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Working Groups

Review of the DC Zoning Regulations has been divided into 20 subject areas.  Each subject area is reviewed separately by a public working group that provides advice to the Office of Planning as we make recommended changes to the Regulations.  After working group review, recommendations for each subject area are reviewed by the Zoning Review Taskforce and then forwarded on to the Zoning Commission for a public hearing.
 
Subject Areas:
 
Height (Working group meetings January 29-February 26, 2008)
The subject area on height included discussions about how height is measured, the relationship of the Height Act with zoning, roof structures, stories, and other issues that relate to the height of buildings.  This area will not examine raising or lowering the limits on height under zoning or the Height Act.
 
Flood Plain (Working group meetings February 6-28, 2008)
The working group for this study area examined the city’s policies for building structures within the flood plain.  The group discussed zoning strategies for regulation of these structures.
 
Parking (Working group meetings February - May 2008)
This subject area covered all of the issues within the current Chapter 21 of the zoning ordinance.  We examined the requirements for parking spaces as well as the standards for their location and access.
 
Loading (Working group meetings February 20 - April 2 2008)
This subject area covered all of the issues within the current Chapter 22 of the zoning ordinance.  We examined the requirements for loading as well as the standards for location and access.
 
Retail Strategy (Working group meetings March 19-April 30, 2008)
This area examined zoning strategies to encourage retail development and improve local retail options.  We focused on supporting and encouraging local, small, and disadvantaged businesses.  
 
Arts & Culture (Working group meetings March 18-April 22, 2008)
The current zoning code has many incentives and requirements for arts and culture uses.  This group reviewed existing policies and examine ways to expand the availability of art space and arts related uses throughout the city. 
 
Historic (Working group meetings March 13-April 24, 2008)
This area dealt with the relationship between the zoning code and the existing review structure for historic buildings.  We examined the current sections on historic structures and determine what exceptions or special requirements need to be in place for these buildings.

Industrial (Working group meetings June 19 - July 24, 2008)
The industrial use group worked with the existing Industrial Land Use Study and policies of the Comprehensive Plan to determine how our existing industrial zones could be improved.  Issues included relationships to residential use, matter-of-right uses in industrial zones, and transitional uses.

Campus/Institutional (Working group meetings  July 1 - July 22, 2008)
This area includes examination of campus plan options for educational and institutional uses.

Sustainability (Working group meetings November 6 - February 2009)
This subject area examined encouraging environmental sensitivity through zoning and removing zoning obstacles to sustainable design.  Issues included green building design, low impact development, transit oriented development, energy efficiency and measures of sustainability.
 
Low/Moderate Density Residential (Working group meetings March 24 - June 26, 2008)
This subject area dealt with issues relating to lower density residential neighborhoods.  Areas that would fit into the traditional R-1 through R-4 zones with largely single and two-family housing stock are the focus.  This group looked at a wide variety of issues including alley lots, accessory dwellings, corner retail stores, related non-residential uses, bulk and setback requirements, and many others.  This group also examined the existing residential zoning categories and overlays to determine if these are sufficient to meet the needs of the city’s neighborhoods.
 
Medium/High Density Residential (Working group meetings March 17- June 22 2009)
This subject area dealt with those issues surrounding the higher density residential areas outside of the downtown.  This area deals with other areas traditionally zoned R-5.  The group will review existing zoning categories for sufficiency to meet city policies.
 
Downtown (Working group meetings October 1 - April 30, 2009)
The Downtown subject area began by looking at the area contained in the Downtown Development Overlay District.  The group  examined the goals of the district to determine what has been accomplished and what needs remain.  The group looked at the boundaries of “downtown” and examine the zoning techniques used to address this area.
 
Commercial Corridors and Mixed Use Districts (Working group meetings May 1 - June 17, 2009)
This subject area discussed zoning options to meet the needs of the city's commercial corridors.  We examined the relationship between commercial uses and the surrounding residential zones.  The group reviewed the use of geographically specific overlays and options for zoning solutions more specifically related to each corridor.
 
Mixed/Other Districts (Working group meetings June 11 - July 14, 2009)
This study area dealt with issues related to zone districts not covered in the other areas.  Specifically, the group examined the Waterfront districts as well as some of the miscellaneous overlays in the code.

Parks/Open Space (Working group meetings in February 2009)
This group examined the need for and makeup of potential zones for open space.
 
Planned Unit Development (PUD) (Working group meetings March 25 - June 15, 2010)

This subject area looked at different options for review and approval of larger development projects in the District.  Issues included the limits of matter-of-right development, the relationship between density and public benefits, the role of government agencies and community groups in development, and other issues relating to discretionary review of large developments.
 

Administration & Enforcement (Working group meetings in September - October 2010)
Working closely with the Office of Zoning, this group used the results of the first 18 working groups to update and improve the policies of Chapter 32 of the existing ordinance. This group was combined with the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment Procedures working group.
 
ZC & BZA Procedures (Working group meetings in September - October 2010)
Working closely with the Office of Zoning, this group used the results of the first 18 working groups to update and improve the policies of Chapters 30 and 31 of the existing ordinance. This group was combined with the Administration and Enforcement working group.

Design Review (Working group meetings in April - May 2011)
This area examines the need for and place for design review in our development review process.  This group will also look at zoning regulations that require urban design considerations in matter-of-right development.