A blog about zoning issues/politics in Washington, DC
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Height Act is back in play
So much for Home Rule -- Tregoning's gone, Gray's disgraced, both the Council and public opinion polling came out strongly opposed to changes in the HBA, but Issa keeps pressing the issue. And Eleanor Holmes Norton, whose office disclaimed any knowledge of the bill yesterday, is the co-sponsor.
[[Note that NCPC proposed communal recreational use for rooftop structures, but the bill would allow these penthouses to be private residential space.]]
And here is WBJ's coverage:
Updated: Mar 11, 2014, 11:30am EDT
House panel to weigh change to
D.C. Height Act
Daniel J. Sernovitz
Washington Business Journal
are slated to consider making the first change in more than a century to the
federal law that caps building heights in D.C.
change, which would allow uses like restaurants in the penthouse areas of
certain buildings, wouldn't result in Manhattan-style skyscrapers in the
District. But its passage could be an indication Congress is open to additional
changes to the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 following a heated debate of the
subject last fall.
The bill is
slated to be considered by the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Wednesday. Issa has
said he believes the measure is the first step in a larger debate around the
Height Act and has urged the District and National Capital Planning Commission
to consider other potential amendments to the law. If it passes the committee
level, the bill would need to be approved by the full House and Senate and
signed by the president before it can become law.
bill, based in part on a recommendation from the NCPC and
one of the least controversial parts of the height debate, changes the 1910 law
by permitting "human occupancy" in the penthouse
space of buildings as long as those spaces are no taller one story
or 20 feet or less above a building's roof. Building owners have typically used
those spaces for mechanical equipment. In recommending the change, the NCPC
said those spaces could be used as public amenities and generate additional
revenue for their owners while not substantially impacting D.C.'s skyline.