Friday Question of the Day – Should DC’s Building Height Limits Be Lifted? (Take Two)

by Prince Of Petworth April 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm 78 Comments

Yesterday the Washington Post published a story titled Gray, Issa consider relaxing D.C. building height limits:

Issa, Gray and Norton said they primarily envision minor modifications to the height restrictions, perhaps an additional story onto some projects. But even a small change could make District buildings sleeker, raise ceiling heights and provide more opportunity for green space, architects said.

Issa said he’s also exploring whether the District should have greater flexibility to consider even taller buildings in areas away from downtown, a change that could one day remake parts of Northeast and Southeast and help the city absorb new residents and businesses.

Under the Height Act, a building on a commercial street can not exceed 20 feet greater than the width of the facing street, to a maximum of 130 feet. There is an exception on Pennsylvania Avenue between 1st and 15th streets NW, where buildings can rise to 160 feet.

Back in Jan. 2009 after polling PoPville about this 62% said it should not be lifted and 38% should be lifted. I’m wondering if folks still feel the same way? If you think they should be lifted – should there be any limits at all? If so, what should the new limit be? Do you think the restrictions should only be limited to downtown?


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