'A Light At The End Of The Tunnel': D.C.'s Development Appeals FreezeBeginning To Thaw
July 18, 2019
Jon Banister, Bisnow Washington, D.C.
The wave of appeals that has delayed thousands of units of D.C. housing in recent years appears to have reached a turning point with a series of court decisions that experts say should give developers confidence.
The D.C. Court of Appeals earlier this month affirmed the Zoning Commission approval for the $720M McMillan development, which had its first approval vacated by the same court in 2016.
The decision is meaningful not just because it will allow the long-stalled project to move forward, but because the language in the court's order displays a shifting attitude that experts say should bode well for other projects facing appeal, experts said.
"I think this really is a watershed [moment] for this litigation," D.C. Director of Planning Andrew Trueblood said of the McMillan ruling. "It clearly outlines the boundaries of what the court is looking for ... It sets the stage for what the rules of engagement are."
The McMillan decision came down within a week of two other court rulings that will also allow projects to move forward. In a June 27 ruling, the court affirmed the Zoning Commission approval of Capital City Real Estate's 180-unit project at 1701 H St. NE, more than 26 months after the project was appealed.