The Cairo, one of DC’s tallest residential buildings.
Over the past year, the debate regarding the city’s Height Act, a federal law that limits the height of buildings throughout the city, has heated up. Would taller buildings increase office and residential space and bring down rents? Would less of a height restriction allow builders more creativity, and would we see fewer boxy structures that maximize square footage?
While the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning regulations governing height will not be changing anytime in the near future, the city has launched a study to investigate just how appropriate the Height Act still is to the city. In the fall, the National Capitol Planning Commission and DC’s Office of Planning announced the start of the Height Master Plan study. Tonight, they will hold their first public meeting at the Petworth Library.
Ultimately, the group is interested in figuring out of if DC’s Height Act, which is 100 years old, is still working. The first goal of the study, said NCPC project manager David Zaidain, is to determine if there are areas of the city where adjusting the height act wouldn’t impact federal interests.
“We have this federal law that is right now applied District-wide,” said Zaidain. “It’s applied the same way in Friendship Heights as it is next to the National Mall as it is in outer SE or NE.” If there are portions of the city that don’t have an effect on what is considered a national interest, perhaps those areas could be relieved from the federal Height Act and left to the discretion of local zoning regulations, thinks Zaidain.
Researchers involved with the study will also be modelling various possibilities, virtually adjusting height levels in various parts of the city and looking at perspectives from different vantage points. The results of this modelling will be released to the public in the summer.
Another aspect of the study is cross cultural: they will be looking at how different cities around the world manage the issue of height. “Whether it is a city like Paris, which has some similarities to DC, or a city like Vancouver, which has very tall buildings, or London which has clusters of high-rises, each city has taken a different approach to managing height,” said Zaidain.
Tonight, the NCPC will be discussing the larger goals of the plan with the public and soliciting feedback at this early stage. They have posted a few initial questions on their website with the hope that attendees will take a look and come to the meeting with thoughts. UrbanTurf will follow up with an account of the meeting tomorrow.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/could_the_height_act_be_modified_a_study_launches/7055.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
Why condo fees are high in some buildings and low in others can be a difficult questi... read »
When sellers haven't quite lined up their next house before their settlement date com... read »
In this edition of First-Timer Primer, we look into the question of how to determine ... read »
The preferred mortgage product among most home buyers is the fixed-rate mortgage. How... read »
Here's what you need to know about reporting profit made from the sale of your home.... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Virginia's homebuyer assistance programs can seem complex. This edition of First-Time... read »
In this edition of First Timer Primer, we take a closer look at what you are actually... read »
To help home buyers and sellers both novice and seasoned, UrbanTurf is running a seri... read »
A recent transaction shows that the housing market isn't cooling off everywhere.... 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