Housing Complex

Battle Lines Drawn Over Zoning Update

Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning

It's not really news that lots of people are vocally unhappy about the update to the city's zoning code drafted by the Office of Planning. But it sure makes for good entertainment.

The D.C. Council is wrapping up a hearing right now on the update, which will finally replace the woefully outdated 1958 code that's older than 78 percent of the city's residents, according to the Office of Planning. OP Director Harriet Tregoning opened the hearing with an explanation of the changes to the code and the reasons behind them. Then it was the public's turn to speak.

And did they ever speak. OP "has the least respect for public comments I've ever seen," said Barbara Kahlow of the West End Citizens Association. "OP has gone well beyond its mandate," said George Clark, chairman of the development-skeptical Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and it's turned the zoning update into a game of "whack-a-mole." The proposed update's logic "has been 'build as much as possible—whatever you want and wherever you want it—and we'll do our best to minimize any restrictions, requirements, or opportunities for public input that might get in your way,'" charged Ward 3 resident and perpetual development critic Sue Hemberger. "They went at this bass-ackwards*," said Ward 3 resident George Idelson. Car-sharing programs like Car2Go are making it impossible to find a parking space, alleged Tenleytown Neighbor Association President Juliet Six.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, no great friend of development, had fun batting back some of the accusations.

"OK.....," he replied to Six's Car2Go charge, mystified. "Why is that a problem? They aren't very large cars and there aren't very many of them."

But parking is at the heart of the zoning update controversy, and it's got people seriously riled up. As I laid out in my column yesterday, the existing zoning code requires new apartment buildings to include a certain number of parking spaces, whether or not the developer thinks it's necessary and economically wise. The proposed update would eliminate the minimum requirement for buildings in the downtown area and near metro and high-frequency bus lines—although developers would still be free to construct as much parking as they thought wise.

But some critics have treated the proposed change as a war on cars. Hemberger, at today's hearing, made the novel case that reducing parking requirements would risk "replicating an essentially suburban pattern of development" by forcing drivers out of the city.

Of course, it's the current zoning code that was inspired by, and promoted, the suburban model. It initially envisioned a ring of parking garages around downtown D.C.; people would live on the outside and work on the inside. As Tregoning's predecessor Ellen McCarthy pointed out at today's hearing, Harold Lewis, who brought us the 1958 zoning code, laid out his philosophy as follows:

Life in a metropolitan city has come to be dominated by the ownership of an automobile and a detached house by the wealthier half of the population. Optimists believe that by the end of this century the other half of the population will share the ownership of homes, while the automobile is already almost universal. Separate houses and automobiles are all necessarily linked together, for detached houses on large plots of land for all would be impossible to reach and live in without the family car, and the car is a useless excrescence unless one has a home with space around it. Together the two demand, and make possible, the use of a much larger unit of space per family in the city than was formerly the case with streetcars and row houses.

Right, and the update to the code is what's going to lead to suburbanization.

But Idelson did make one point that Housing Complex took to heart. The zoning update, he said, "might be the most under-covered story in Washington."

Mr. Idelson, I'll take that as a challenge.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

* CORRECTION, October 6: George Idelson emailed to inform me that he said "bass-ackwards," not "ass-backwards," as originally reported. We regret any insinuation of verbal impropriety on Mr. Idelson's part.

  • Ronald Bland

    For what it is worth, I think these proposed zoning regulations are all about density. Put as many residents in as small a space as possible. This is all about raising revenue (increasing the tax base). The parking issue is a "red herring". It would appear that some of the new zoning proposals are inconsistent with the current DC Comprehensive Plan to preserve residential neighborhoods and green space. It may come as a suprise to our city officials but some people do not want to live "cheek to jowl" with their neighbors.

  • Sue Hemberger

    I didn't say anything about "forcing drivers out of the city" or "a war on cars." What I said was that we should be building more next-stage and family-sized housing (vs. maximizing the number of studio and one-bedroom apartments) near Metro stations so that we retain new residents rather than watch them move to the burbs and become more car-dependent once they find a partner, start raising kids, and/or want to buy an affordable home or find an apartment or condo with more than 2 bedrooms.

    As I pointed out, my own family is carless and I've been a non-driver by choice my entire life (I'm in my early 50s). My kid's growing up instinctively multimodal and that's key if we want the next generation to live differently -- rather than car-free urban living to remain something you outgrow once you're no longer young and single.

