DC’s new zoning regulations – referred to as “ZR16” – become effective September 6. They are the product of a multi-year review by the Zoning Review Taskforce of the original zoning regulations enacted in 1958 and amended or updated through a patchwork process in the succeeding decades. The Zoning Review Taskforce was comprised of representatives of the DC Government, the DC professional business and architectural communities, and the public.
ZR16 is a significant rewrite of the 1958 and successive regulations. While not comprehensive, significant changes include the following: (1) new zone designations; (2) decrease in parking requirements; (3) easing of restrictions for accessory dwelling units such as garages and carriage houses; (4) significant expansion of the downtown DC designation; (5) allowance of corner stores in certain residential zones; (6) allowance of special exception relief to development standards rather than the requirement of a variance; and (7) establishment of new front yard setbacks in residential zones for consistent street walls.