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Posted at 3:04 PM ET, 12/20/2010

What the D.C. zoning process hearing should address

By David Alpert

Washington's extensive zoning update process continues with a hearing tonight on the Green Area Ratio proposals and the deadline for submitting written comments on car and bicycle parking minimums and maximums.

First, today is the last day to submit written testimony to the Zoning Commission on the parking chapter, including relaxing parking minimums, adding limited parking maximums for very large projects, and guiding the location of parking on a lot.

I'm particularly focusing my written comments on the need to accelerate section 1506 (PDF) of the parking proposal, which disallows putting parking in front of buildings. OP and the Zoning Commission should enact this section before the complete zoning rewrite takes effect over a year from now.

Projects like the Aldi in Carver-Langston or the Van Ness Walgreens (later changed) will keep getting proposed while the zoning rewrite is underway.

Developers will design a project the way zoning requires, but in the absence of guidance, they'll just fall back on the standard suburban models. These projects will last for 50 years, so the least we can ask is that the developer put the parking behind the buildings...

The Green Area Ratio (PDF), the subject of tonight's hearing, incorporates a standard of environmental sustainability into development. New development or large-scale renovations for buildings will have to meet a GAR standard, except for single-family homes, 2-unit condos/apartments, or accessory dwellings .

Continue reading this piece by David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington here.

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | December 20, 2010; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, housing  
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