With Pop-Up Restrictions in Effect, DCRA Outlines Rules

by Lark Turner

With Pop-Up Restrictions in Effect, DCRA Outlines Rules: Figure 1
A pop-up on Buchanan Street NW.

DC’s new rules on residential pop-ups and conversions in R-4 districts are now in effect, but that won’t stop projects under construction, according to an outline of the ruling from the District’s permitting agency, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

The new rules, passed June 8 by a split Zoning Commission, broadly limit the height of new projects in R-4 districts to 35 feet. They also limit what developers can do with additions to rowhouses and conversions in R-4 districts. The conversion rules will make it very difficult for developers to convert a rowhouse into more than two units.

The rules officially went into effect on June 26. Developers who received permits from DCRA prior to June 26 can go ahead with their projects, meaning city residents may still see legal pop-ups and conversions under construction for the next few months.

Consistent with what commissioners ruled on June 8, developers who want to build pop-ups in R-4 districts, and who haven’t yet received a permit, will be subject to the new rules if their permit application was filed after February 1, 2015.

Developers who want to build conversions in R-4 districts, and who haven’t yet received a permit, will be subject to the new rules if their permit application was filed after July 17, 2014. When asked by the Zoning Commission about how many developers might be affected by that back-dated rule, Office of Planning’s Jennifer Steingasser said she did not know. Steingasser did not respond to questions from UrbanTurf about why the conversion vesting date, July 17, was so much earlier than the February 1 date for pop-ups.

The Board of Zoning Adjustment, which will mostly deal with the implications of the Zoning Commission’s ruling, has already been confronted with challenges surrounding the new rules, which try to limit pop-ups based on height and other measurements rather than objectionable design. A proposed Shaw pop-up that complies with the 35-foot height limit was held back at the BZA last week because of poor design.

See other articles related to: zoning commission, pop-ups, dcra, board of zoning adjustment

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/with_pop-up_plan_in_effect_dcra_outlines_rules/10058

1 Comment

  1. Makeba-The-Architect said at 8:05 pm on Monday June 29, 2015:
    To count projects from July 2014 is not the greatest move. There are purchases of real estate after crunching numbers to see if it makes sense. Then the note has to be carried and plans made , all at some expense. Now , these plans are no good and they have to be updated to reflect the current conditions. This is alot of time and money that's put onto the owner by the city administration . Not too cool at all. www.gaineskelly.com

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