Tuesday, September 06, 2016

the new zoning regulations take effect today

Click on the link to read the entire Washington City Paper post.

New D.C. Zoning Regulations Take Effect Today
It's the first time they've been fully updated in almost 60 years.
Sep. 6, 2016 12:45 p.m.
Here are some of the main takeaways from the new regulations, per the D.C. Office of Zoning and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs:
  • Relaxed restrictions on dwelling units (accessory apartments) not directly attached to homes to incentivize the adaptive reuse of structures like garages and historic carriage houses. If a detached building is on the same lot as a house, is accessible through a yard or an alley of a certain size, and is within 300 feet of a street, then an owner can permit an extra residential unit there. The owner must live on site.
  • Residential uses are now allowed in alley lots of some sizes provided that safety codes are met. The majority are in Wards 2 and 6.
  • Corner stores in more rowhouse zones than before: Stores must be smaller than 1,200 square feet and have limited hours (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Can't be within 500 feet of a mixed-use zone, on an alley lot, or in an accessory building as well.
  • A new definition of "fast food" that could facilitate more efficient permitting of fast-casual restaurants. In the past, prospective fast-casual owners have been lumped with more traditional fast-food joints like McDonald's and Popeye's because regulations had one-strike criteria: For example, if an establishment used disposable plates, then it was a fast food restaurant, which requires a special exemption from the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The new rules contain five criteria for what determines a fast food eatery, but no single one is dispositive.
  • New regulations create a standard for the amount of parking space required for multi-family dwellings of larger than four units: one parking space for every three units. They also get rid of parking requirements for buildings downtown. Additionally, the regulations fix a maximum size for by-right surface parking lots—100,000 square feet (which contain a ballpark range of 350 spots).
A fuller summary of the new regulations, which are not retroactive, is available here, courtesy of OP. The entire update can be accessed here.

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