allocate it.  It seems better than imposing costs on new development, keeping housing prices up, and encouraging car ownership, in order to protect the status quo (“not messing things up”) for folks who have cars,  and park them on the street using their (cheap) RPP’s.

    “I say - build the big buildings, but play by the rules and build the necessary infrastructure to support it.  Which includes parking. “

    But again, if this law and the new zoning code pass, they can build without parking (infrastructure which is NOT always needed in a city, which DC is) and be within the rules. I understand you don’t share my opinion that the current parking requirements are a dumb rule, but that does not mean that changing the rules is allowing people to break them.  DC Council makes the rules.  It can change them.

    Do you think mean “rules” as in some kind of laws of nature, that say the auto MUST be accommmodated? Rather than the actual zoning code?

  1. DC resident said at 2:34 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    My understanding of the RPP waiver is that it will be up to the building manager or the developer to ensure that residents are not getting themselves RPP stickers.  (i.e. the DC DMV will not be doing the cross-checking).  This seems ridiculous to me.

    your quotes:

    “This is not saying people can’t own a car in DC, or even that developers can’t choose to build buildings with parking. Its just about giving them a choice.”


    Yeah, well existing residents also deserve a voice and a choice.  And a lot of us don’t want to see our cost of living increasing because your builder is refusing to build parking that will be needed.


    “They will have to park for a short time, or at paid parking.  If parking is still too tight, maybe parking is too cheap?  When something is scare making it more expensive is a good way to allocate it.  It seems better than imposing costs on new development, keeping housing prices up, and encouraging car ownership, in order to protect the status quo (“not messing things up”) for folks who have cars,  and park them on the street using their (cheap) RPP’s.”

    House prices are high because builders demand obscene profits.  I can be okay with that but I have a problem with a builder making an obscene amount of money, at the expense of existing residents - whose parking will now become scarce and will now suddenly have to shoulder the costs.  Sorry, but someone has to pay - and for some reason, you’re okay with everyone paying except for the builder or the new resident making life harder for everyone else.  Yeah - you sound *exactly* like the kind of neighbor I wanna have.

    bottom line - sure, vote however the hell you want.  But I’m voting against the “new zoning rules” and I will ask my representatives to enforce existing zoning regulations

  1. EmptyNester said at 3:53 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “My understanding of the RPP waiver is that it will be up to the building manager or the developer to ensure that residents are not getting themselves RPP stickers.  (i.e. the DC DMV will not be doing the cross-checking).  This seems ridiculous to me.”

    Thats not my understanding. someone should ask CM Wells.


    “Yeah, well existing residents also deserve a voice and a choice.  And a lot of us don’t want to see our cost of living increasing because your builder is refusing to build parking that will be needed.”

    there will be no additional parking needed under the Wells plan.

    “House prices are high because builders demand obscene profits”

    Housing is a competitive market.  If supply were easier, rents would come down, whatever the developers want.  Housing prices are high because demand (driven by regional growth and and the growing preference for urban living) exceeds supply (constrained by many things, zoning rules being one of them)

    ” at the expense of existing residents - whose parking will now become scarce and will now suddenly have to shoulder the costs.”

    IIUC the parking spots do not belong to local residents of a given neighborhood, but to the District as a whole, which gives them RPPs. If they actually owned the spots, they could rent them out at a market price, which would solve the scarcity problem.

    ” Sorry, but someone has to pay - and for some reason, you’re okay with everyone paying except for the builder or the new resident making life harder for everyone else.  Yeah - you sound *exactly* like the kind of neighbor I wanna have.”


    I don’t think that development should be held back and should be made more expensive to preserve the availability of free parking in a city that is looking to encourage less driving and less car ownership.  My preference would be a market based solution with market priced RPP’s. In the absence of that Mr Wells’s solutin would preserve the privileges of existing residents, but allow development to move forward by enabling RPP ineligible buildings.  That seems like quite a compromise with existing residents of these neighborhoods.  I would imagine at some point residents of neighborhoods where parking is not scarce will wonder why they should give away a scarce resource so cheaply.

