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September’s Zoning Amendments Omitted a Zone; OP Recommends a Remedy

by Nena Perry-Brown

September's Zoning Amendments Omitted a Zone; OP Recommends a Remedy: Figure 1

Last September, DC’s Zoning Commission (ZC) implemented an extensive overhaul of the city’s zoning regulations, including renaming and reclassifying DC’s zone overlay.

However, those new designations neglected to include an equivalent to the original 1958 C-4 zone, which encompassed the high-density, mixed-use retail and office cores of the downtown area.

Now, the Office of Planning (OP) is recommending an additional amendment to the zoning regulations to fill that void by creating the MU-30 zone.

The MU-30 zone, which will be added to the newly-christened MU-3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9 and -10 zones, would allow for high-density mixed-use development with residential, office and retail in the city’s central core.

Under this zoning designation, buildings could rise up to 110 feet, with some exceptions for additional height such as a penthouse of up to 20 feet or additional stories in exchange for inclusionary zoning. The maximum height (including for planned-unit developments) would be 130 feet when fronting a street that is at least 110 feet wide between buildings.

OP also released guidance for how building permits should be handled for projects in areas where the Commission plans to consider a zoning amendment. Under the guidance, only building permit applications which have already been accepted as complete by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (and do not need to be “substantially changed”) will be considered valid moving forward. Such applications can only be revised to be more compliant with the new zoning rules; use cannot be changed and parameters like height, capacity and massing cannot be increased.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/septembers_zoning_amendments_omitted_a_zone_op_recommends_a_remedy/12078

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