The District remains among the fastest-growing states. The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the District’s population continued its speedy growth between July 2011 and July 2012, adding 13,303 residents. Between 2000 and 2012, the District’s population increased by over 60,000 residents. However, within that 60,000 figure there are also some interesting trends. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of District residents aged 20-34 years increased by 23%, while the number aged 60 years + increased by 7.2%. The average household size has also seen a profound shift; between 1950 and 2010 the average household size decreased from 3.2 to 2.1.
What do the changing demographics mean for the District and how does the updated zoning code propose to respond? OP’s response to these changes is best summarized by Director Tregoning’s statement that OP continues to “focus on encouraging the best in land-use development and sustainability, and creating or maintaining convenient amenity-rich neighborhoods with great choices in housing and transportation.”
OP’s proposals reflect planning for everyone in D.C. The zoning regulation updates reflect the diversity of the city and its residents, and are designed to support the opportunity for housing diversity and choice. While the updates are responsive to the changing demographics in the city, based on the most recent U.S. Census data, OP has not proposed any zoning changes in low density areas typically viewed as family-oriented residential neighborhoods.
In addition, OP’s proposal incorporates a number of provisions that are directly supportive of promoting and enhancing the lives of families in the District, including promoting parklands, increasing housing affordability, supporting intergenerational families, and providing better access to necessary items such as fresh and healthy food. In sum, OP is working to support all DC residents, including families.