  1. EmptyNester said at 3:58 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “Sorry, but someone has to pay - and for some reason, you’re okay with everyone paying except for the builder or the new resident making life harder for everyone else.  “

    by moving to the District I will add tax revenues - property, sales, and income - and provide support to District businesses.  If I move to a parking free, RPP-free building I will not even add to parking congestion. But even if I did, I think that would be a net gain for the District - certainly for all the residents in neighborhoods where no such development is taking places (almost everywhere EOTR for example) who will benefit from the revenue, but will be unaffected by parking changes. Also those who have offstreet spaces. Not to mention the 37% of DC households who are already carfree.

    You seem to want everyone to suffer to preserve free parking, except for the minority of folks who own more cars than they have offstreet spots for, and who are unwilling to pay the market value for their RPP’s

  1. hmm said at 4:23 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    “You seem to want everyone to suffer to preserve free parking, except for the minority of folks who own more cars than they have offstreet spots for, and who are unwilling to pay the market value for their RPP’s”

    I’d be happy to pay the market value for the RPPs.  But if you want to play that game, then the city should also be forcing everyone to be paying market value for public transportation.

    But this is not even just about RPPs.  What I want is less suffering in the neighborhood, and I’m actually pro-development.  But if you want to build a big building or even a building with more density than what is there, especially with retail on the ground floor - build enough parking for your residents AND your guests AND don’t create a problem for the existing residents. I don’t see why you’re so adamantly against that.

  1. Mamacita said at 4:46 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    Allowing a landlord to dictate a tenant’s lifestyle is abhorrent.  These no-parking developments are just a way for developers to
    make a greater profit.

  1. me said at 4:57 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    And to add to the discussion, I’d like to point out that according to Wikipedia, only 20% of the metro’s budget comes from passenger fees: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Metropolitan_Area_Transit_Authority

  1. dc resident said at 7:33 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    unconstitutional

  1. barneyrubble said at 10:32 pm on Monday June 10, 2013:

    @Sue

    Your husband owns a car, and you ride in it often.  I’ve seen you get into and out of it.  I have pictures.  And you haven’t paid for parking lately because your house has a garage and an outdoor parking spot in your driveway.

    Don’t be a hypocrite.

  1. jag said at 2:33 am on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    “I have never seen a condo sale that didn’t price the parking separately.”

    How absurd. Get out more, then. Not to mention we aren’t talking about condos in this instance. If you don’t think parking minimums drastically increase costs and therefore rents then there’s no helping you.

    “Allowing a landlord to dictate a tenant’s lifestyle is abhorrent.  These no-parking developments are just a way for developers to
    make a greater profit.”

    AGAIN, no one is forcing you to move into a building without parking. Good grief. Who is to say the profit margin will be greater in buildings without parking? What economic data do you have backing up such an absurd claim? YOU’RE the one trying to dictate everyone else’s lifestyle by insisting every building has parking.

  1. Sdsfsd said at 9:13 am on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    I don’t see how this passes constitutional muster. “Equal protection clause”, anyone?

  1. EmptyNester said at 11:36 am on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    “And to add to the discussion, I’d like to point out that according to Wikipedia, only 20% of the metro’s budget comes from passenger fees: “

    We want MORE people to ride metro - to take advantage of the high fixed costs of it existing, and for the external benefits to the city and region (and planet, by the way)  How would raising fares on metro help you to have more parking? In fact it would mean fewer car free people and would make your parking that much more difficult.  Im not sure why you would support that if you want to reduce suffering for people who need to park cars. 

    The point of charging market rates for parking is to achieve better allocation of a resource - its not about “fairness” between drivers and others.  Raising metro fares has already had some role in diminishing ridership, which leads to more traffic congestion, parking scarcity etc. Its not good public policy.

  1. EmptyNester said at 11:39 am on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    “So it’s just not the case that car-less households are forced to pay for parking they don’t need or want. “

    The issue is not bundling. Its that requiring parking that loses money for developers, leads to fewer developments. Which means higher rents than would otherwise be the case. 

