basement rental & zoning issue

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Topic: basement rental & zoning issue

Governement and Politics September 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

basement rental & zoning issue

I have a interior rowhouse near EL Haynes and I wanted to convert my basement to a rental unit since I don’t really use it for anything but storage.  I’m in an R3 zone and the city is telling me that I’m not zoned for this use.  I’d read somewhere that the city council was considering changing the zoning to allow basement rentals in R2 and R3 areas.  The zoning office and DCRA didn’t know anything about it when I asked them.  Anyone heard anything about this change in zoning?  Know where I can find more info?
I was told that applying for a variance involves getting a lawyer, architectural drawings (with stamp), plats, etc. and taking them to an adjudication hearing to argue for the variance.  Which means I’d have to invest quite a bit of money on the chance that I get the variance and it will take a very long time.

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The zoning rewrite is coming along.  Unfortunately, the proposed changes will require a special exception for basement apartments in R-3 rowhouse neighborhoods.  It allows apartments in detached R-3 neighborhoods.
You can consult with a lawyer, but my understanding is that variances are basically never granted for R-3 rowhouse under the current law.

Thanks.  Everyone seems to have a different answer to this question.  The more I look into this, the more confusing it gets.  I guess I might need to suck it up and resign myself to an afternoon at the DCRA (sigh). 

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