FACT CHECK FRIDAY: HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ZONING
Historic preservation and zoning are planning tools that affect the cityscape. These tools are often confused, so we're explaining what each does.
Historic preservation protects and reuses historically significant places. Preservation includes adding sites to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, which protects them from demolition; rehabilitating sites for modern uses; and helping communities protect places that matter to them. Preservation includes design guidelines to ensure that development of historic places does not compromise their character defining features.
Zoning is how cities govern the use of land. Zoning laws and regulations tell property owners what can be built on a site. This regulates how tall a building can be, its square footage lot occupancy, and other physical features. Zoning also defines density how a property can be used. This keeps industrial waste processing plants from being constructed next to homes.
Preservation asks whether or not a site has significant architectural or social history. Zoning asks how a building occupies space and how it is used.
Preservation and zoning each have their own separate governing bodies. Preservation does not limit the size of additions to building. Zoning does not ensure attractive development of a property.
Each Friday we'll explore another historic preservation fact. Comment with what topic we should cover next.
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