    Re Harold Lewis -- not really relevant, IMO. Look at the current code (which never embodied all of his plans and which has been amended about a thousand times since 1958) and what it has produced. It's up-to-date enough to include things like inclusionary zoning and parking for bikes and carshare vehicles, as well as reductions on parking requirements for development near Metro stations. It's not perfect and needs to be updated to reflect the policy decisions embodied in the 2006 Comp Plan, but it's not standing in the way of new development, population growth, or our urban renaissance.

    To my mind, what the current code hasn't done well is steer growth to the areas that need and would benefit most from it. The Comp Plan acknowledged the unevenness of recent development and outlined strategies for combatting it. But OP, in its focus on density, just wants more and doesn't care where or how. That's a big mistake, long-term. I'd prefer we didn't make it, which is why I've been a critic of the proposed regs.

  • DC Guy

    I disagree.

    I think the zoning revamping has to do with focusing the city on targeting density along transit corridors. From my read of the drafts, none of the existing single family zones are slated to be upzoned. Further, the transit corridors are generally what makes sense. It isn't like there are single family zones that are going to be significantly affected by what is proposed.

    I think the testimony on Friday of a Tenleytown resident was pretty telling. As the "time expired" beeper was going off, she quickly said something to the effect that the density ought to be focused in Deanwood, not Tenleytown.

    My take? It ought to be both. Both neighborhoods are under-developed and both have metro stations and bus lines. Why should the lilly-white Ward 3 neighborhood be any different than Deanwood in Ward 7?

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  • Drumz

    Good news, the zoning update doesn't force people out of their single family homes if they want to live in one. It does however allow for mor diverse housing options especially for people who don't mind living close together to do so i locations where impact is minimal (meaning near a metro station and other transit lines).

    If you need space that's fine, but please explain why your desire for space needs to be codified and prevent others from living close together if they choose.

  • EH

    The piece I would like to see more about - and maybe I am just missing it somewhere - is that we spent a great deal of time a few years ago to develop a Comprehensive Plan. Nobody seems willing to directly cover how the new Zoning rewrite actually corresponds to this plan. From what I can see, as much as I like some of the things in the rewrite, it does take a number of liberties beyond what is dictated by the plan. That is worth discussing, and I think is the source of a great deal of the controversy. There is a sense that OP has disregarded this plan all together, or is hostile towards anyone who is trying to tie them together - as they are supposed to.

  • Dupont Guy

    Car2Go is actually beneficial in making it easier to park (over time). Studies have shown that car sharing reduces the number of cars people own. So while you may add X number of small Car2Go cars, you will reduce the number of cars owned by some >1 multiple of X and thus end up with more available parking spaces. However this does not happen over night.

  • DC Guy

    @Dupont Guy Of course! That is what makes the statement from the head of the Tenleytown Neighborhood Association so ironic. Her problem seemed to be that one or two C2Go vehicles were on her street. She fails to acknowledge how many cars belong to her neighbors are no longer parked in her neighborhood due to the presence of the service.

    @EH In my mind, one can read the Comprehensive Plan with whatever perspective and baggage they want. Thus, I might be able to read something in a way that allows for more housing and transportation choices, where you or others might read it as overreaching, taking liberties and bad policy.

  • wakka wakka

    @Sue Hemberger: I'm glad to know you read this blog so I can personally tell you how nuts you are. Your deliberately misleading comments, while falling just short of being outright lies, are intentionally crafted to mislead the public on these zoning updates. You have taken what should have been treated as a simple and logical method of focusing population increase - increase which WILL come, despite your attempts to keep DC your own personal playground - into an exercise in politicizing what should be non-partisan processes. Please do the District a favor and move out to Virginia with the rest of your Tea Party allies - I'm sure you can get plenty of parking out in Woodbridge.

  • http://alexblock.net Alex B.

    There are what, 300 cars in the Car2go fleet? And they're each about half the length of a normal car. Therefore, they're occupying about 150 sedan-equivalent parking spaces.

    How many on-street parking spaces are there in DC? Tens of thousands, perhaps even more like 100,000 (I remember a DDOT rep mentioning how many there were, but I don't recall exactly what it was - it was near six figures, however).

    So, 300 vehicles, all parked, would occupy 0.3% of all on-street space (assuming 100,000 spaces).

    Furthermore, the idea that the spaces should be reserved for 'neighbors' is funny - I guess the neighbor and Car2go member that parked it there doesn't count as a neighbor.

  • Hillman

    The problem with going car-less in DC is that our cab system is horrible and can't be relied upon. Particularly if you live in certain parts of the city.

    And like it or not Metro just doesn't go everywhere when and as needed. Particularly if you live in an area where the five block walk from the metro or bus stop is very dangerous.

    Yes, by all means encourage carless living. But pretending that it's easy for all is simplistic. And sortof elitist.

  • Hillman

    What has happened to the proposed relaxing of rules regarding alleyway dwellings?

    Other cities have started reclaiming their alleyways, with the idea that all the infrastructure is already there. As is the transit.

    Of course the loser is parking.

    DC has a ton of carriage houses and alley houses that are basically being used for storage. Yes, some is for parking but it's surprising how many neighborhoods you go through and the huge carriage house is boarded up and used for storage.

    Seems to be a huge waste of resources all in the name of maintaining parking that doesn't really exist anyway.

  • DC Guy

    @Hillman, this is the debate around Accessory Dwelling Units. For the most part, the draft suggests tightening the restrictions, but making them matter of right. Of course, the crazies of the world believe this will cause their precious single family neighborhoods to have too many of "those" people.

  • Sue Hemberger

    If there's a racial double standard here, it's DC Guy's assumption that a "lily white" neighborhood whose local retail includes Safeway, Whole Foods, one liquor store, a juice bar, a frozen yogurt store, Panera, Starbucks, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Container Store, a music store, a biking/hiking store, a Volvo/VW dealership, multiple Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, and Mexican restaurants as well as the Crab Shack, a Middle Eastern place, and a couple of sports bars (not to mention a wide variety of fast food, pizza places, drycleaners, banks, convenience stores, framers, nail salons, mattress stores, health clubs/martial arts/yoga studios, etc.) and where there are close to 6000 jobs within walking distance is as “underdeveloped” and as worthy of governmental prioritization as a predominantly African- American neighborhood with three corner markets, a dozen liquor stores, a Wendy's, a McDonald's and a couple of carryouts (as well a few laundromats, realtors, barbershops and hair salons) and where there are one-fifth as many jobs.

    As for underutilized Metro stations, week-daily ridership at Tenley is over 7000 -- at Deanwood it's less than 2000.

    The Comp Plan was explicit that transit zones should be selectively mapped and chosen to focus on a few Metrorail stations at a time where a critical mass of new investment could be transformative. That's a very different approach than the one-size-fits-all approach to Metro stations that the proposed new zoning codes. And what it means, in practice, is that investment and population aren't steered to the places where they are needed most. Instead the already thriving neighborhoods that are in high demand get more people and that struggling neighborhoods keep struggling. Because, in the end, there isn't infinite demand for housing in DC.

    As the Area Elements of the Comp Plan point out, Deanwood is one of the few neighborhoods in the city where there's enough available land to build three- and four-bedroom houses and that replacing lost households with middle class and working families is key to the neighborhood's revitalization. The challenge in the area is to grow in ways that benefit (rather than displace) existing residents, but this is an area where vacant land and properties make that possible.

  • http://alexblock.net Alex B.

    As for underutilized Metro stations, week-daily ridership at Tenley is over 7000 -- at Deanwood it's less than 2000.

    What's that supposed to show?

    A Metro station can handle a lot more capacity that 7,000 riders a day - it would seem that Tenleytown is also underutilized.

    Columbia Heights is 12,000+ riders a day, as a point of comparison. If you're curious as to what the maximum ridership for a single station would be, suffice it to say that even 12,000 boardings a day isn't even close.

    Painting this as an either/or between Tenleytown or Deanwood is a false choice.

  • emptynesterIntheburbs

    1. Zoning areas close to metro stations as SFH areas will not stop young families from moving to the suburbs for cheaper SFHs - its simply not possible to build enough SFH's in those small areas to significantly effect the price. What that WOULD do is keep people who want apartments in the suburbs, both young people and empty nesters like myself.

    2. Thanks for the suggestion to move to Deanwood. My wife probably will nix that - call her racist if you like, but she's been mugged and doesn't want to experience that again. Perhaps the folks in upper NW who are standing in the way of new development there should consider moving to Deanwood themselves.

  • emptynesterIntheburbs

    "who want apartments in the city"

  • emptynesterIntheburbs

    "Instead the already thriving neighborhoods that are in high demand get more people and that struggling neighborhoods keep struggling. Because, in the end, there isn't infinite demand for housing in DC"

    what a concept, letting development happen in areas of high demand. and of course we aren't talking infinite demand - the densities involved aren't that high, and the number of metro stations east of the Anacostia is only half a dozen. Its quite possible, even likely, that development will happen at EVERY metro station in DC.

