UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at what DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week we are looking at not only the best but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of 2016. Enjoy.
Rendering of accessory dwelling unit at 3406 Rodman Street NW
Several amendments to the District’s zoning code were enacted in September, from an overarching relabeling of the entire zone system to more nuanced rule changes. One of the most interesting and potentially game-changing allowances is by-right accessory apartments.
Accessory apartments are additional residences located on the same lot as a single-family dwelling, like English basements and carriage houses. Traditionally, homeowners in low-density neighborhoods were required to seek a special exception from the Board of Zoning Adjustment in order to rent out an accessory apartment.
Now, however, all accessory apartments and alley dwellings will be allowed to be built by-right (except in Georgetown). Size restrictions are also being amended, with an allowable square footage reduced from 2,000 to 1,200 and up to one-third (rather than one-fourth) of the main house’s total footprint.
While homeowners will still have to acquire a Residential Rental Business License from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in order to rent their accessory apartments, many hope that this newly-relaxed restriction will increase the available housing stock and help keep prices affordable in many neighborhoods.
And some are already taking advantage of the change.
One Cleveland Park homeowner quickly had a carriage house approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board, while DC-based architectural firm R. Michael Cross Design Group is offering a suite of accessory dwelling plans to simplify the process for homeowners. And on one block in Chevy Chase DC, three accessory units have started construction since the new rule was enacted.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_zoning_change_in_2016_accessory_dwellings/11975.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
The development for four parcels at The Yards from Brookfield Properties and the Menk... read »
EDENS filed a planned unit development for a two-building residential development tha... read »
One of the more prominent features of the project will be a public plaza that will ru... read »
Foxhall is a DC neighborhood bordered by Reservoir Road, Foxhall Road, Glover Park, a... read »
Plans are progressing to redevelop the former TV station headquarters site in Friend... read »
To help home buyers and sellers both novice and seasoned, UrbanTurf is running a seri... read »
As home buyers get the itch to look for a home and start to venture out to open house... read »
The development will replace the 44,700 square-foot retail structure that was previou... read »
Plans for the New York-based eatery appear to be moving forward.... read »
The concept includes 14 lanes for bowling, a 1,200 person concert venue, a craft bar ... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
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!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro