Sunday, June 22, 2014

06-22-2014 Washington Post article on pop-ups: DC Office to release proposal on pop-ups

Click on the link to read the entire Washington Post article on pop-ups. 

Note that the DC Office of Planning has a proposal on pop-ups, which I am easy to see.  And note that the DC Office of Planning might propose conservation districts, which some refer to as "historic district-lite."

June 22 at 7:29 PM
They’re like skyscrapers in small villages: renovated townhouses — but between 40 and 65 feet high — right next to squat, two-story rowhouses in Washington neighborhoods from Petworth to NOMA to Adams Morgan.
Their common nickname: pop-ups. Their common epithet among neighbors and on local blogs: monsters. Middle Fingers.
These skyward-extending residences are spreading across the city, fueled by small developers eager to cash in on the District’s real estate boom and seize any inch of available real estate, which these days means vertical empty space. Though developers have the right to build upward — and say they are providing needed housing stock — the city is evaluating how it can ensure that pop-ups in some neighborhoods reflect their community’s character.
“Supporters of pop-ups — other­wise intelligent people — talk about the need for Washington to respond to the great housing demand. That’s patently absurd,” Graham said. “This is about profit. It’s about the historic streetscape in the city. And it’s about, when will it end?”
The D.C. Office of Planning was expected on Friday to publicly release proposals on pop-ups, said Jennifer Steingasser, the office’s deputy director. Her office has been examining whether the current 40-foot maximum height is “appropriate” for some neighborhoods in residential zones.
The Zoning Commission will review the proposal. It would have to approve any new regulations on pop-ups, but a vote isn’t expected to happen for several months.
Steve Callcott, the Planning Office’s deputy preservation officer, said he and his colleagues also might propose the creation of “conservation districts,” a status for which neighborhoods could apply that would force pop-ups to come under city review before getting approval.

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