    This does not even address whether folks east of the Anacostia will appreciate the cultural changes and economic displacement that will occur if their neighborhoods are transformed by an influx of newcomers.

  • DC Guy

    @Sue Hemberger

    I note that there were more than a handful of folks who think like you and live near where I assume you live who were pretty explicit in their testimony before the Committee of the Whole last Friday about focusing development in Deanwood instead of Tenleytown.

    Others have made the same point I have; it isn't either or. The region and District has of invested billions of dollars into Metro. It is time to make sure we, as taxpayers and stakeholders, have a chance to reap the benefits of that investment.

  • Jes’ sayin

    Just as the code requires buildings be handicapped accessible, so should they be required to provide some parking spaces for the handicapped. The population is aging, and everyone talks about how wonderful it is to have our seniors "age in place."

    Many seniors - and others - need cars and family members or caregivers to drive them places.

  • DC Guy

    See the meter 'red top' legislation.

  • Alf

    All Harriet Tregoning is interested in is stuffing as many yuppie-hipster condos as she can into the city, upzoning "desirable" neighborhoods while reducing regulatory requirements on developers -- to ensure a maximum rate of return and minimal risk for the development community. And if her everyone-takes-transit theory doesn't work, the yuppie-hipsters will just squeeze their Priuses onto the streets (with their numerous "R"-reciprocity stickers, indicating that their vehicles aren't even registered in the District). And when the single-yuppie-hipsters are ready to breed, it's no problem if there aren't larger, family-sized apartments or if the condo development has been over- concentrated in areas where the public schools are over capacity. Her model is that the former hipsters will just move to Germantown, to make way for new yuppie hipsters to take their place.

  • emptynesterIntheburbs


    if small condos attract those you label yuppie-hipsters, imagine how expensive brand new larger apartments will be. I don't see the rationale for dictating apartment size to the market. And if people don't all want to take transit, then they will choose buildings with parking. If you don't want them to park on the streets, don't give them residential parking permits.

  • emptynesterIntheburbs

    and why shouldn't a city that needs revenue try to maximize its property tax take? The social services they can provide with that will probably do more for the people in Deanwood than trying to send the yuppie condos there will.

  • Sue Hemberger

    Re steering development to places where it will cost the least and do the most good. That's not just how I think -- that's the policy approach embodied in the Comp Plan regarding transit-oriented development. Which means that it's the policy the new zoning regs are supposed to implement. Not every Metro station is in equal need of more development.

    What's the meaningful difference between fewer 2000 vs. more than 7000 riders a day? Well, for example, the stations with the lowest ridership in the system get threatened with things like weekend closures when it comes time to make budget cuts (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/04/09/neighborhood-watch-deanwood-metrorail-service-may-be-cut-short/).

    You want people to rely on Metro rather than cars? You need to keep Metro stations open and, ideally, you'd prefer to add traffic at the points on the line where (and times of day when) trains aren't already crowded because you lose riders when people routinely have to stand or wait for the next train.

    Yes, capacity is more complicated than simple ridership numbers (platform size, number of entrances/fare gates, station access (parking, connecting buses), number of lines, number of trains/cars, frequency of service, as well as when/where riders board and exit), but absolute numbers also matter, especially when they're low enough to impact service. And that's a downward spiral because poor service decreases ridership and makes the Metro station less of an asset to the community. At which point fewer people want to live or open businesses near it.

    In general, the "it's not an either-or decision" analysis strikes me as naive. (Calls to mind Anatole France's observation that the law, in its majestic equality, forbids both the rich and the poor from sleeping under bridges.) Treat both Tenleytown and Deanwood as equally worthy of development incentives and Tenleytown will get new residents and Deanwood won't. Treat Deanwood as a priority and limit development in Tenleytown to matter-of-right (the current zoning already allows higher densities near Metro), odds are you get more people in both places -- and more beneficial rates of growth in each.

  • A.

    @Sue Hemberger:

    Please provide examples of specific proposals in the zoning update that would lead to increased density in Tenleytown. Please include, in your response, an analysis of any changes to allowed heights, FARs, or lot occupancy, since these are the parameters that determine how large and "dense" buildings can be. You may also, if you choose, focus on residential density (i.e., the number of persons or dwelling units within a given area).

