On Thursday evening, December 11, 2014, the Zoning Commission voted 5-0-0 to approve the Zoning Regulations Review (08-06A) for Proposed Action. Based on Zoning Commission deliberations in October 2014, OP provided revised text for the following items for Zoning Commission consideration. Highlights include the following:
Code Structure and Zone Names
• Reorganizes information that was contained in Subtitles B and C to provide: general definitions; rules of measurement and definitions of relevant terms, as well as general relief criteria; and use groups and related use definitions.
• Subtitle C revised to contain regulations applied across the land use subtitles, such as parking, loading, bike parking, pervious surface, and Green Area Ratio requirements.
• Subtitle U created to consolidate use permissions in one Subtitle.
Green Area Ratio
• Revised the provisions to increase the tree canopy spread required to generate GAR credits.
• Clarify that cellar space would not be included in the 1,200 square foot limit for corner stores.
• Clarify that storage space for beer and wine would not be included in the 15% limit.
• Revised the provisions to allow an accessory apartment to occupy no more than 35% of the GFA of the house.
• Revised the provisions to allow an entrance on a street facing wall, provided the entrance is below grade.
• Included a provision to allow for an accessory apartment in an accessory building if the accessory building is located on a 15-foot wide alley and within 300 feet of a street.
• Revised the text to prohibit roof decks on accessory buildings, but allow balconies and projecting windows.
• Included a provision to allow for camping on an alley lot provided that the individuals camping on the alley lot have a bedroom in the principal structure.
• Included a provision to allow for a residential use on an alley lot if the dwelling is located on a 15-foot wide alley and within 300 feet of a street.
• Revised the text to prohibit roof decks on residential alley lot buildings and to allow balconies and projecting windows.
• Eliminated the proposed conversion restriction for the Mount Pleasant Historic District.
• Included a provision requiring a roof structure setback for buildings adjacent to historic buildings. (Language will be revised, if necessary, to reflect Zoning Commission action on Case 14-13, Rooftop Penthouse Regulations.)
• Included a provision to require a special exception with referral to the Architect of the Capitol for height in excess of 90 feet in Squares 625, 626, 628, 629, 630, and 631.
• Provided language that provides flexibility regarding the location of a trash room.
• Included a provision to prohibit garage parking accessed from the front of the building for rowhouse development.
• Revised the minimum parking requirement for the following uses: clinic, medical office, public library, public recreation facility, public community center armory, child development center, and public school.
• Provided language that would apply the parking reduction provision within a Priority Corridor Network only to properties for which participation in a District RPP program is not permitted.
• Revised the parking reduction provision to apply only to currently identified Priority Corridor Networks – any new PCN added would require an amendment to the zoning regulations to be eligible for the parking reduction.
• Provided language stating that dedication of all or a significant proportion of dwelling units as affordable housing units would be a criteria for special exception relief from parking requirements.
• Proposed a revised provision, requiring the lot width as previously propose, or the provision of 15 feet between the house and the parking area.
Planned Unit Developments
• Included a provision that reads, “The Commission shall at its sole discretion determine if the modification qualifies for the category requested and whether a public hearing should be held.”
• Included a provision that reads, “At least one week prior to the hearing, an individual offered as an expert witness shall provide written evidence to the Commission of expertise including but not limited to educational attainment, licensing, accreditation, examples of relevant or comparable work and employment.”
Campus and Private School Plans
• Included a provision that reads, “A further processing of one or more buildings within a campus plan boundary shall not be filed simultaneously with a full campus plan application. However, an amendment to an approved campus plan may be considered simultaneously with an application the further processing if determined necessary by the Commission.”
• Proposed a threshold of 450 square feet for minor modifications.
Creation of New Zones
• Amended the language to read: If the proposed new zone involves a reduction in any development standard or property right, effected property owner in opposition shall be given an equal amount of time as the applicant to present their opposition. The opposing property owner shall not be required to meet the same burden as that of significant community support.
Mixed Use Zones
• Reinstated the 12 foot minimum rear setback for the W zones.
• Maintained residential lot occupancy in those zones where it is now required; require a lot occupancy in the W-2 and W-3 zones.
• Added restrictive language to new Subtitle U, Uses that restricts any eating and drinking uses from using the extra 0.5.
• Proposed two new sub-areas to address NCPC and Zoning Commission concerns about North and South Capitol Streets and establishment of upper story setbacks to protect the view of the Capitol.
• Proposed a new sub-area for the south side of Independence Avenue, S.W. to address NCPC concerns about minimizing intrusions on the National Mall’s southern viewshed.
• Expanded the proposed boundaries of the Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. sub-area to include all of the PADC plan’s boundaries. Included references to use and dimensional compatibility with the PADC plan of 1974, as revised in 1990. Referenced the PADC plan as a supplementary authority to the zoning regulations.
• Removed FAR restrictions on pre-1936 buildings with Certificates of Occupancy and retained the ability of such properties to generate Credits for FAR that are not used in conjunction with substantial building rehabilitations.
• Clarified that Historic Preservation FAR restrictions apply only to the site of a historic landmark or contributing building to a historic district.
• Ensured that Inclusionary Zoning requirements would be retained where they are now in effect.
• Ensured that only credits generated by residential uses and converted, unassigned CLDs may be used to reduce residential requirements on the sending lot.
The Zoning Commission also asked that OP continue to work with DDOT to address the issue of disqualifying residents of certain developments from obtaining residential parking permits and to review side yard setback provisions for rowhouse development. OP is expected to provide the Commission with additional information on these items in early 2015.