No “downzoning”? So what is this all about? Sounds like a good initiative for those of us who would like to see higher density and more affordable housing options (an apartment is easier to buy than an entire townhome), but often the devil is in the details. So what gives, is anyone familiar with the fine print here and can give us the Cliff notes?
They do have a website: nadz.org.”
Ed. Note: We last spoke about this debate in July.
The folks from NADZ just sent an email this morning – Downzoners Pushing Ahead with Proposal to Downsize Home Owner Rights in Lanier Heights:
On Wednesday, the folks that favor downzoning will make a presentation to our Advisory Neighborhood Commission. They will propose changing Lanier Heights from the current zoning (R-5-B) to a lesser zoning (R-4).
The ANC meeting will take place at the Kalorama Recreation Center, 1875 Columbia Road, at 7 PM on Wednesday September 17. Please note that this is not the usual location for our ANC to meet. The Kalorama Recreation Center is in Kalorama Park, in Adam Morgan’s Kalorama Historic District, where the Kalorama Citizens Association is based. The KCA tried to create a Lanier Heights Historic District in 2007 but they were defeated. Now the KCA is a big supporter of downzoning our neighborhood.
We all have better things to do with our time than go to a meeting on a Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the downzoners don’t have anything better to do with their time. On Wednesday night, they will make a proposal to downzone Lanier Heights. If that proposal becomes law, that will be the end of residential growth in our neighborhood. Home owners will lose their right to convert a row house into a 3 or 4 unit apartment or condo building. Downzoning will cost home owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost home equity, and will cost our neighborhood the chance for growth and change.
And it gets even worse. Some folks who live in R-4 zones are trying to convince the city to reduce home owner development rights in their neighborhoods. So Lanier Heights could be hit twice: downzoned from our current 50 foot height limit to a 40 foot limit (R-4), then see those R-4 height limits cut back even more, to a 35 foot height limit.
So please come to the meeting and ask the hard questions:
(1) Why do the downzoners feel entitled to rob their neighbors of home value?
(2) Why do they think they have the right to limit the future development of the entire neighborhood?
(3) Why are they trying to make it impossible for the next generation of younger residents to find affordable housing?
(4) Why do they want to downzone us even more?
(5) Why do they want to see residential neighborhoods across the city downzoned when the city is in the middle of a population boom?
(6) Will they compensate people whose entire life savings are invested in their homes once those homes lose value under downzoning?
(7) Will they finally confess that downzoning is really all just about parking?
(8) When will they admit that creating a Lanier Heights Historic District is their ultimate goal?
(9) What do they think will happen to the future of our city if downzoning spreads across D.C.?”