  • emptynesterIntheBurbs

    "Treat Deanwood as a priority and limit development in Tenleytown to matter-of-right (the current zoning already allows higher densities near Metro), odds are you get more people in both places -- and more beneficial rates of growth in each."

    I doubt very much that requiring unneeded parking at Tenleytown (thats what is at issue, right?) will mean more development at Deanwood. It might not even mean less development at Tenleytown - it might just mean the development that is built will have more off street parking built, resulting in a higher proportion of people with cars, and more congested (and less walkable and bikeable) streets.

    If the goal is to limit development at Tenleytown, just try to downzone it. Trying to limit it by requiring an unneeded parking minimum seems a roundabout way that is likely to lead to bad outcomes.

    If you really want to shift development to Deanwood, better approaches might be to focus law enforcement and education efforts there.

  • Sue Hemberger

    The problem is the mapping. It basically says all transit zones are created equal.

    Now apply the Comp Plan, in a PUD process, knowing Tenleytown is a transit zone. Anything you'd consider appropriate for encouraging development in any other transit zone (and the Comp Plan policy is to encourage TOD), you should allow here.

    From Deanwood's standpoint, it's a lost opportunity -- no focus = no decreased risk; no increased reward, no synergy. So the mapping accomplishes nothing.

    From Tenleytown's standpoint, it's a blanket rationale for allowing developers to exceed matter-of-right as long as they increase density -- DC wants to encourage TOD, this is TOD, it's in the zone, approve it. Most projects in Tenleytown aren't built within the zoning limits re height/FAR/lot occupancy. They're built as PUDs, typically with map amendments.

    ITA with Empty-nester's point about the relationship between development and education and public safety. Those kinds of public investments are crucial to attracting new investment and residents (and they benefit existing residents as well). This is another reason why it's important to actually follow the Comp Plan, which indicated that targeting areas for growth was supposed to be done in sync with public service improvements (and capital budgets were to be coordinated with development goals). Deanwood got a bit of that public investment (new community center/library, a Great Streets budget), but hasn't got the development push. As a result, I think it's going to be vulnerable not just to Metro service reductions, but to more school closures. Which sets the process of redevelopment back even further.

    Bottom line: you can have a TOD policy that is, essentially, let developers do whatever they want as long as it's near a Metro station or you can have a TOD policy that says "this neighborhood near a Metro station has great bones and we're working to help it realize its potential -- people who invest/move here can count on x, y, and z to make their projects/neighborhood more attractive." The Comp Plan represented an attempt to move us from the former to the latter approach. The ZRR suggests OP has no desire to implement that plan. So instead of a more strategic and intelligent approach to TOD, we're just getting the same old-same old, minus some parking.

  • emptynesterIntheBurbs

    Is the comp plan the place to put specific inducements aimed at specific metro stops? Isnt that proliferation of special zones with all their complexity in the comp plan one of the problems the new plan is designed to address? It seems logical that in a comp plan a TOD zone IS a TOD zone, and then any additional inducement for say Deanwood would be addressed by variances, etc.

    And I still don't see why abolishing parking minimums in TOD zones would make sense only for Deanwood, but not for Tenleytown. Unless you want to encourage driving to relieve transit crowding at Tenleytown, which seems like a poor idea to me.

  • emptynesterIntheBurbs

    "Deanwood got a bit of that public investment (new community center/library, a Great Streets budget), but hasn't got the development push"

    A new libary isnt going to get development into Deanwood unless and until the reality and perception of crime change. Meanwhile limiting development in Tenleytown will only mean more people living in the suburbs - and given the prices at TOD in most suburban locations, it mostly will mean fewer people living in TOD.

  • Barney Rubble

    @Sue Henberger. Comprehensive Plan blah blah blah. We await word on what development in Friendship or Tenley you ever have supported that is not matter of right that cannot be opposed. Gimmee a break about the bit of giving neighbors the right to dictate the type of development they want near Metro. As has been your and the other NIMBYs modus operandi, the answer is none. You really mean Deanwood, not Tenley, ever.

    Now that we have established where you are coming from, carry on.

  • http://alexblock.net Alex B.

    Sue: I see you conflating these things together:

    Comprehensive planning
    Zoning regulations
    Economic and real estate development

    The comprehensive plan is one thing. Zoning rules are another. Economic and real estate development is yet another thing. They are all related topics, no doubt - but conflating them to be the same misses the very real distinctions between how those different tools function and what roles they serve.

