Back to the Future in DC With More Corner Stores, Alley Dwellings

  • February 8th 2012

by UrbanTurf Staff

Back to the Future in DC With More Corner Stores, Alley Dwellings: Figure 1
Existing home on Naylor Court

If you are looking for a good read today, you should head over to Greater Greater Washington and check out David Alpert’s article on what a proposed new zoning code could mean for real estate in DC neighborhoods. Alpert waded through the first third (a substantial 458 pages) of the proposed code from the Office of Planning and then picked out and analyzed some of its key aspects.

Here is a little appetizer of the proposed changes before you read his in-depth analysis:

  • More homeowners would be allowed to have accessory dwellings (garage or basement apartments).
  • In residential neighborhoods that are far way from commercial areas, a “limited number” of art studios, corner groceries, shoe repair shops, hardware stores would be allowed to open.
  • The number of buildings required to provide parking would either be lessened or the buildings would not be required to provide as much parking as they do now.
  • More alley lots would be able to have houses.
  • A Green Area Ratio would be required of large buildings, meaning big projects will need to have green roofs, water features, trees, grass and other sustainable elements.

While the parking change will certainly promote a lively debate, the article aptly describes that “with the exception of the Green Area Ratio, a very 21st-century sustainability plan, the other changes actually harken more back to a past era than to the future.” Public comment on the changes can be made here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/back_to_the_future_in_dc_with_more_corner_stores_alley_dwellings/5090.

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