    Of course if you want fewer developments, period (parking issues aside) thats a feature, not a bug.

  1. EmptyNester said at 11:42 am on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    “I don’t see how this passes constitutional muster. “Equal protection clause”, anyone? “

    Theres no constitutional right to equal parking privileges regardless of where you live.

    Arlington County, Portland, I think Chicago have had RPP free buildings, and there have be no successful constitutional challenges.

  1. okay wait said at 2:44 pm on Tuesday June 11, 2013:

    >It’s creating a group of second-class >citizens, permanently barred from RPP.

    Saying having no RPP equals “second class citizenship” is hyperbole on a level I have heretofore never seen. I’d recommend you research Jim Crow or apartheid if you want to talk about second class citizenship.

    >What do they get in return for giving up RPP? >Not a thing

    To the contrary, the article says clearly each resident will get “a one-year subscription to Capital Bikeshare, a one-year subscription to Zipcar, and a $50 Metro card.”, i.e. items with a monetary value *greater* than a one year RPP.

  1. adam said at 12:58 pm on Wednesday June 12, 2013:

    Let’s describe this issue for what it is: a shake-down by some at the expense of the rest.  Essentially, some residents want to use a scarce publicly owned resource at below market price.  Permitting other residents to use that same resource on the same terms threatens their sweet-heart deal and so they threaten to abuse zoning processes to keep it.  At the same time, they expect those other residents to pay all taxes without any reduction to compensate for being excluded from this public benefit.  Tommy Wells, like apparently a lot of posters here, wants to indulge their selfishness.

  1. adam said at 1:02 pm on Wednesday June 12, 2013:

    “To the contrary, the article says clearly each resident will get “a one-year subscription to Capital Bikeshare, a one-year subscription to Zipcar, and a $50 Metro card.”, i.e. items with a monetary value *greater* than a one year RPP.”

    What?  The market value of an RPP does not equal its purchase price- that’s the whole problem.  The market value of an RPP is probably several thousand dollars per year, much greater than a bikeshare/zipcar membership and a $50 metrocard.

  1. Sue said at 8:49 am on Saturday June 15, 2013:

    @BarneyRubble

    No, my husband doesn’t own a car; neither he nor I have ever owned a car. Yes, I’ve ridden in a car. And, wow, you’re really a creep if you’re photographing me entering and exiting cars.  FWIW, there’s nothing hypocritical about being car-less yourself but recognizing that most people aren’t and that they’ll need parking.

    But, of course, that’s all a distraction.  The bottom line here is that

    (a) RPP denials involve a pact between a developer and existing residents to take away a privilege that future residents would otherwise possess on equal terms with other residents and that’s fundamentally unfair

    (b) we already have parking-free buildings in DC and no one is forced to pay for parking they don’t need or want in order to find housing (of any kind at a variety of price points)

    c) RPP denials don’t prevent people from parking long-term on city streets—they don’t govern overnight parking for example, and not every block is RPP—so, great, we encourage people to drive to work to avoid daytime parking restrictions or to store their cars near churches or parks (i.e. in non-residential blocks). Or they use their VPPs.

    and

    (d) this legislation failed last time and probably will again.  If it does pass, it’ll be undone because, in the not-too-distant future, properties will change hands and the “future” residents will have been in the neighborhood longer than the people who have purchased the homes of the “existing” residents and the multifamily buildings will house more voters than the single-family homes around them who rely on the same blocks for parking.  In the meanwhile, odds are RPP rates will increase significantly (so we’ll be rationing by price rather than tenure or address) and VPPs will be commercialized. 

    It makes so much more sense to continue requiring on-site parking provision in new construction.  The city is growing while the supply of on-street parking is shrinking (as we repurpose parking lanes for other uses), so it’s important to do what we can to make sure that the supply of off-street parking increases as the population increases and as the economy expands. 

    Clearly, existing minimums haven’t prevented growth.  And the zoning code allows for waivers of the minimums in cases where sharing agreements are in place or where the site would be undevelopable if the minimums were enforced.  What Wells is proposing is unfair, unworkable, and unnecessary.

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DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

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