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Joint Height Master Plan for the District of Columbia Meetings Launch May 13, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013
Joint Height Master Plan for the District of Columbia

 Media Contacts

    John Lisle
    Mafara Hobson

Joint Height Master Plan for the District of Columbia

The DC Office of Planning (OP) and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) are conducting a joint Height Master Plan for the District of Columbia to explore the impact of strategic changes to the federal Height of Buildings Act of 1910 (The Height Act) and to determine the extent to which the Height Act continues to serve both the federal and District government interests. The Height Act is a federal law that imposes restrictions on the height of all buildings within the District’s boundaries. The study was requested by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC.) after a July 19, 2012 hearing on potential changes to the Height Act. NCPC and the District will submit final recommendations to Congress in fall 2013.

In response to the committee’s request, the District and NCPC developed a joint proposal that is guided by the following principles:

  • Ensuring the prominence of federal landmarks and monuments by preserving their views and setting;
  • Maintaining the horizontality of the monumental city skyline; and
  • Minimizing the negative impacts to nationally significant historic resources, including the L’Enfant Plan.

Please visit the study website for more information, including background, videos, a blog and opportunities for the public to sign up for updates and to post comments. For information on the District’s work for the Height Master Plan, please contact Tanya Stern, DC Office of Planning, at (202) 442-7635 or [email protected].

Mayor Vincent Gray issued a press release on April 30, 2013 announcing the consultant teams working with the District and NCPC on the Height Master Plan

The Height Act is a federal law that can be modified only through congressional action. Any changes to the law proposed by Congress will not pre-empt local decisions by the District government about whether and when any changes to building heights would occur. The District would undertake amendments to its Comprehensive Plan and then initiate any zoning changes deemed appropriate through its normal processes, including substantial public input, to respond to any congressional modifications to the Height Act.

Public Meetings

OP and NCPC will hold four public meetings starting on May 13, 2013 to discuss Phase 1 of the study.  This first round of meetings will present the scope and schedule of the study and discuss how other cities manage building height. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide feedback about how the federal Height Act impacts federal and local interests. Information received at these public meetings will inform development of the Plan. Each session will follow the same format and agenda. Additional public meetings will be scheduled for future phases of the study, with the next round anticipated in late July.

Monday, May 13, 2013
Petworth Library
6:30 pm to 8:30 PM
4200 Kansas Avenue, NW
Metro: Georgia Ave-Petworth

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
10:30 am to 12:30 pm
901 G Street, NW
Metro: Gallery Pl-Chinatown

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
National Capital Planning Commission
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
401 9th Street, NW Suite 500
Metro: Archives or Gallery Pl-Chinatown

Thursday, June 6, 2013
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Savoy Elementary School
2400 Shannon Place, SE
Metro: Anacostia