Building Heights

Aerial view of Pennsylvania Avenue facing U.S. Capitol building

Is it Time to Revise D.C.’s Height Act?

The century-old rule has shaped the District’s iconic horizontal skyline, but some Council members say it need revision in light of the region’s growing housing crisis.

May 12, 2023 - WTOP

Texas Flood

Are Tall Buildings Safer When It Floods?

Conventional wisdom is that the most resilient city is that keeps high-density housing out of flood zones. But if flooding can happen miles inland, is that still true?

September 13, 2021 - Michael Lewyn

Raleigh

Missing Middle Housing, Parking Reform Under Consideration in Raleigh

Elections have consequences, and a new, younger City Council in Raleigh is ready to implement progressive planning and land use reforms.

January 16, 2020 - News & Observer

gaslamp Quarter

San Diego Could Eliminate Height Limits Near Transit

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is following up on an idea first pitched during a State of the City address, but with a few teaks.

December 9, 2019 - Voice of San Diego

Denver, Colorado

Zoning Change Could Produce a Skyline Change in Denver

The owner of three centrally located parking lots in Denver is seeking a zoning change that would leverage affordable housing for free future development from height restrictions.

October 3, 2019 - The Denver Post

Arizona

A Car-Centric Past and a More Vertical Future in Phoenix

Phoenix has the zoning for more height in its downtown, and future development might finally yield a more recognizable skyline.

April 9, 2019 - Arizona Republic

San Francisco Sprawl

Amendments to Sen. Wiener's 'More HOMES Act' Address Jobs-Housing Balance

"Jobs-rich area," a new term that targets some suburban regions, is among amendments added March 11 to Senate Bill 50, the reincarnation of Wiener's controversial SB 827 housing bill that died last year.

March 16, 2019 - San Francisco Examiner

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

When Light Rail Comes to Suburban Washington, So Do Bigger Plans

Mountlake Terrace, located about halfway between Seattle and Everett, will soon have new building heights to go along with a new light rail station.

March 7, 2019 - The Urbanist

Sunset

San Francisco's Outer Neighborhoods Fear Change from Housing Bill

Legislation from a former supervisor could transform much of San Francisco, particularly the outer-neighborhoods, by increasing heights and density along transit corridors. Opposition is growing.

February 22, 2018 - San Francisco Examiner

Telepgraph Avenue from UC Berkeley Campus 1981

Berkeley Mayor Condemns Legislation to Increase Housing Density by Transit

Mayor Jesse Arreguín's charges about permissible heights, demolition of rent-controlled housing and displacement that would result from Senate Bill 827 by Sen. Wiener are refuted in the Berkeleyside article, though the latter two have resonance.

February 5, 2018 - Berkeleyside

Wilshire Grand

Los Angeles' New Tower and the Silly Rules That Govern Building Height

Los Angeles' new Wilshire Grand tower is tall and impressive. But, in reality, it's about 100 feet shorter and perhaps less impressive than the arbiters of skyscrapers say it is. Whatever the definition, it might be time to quit venerating height.

June 28, 2017 - California Planning & Development Report

San Francisco Construction

Taller, Denser, but More Affordable Housing Coming to San Francisco

Following a similar ordinance signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee last July that dealt with developments that are 100 percent affordable, the new housing density ordinance apples to market-rate developments that have 30 percent affordability.

May 27, 2017 - San Francisco Chronicle

Columbus

A Showdown Looms as Developers Seek New Building Heights in Columbus

The region surrounding Columbus, Ohio could add a projected one million people by 2050, and developers are looking for new ways to meet growing demand for urban living.

December 5, 2016 - The Columbus Dispatch

Homeless Encampment

Voters to Decide Future of San Francisco Homeless Tent Encampments

Unable to pass the measure themselves, four San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a ballot measure for November that would let voters decide on the removal of tent encampments in the city providing that housing is offered.

June 23, 2016 - San Francisco Chronicle

Los Angeles

West Coast Cities Redefining Height With Batch of New Skyscrapers

The title of tallest building west of the Mississippi, property of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles since 1989, will soon go to another building. What does that say about the post-recession of West Coast cities?

June 22, 2016 - The Architect's Newspaper

Wood Frame Construction Has Yet to Catch Up to Regulations in Toronto

When it comes to housing construction, the best intentions of regulators aren't always enough to sway the market.

March 3, 2016 - Metro News

Toronto's New Building Code Adds Height for Wood-Framed Buildings

The beginning of 2015 saw changes to Toronto's building code that will allow wood construction up to six stories. Supporters of the code change see multiple potential benefits from the code change.

January 5, 2015 - Metro News

London's Height Debate Reaches Fever Pitch

In the midst of a building boom and expecting another 1.4 million residents to live in the city by 2031, London is embroiled in a debate about how it should meet housing demands.

August 30, 2014 - New York Times

Flooding in Howard Beach

New NYC Zoning Rules Will Help Residents Build Against Floods

New municipal zoning laws don’t necessarily make for the most compelling reading material, but a new set of New York City regulations are worth paying attention to.

January 6, 2014 - Next City

How Bloomberg's Bluster Inspired New York to Build Taller

Kicking off its in-depth examination of the ways in which New York City has been remade during Mayor Bloomberg's tenure, Matthew Schuerman looks at the city's astonishing vertical growth, a significant feat considering the shadow of 9/11.

July 11, 2013 - WNYC

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