NCPC to Study Relaxing D.C. Building Height Limits

In response to a formal request from Congress, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has agreed to study potential changes to D.C.'s Height of Buildings Act of 1910, a step that could result in the eventual change of the controversial law.

Acting on a request by House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to "help Congress and local leaders evaluate the case for expanding existing boundaries for vertical growth," the NCPC has agreed to commence a study of the law that has produced Washington D.C.'s iconic low-rise character, reports Ben Pershing. Debates flare up periodically about the potential modification of the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 [PDF], which generally restricts buildings to a maximum height of 130 feet on commercial streets and 90 feet on residential streets.

As Pershing notes, opponents of the current height limitations argue that they have, "limited the city's tax base and potential growth in areas like downtown, which is attracting more workers and residents with little room to expand." Proponents see value in the city's  "much-praised skyline, with unobstructed views of monuments and other significant landmarks," and argue that the law encourages infill development and disperses growth. 

At Greater Greater Washington, David Alpert has compiled a more extensive list of the arguments for, and against, modifying the Act. 

 

Full Story: Congress wants study on D.C. building height limits

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