New DC Zoning Code Goes Back to the Future

David Alpert provides a thorough analysis of the first third of Washington D.C.'s proposed new zoning code, and finds a return to kind of development patterns that formed the neighborhoods residents treasure today.

According to Alpert, the Washington D.C. Office of Planning has been working to rewrite the city's archaic 1958 zoning code for four years. Now a portion of the proposed code is making its way through the public process.

The new code aims to, "correct some of the most egregious problems from the 1958 code, where it imposed social engineering ideas in vogue at the time that ended up eliminating local corner stores, pushed people out of urban neighborhoods, and forced new buildings to take a suburban form incompatible with the walkable communities that previously existed."

Alpert finds that in looking forward, the new code largely looks to traditional development patterns for major revisions such as reducing parking requirements, allowing accessory units, reducing restrictions on retail in residential areas, and easing restrictions on alley dwellings. One progressive change that Alpert highlights is a new "Green Area Ratio" for large buildings.

Full Story: Rewritten DC zoning code corrects past mistakes

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95