DDOT Confirms That It Doesn’t Enforce Residential Parking Bans

by Nena Perry-Brown

DDOT Confirms That It Doesn't Enforce Residential Parking Bans: Figure 1
Street parking off 14th Street in Logan Circle

Earlier this week, UrbanTurf reported on whether or not the city’s ban on residential parking permits (RPP) at select new residential developments was enforceable. The impetus for this article was a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) report submitted to the Zoning Commission which seemingly admitted that the city is unable to enforce the prohibitions on RPPs.

The agency has since responded to UrbanTurf with the following explanation on DDOT’s role and limitations concerning RPP restrictions that developers commit to in exchange for zoning approval of parking relief:

“When residents apply for an RPP, DDOT and the Department of Motor Vehicles may not be aware of a contractual agreement between a landlord and tenant. There is no self-exemption process under current regulations, thus eligible residents applying for RPPs may receive them. The current exemption clauses being proffered during the zoning process are to be enforced between the developer, landlord, and any future tenants.”

The above statement is telling, as it means that the agencies which administer parking permits have no system in place to cross-reference and enforce the RPP bans at the new buildings. Additionally, this leaves the task of enforcing street parking prohibitions to development teams.

And while one can hope that good-faith efforts are made by developers to ensure their residents comply with such prohibitions, the city’s reliance on integrity and the honor system to enforce zoning relief concessions seems foolhardy at best.

See other articles related to: zoning, rpps, rpp, parking spots, parking, ddot

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ddot_responds_to_rpp_process/11519


  1. Lisa said at 11:22 pm on Thursday July 28, 2016:
    And this surprises whom?
  1. Reader said at 6:31 pm on Friday July 29, 2016:
    "this leaves the task of enforcing street parking prohibitions to development teams...the city’s reliance on integrity and the honor system to enforce zoning relief concessions seems foolhardy at best." It would be worthwhile for UrbanTurf to reach out to the development teams and ANCs where these restrictions are being put in place, and provide actual reporting on the private sector enforcement mechanisms - before labeling this effort "foolhardy". If the author pursued the full story before rendering her judgement, she may find that the private sector is devising robust reporting and enforcement strategies in conjunction with impacted ANCs. UrbanTurf is usually known for due diligence, solid analysis, and even-handedness. If this piece reflects a new standard for editorial content, then I am disappointed. The article is incomplete and shows a clear bias.
  1. FH said at 7:59 pm on Friday July 29, 2016:
    I don’t think that checking with some impacted ANCs will help. In some cases, the individual commissioners declared victory when they got a concession sometimes incorporated into the Zoning Order, sometimes only in an unenforceable MOU, frequently based only on the promise that the developer will enforce the condition, even though it is against their economic interest to actually do so. After the zoning approval, at least one ANC didn’t even notice when the developer, prior to completion of construction, had the PUD address added to the RPP database, assuring that future residents would be eligible for RPPs. The ANC commissioners had simply declared victory and moved on. It is also interesting to note that in some of the earlier PUDs with RPP conditions, the Zoning Commission relied on DDOT testimony claiming that there is a process by which they excluded particular addresses from future RPP eligibility. See, for example, the following testimony by Ken Laden, Assoc. Director of DDOT in March 2007, and relied upon in the zoning order: “There was also a discussion earlier about the restrictions on residential permit parking and how that works, if that works. Again that's a question of how it gets worded or structured within the zoning order, but I believe there have been other instances where this has been placed as part of the requirements. And it recently did occur with respect to the property I believe at [address] where someone mentioned hey, you know we thought this property was not supposed to be eligible for RPP, could you check into that. And so what happens is we send emails to the Department of Motor Vehicles and they have the ability to put a particular address in a Do Not Issue RPP file. And so if anyone living at that address were to apply for RPP they would not be granted, they would not be eligible. So basically the address goes on a blacklist and that's how that's enforced.” Of course, Mr. Laden admitted that they weren’t monitoring anything, but relying on observant neighbors to monitor the RPP database, and then described a process that simply did not and does not exist. This testimony was followed by assurances that the Zoning Commission would word the Order properly.

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