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Alley Dwellings and Corner Stores: New Zoning Rules Take Effect

by Nena Perry-Brown

Alley Dwellings and Corner Stores: New Zoning Rules Take Effect: Figure 1

In January, after more than seven years of debate, the DC Zoning Commission unanimously approved the first comprehensive overhaul of the code since 1958. Those amendments are effective as of this week, and while most of the changes are more technical than tangible, there are a few regulations which may have a more noticeable effect than others, including:

  • A lowering of the minimum number of required parking spaces for new multi-family, retail and mixed-use developments. These requirements will be waived entirely downtown and will be halved for projects that are within a half-mile of a Metro station. Also, provision of parking off-site will count toward the required total.

  • Excluding Georgetown, accessory apartments and alley dwellings will be allowed by-right in residential neighborhoods. Owners of single-family houses that meet lot size and frontage requirements will be permitted to construct or retrofit carriage houses for personal use or to rent out.

  • Restrictions on corner stores in medium-density residential neighborhoods have been relaxed. These stores would still have to be at least 500 feet from a commercial zone and would have limited hours and sizes. Allowable uses for a corner store will include general retail, a food store, or an establishment with an art focus.

For UrbanTurf’s in-depth look at the specific zoning changes, click here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_zoning_laws_take_effect_today/11640

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