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Washington D.C. Downzones to Curb Pop-Ups in Rowhouse Neighborhoods

Owners of rowhouse properties in Washington D.C. will no longer be able to add height and density by building pop-ups. The construction provoked the ire of aesthetically minded critics and, now, the regulatory controls of the District's zoning code.
June 10, 2015, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Kim Seidl

"The District’s Zoning Commission gave final approval Monday night to new regulations governing the 'pop-up' homes sprouting up in some of the city’s gentrifying neighborhoods, reducing the maximum height of single-family rowhouses to 35 feet from 40 feet," reports Ian Shapira.

"In a surprising reversal from a preliminary vote in late March, the commission also voted to limit developers to building two 'by-right' condo units in a pop-up, a renovated rowhouse with an added story or added stories often towering over neighboring homes. A third or fourth unit would require a special exception from the city."

According to Shapira, the decision concludes a contentious debate that persisted for over a year across the District. The article includes more detail about the politics of the decision and provides soundbites from the commission hearing.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, June 8, 2015 in The Washington Post
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