DC Office of Planning Proposes By-Right Conversions to Residential

  • January 4th 2022

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Last month, the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development began soliciting feedback from downtown office owners about the barriers to converting their buildings into residences. Now, the city's Office of Planning (OP) is looking to remove one of those barriers.

OP has applied for a zoning text amendment (ZTA) which would make all buildings that do not conform to residential zoning parameters eligible for a by-right conversion to residential use. Non-residential buildings can be built at a higher density than residential, so an owner of such a building would not need to apply for approval in order to convert into a non-conforming residential building.

The rule change would apply specifically to buildings constructed after November 1978 in mixed-use and downtown zones. These buildings would still be subject to the recent zoning amendment to apply Inclusionary Zoning requirements to residential conversions in mixed-use zones.

"Many buildings with the potential to be converted from non-residential to residential use are located in high-cost areas and these text amendments will help increase the supply of housing in these areas without the need for additional zoning relief," the application explains.

The Zoning Commission is expected to set the amendment down for a hearing next week.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-office-of-planning-proposes-by-right-conversions-to-residential/19099.

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