  • Sue Hemberger

    Nope -- I'm clear on the relationship.

    The Comp Plan sets goals and policy directions. DC's combines federal, citywide, and area (somewhere between ward and neighborhood level) planning elements.

    The zoning code is supposed to implement those policies (to the extent that such policies rely on zoning -- some do, some don't). The reason DC is in the midst of revising the zoning regs now is that we have a (relatively) new Comp Plan and the maps and code need to be revised so as to be "not inconsistent" with it. While we're at it, the logic is that the code is supposed to be streamlined and made more user-friendly, but that's a not a mandate for substantive changes.

    The function of planning and zoning generally is to channel market forces so that economic/RE development serves public as well as private interests. Zoning also serves the function of mediating among the private interests of nearby property owners.

    In DC, the Comp Plan is approved by the Council, so, ultimately, it's a somewhat democratic process. By contrast, the zoning regs are left to the Zoning Commission (all 5 members are appointed, and only 3 of them
    by DC's elected officials). In both cases (plan and regs), the Office of Planning does the drafting. And the Office of Planning spends much of its time working with RE developers.

    Basically, it's a scenario in which democratic gains are easily reversed by subsequent bureaucratic processes. Which is why you hear the DC Building Industry Association's rep on the ZRR taskforce testifying that OP has been very responsive and neighborhood activists saying just the opposite.

  • Barney Rubble

    @ Sue Henberger Misleading again. There is little in the way of substantive change. Really, just the issue of transit zones and reduction of parking minimums that is setting your hair on fire. Aside from the usual suspects, a cadre of folks with a track record of opposing development on Wisconsin Avenue from Ward 3, there was no testimony on OP being unresponsive to community concerns.

    OP is not in the pockets of developers by any stretch.

    And even if they were, assuming for the sake of argument, I'd much rather have folks with at least some schooling in the art of planning - although clearly not as smart as you - to be in charge of the process. The alternative would be (shudder) to have a City Council that was in the pockets of developers. I assure you that the champions of NIMBYs like Phil Mendelson would no longer be your friend if that was our system. And he's an honest man.

    Imagine how some of the other group of scoundrels would act if they were in the developers' pockets. We wouldn't even be having this discussion because the parking minimums would have been gone years ago.

  • DC Guy

    "While we're at it, the logic is that the code is supposed to be streamlined and made more user-friendly, but that's a not a mandate for substantive changes."
    - Sue Hemberger

    I would submit, and the testimony of Harriet Tregoning reiterated, that there are no substantive changes in the draft zoning regulations. To wit:

    - Accessory Dwelling Units: The proposal limits ADUs by right to owner-occupied dwellings, and reduces the options to a basement or a garage, but not both. Currently a signle family home can be split into three units (house, garage, basement) and not be owner occupied. In other words, this is an improvement on the current situation.

    -Transit Zones and Parking. The complaint here seems to be from current residents who fear their neighborhoods will be over parked. In reality, if there is demand for parking, the developers, not wanting to miss an opportunity to maximize their investments, will build parking. All this is doing is eliminating the government mandate for the amount of parking required. Indeed, at looking at the maps of proposed transit zones, there aren't any of note in single family neighborhoods. It is hard to understand the fuss here.

    -Corner stores. The neighborhoods in high demand such as Georgetown, Capitol Hill and Dupont could not be recreated under current zoning. The idea here is to enable more resources for residents, particularly in row house neighborhoods, to enjoy the same amenities as their downtown counterparts.

    Of course, the Committee of 100 and the regular cast of characters can continue to bang the drum against these changes, but they will continue to look foolish and selfish in the eyes of the average residents around the city who have taken part in these discussions, have been engaged in the twitterverse and neighborhood listserves and are otherwise happy with the results of the multi-year process.

    At some point, your patron saint in Phil you trust will see that the goose that lays the golden egg is no longer in Upper Whiteoptia of Ward 3.

  • A.

    @Sue Hemberger:
    Once again (since you did not respond to previous request): Please provide examples of specific proposals in the zoning update that would lead to increased density in Tenleytown.
    Also, please provide a basis for your assertion that transit zones are "a blanket rationale for allowing developers to exceed matter-of-right as long as they increase density." Do the rules for PUDs differ in transit zones vs. non-transit zones? Once again, please point to specific proposals.
    I suspect that you are unable to give satisfactory answers to these questions because the real answer is that there are no such dramatic changes.

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