Press Release: DC for Reasonable Development, 202 810 2768
March 15, 2017
OFFICE OF PLANNING TO THROW OPEN DOORS TO AMENDING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN; Public Protections Expected to be Gutted by Developers
Washington, DC – On March 6, 2017, Eric Shaw, Director of the DC Office of Planning told the DC City Council that the Mayor intends to announce an ‘Open Call’ for amendments to the District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan is DC’s central planning document.
The Comprehensive Plan took more than four years to develop, and guides anticipated development of DC’s built environment over a 20-year period (2006-2026). To date there is no publicly available report showing how the Comp Plan policies are being used and whether they are working, or not.
‘We are now halfway through the 20-year plan,’ said Ward 4 ANC Commissioner Renee Bowser. ‘The Office of Planning has not reported on the efficacy of the current plan policies they are asking us to change. Thus, this amendment process is vulnerable to unwarranted changes that will benefit a certain constituency at the expense of longtime District residents and families.’
Developers and city planning officials collaborated in rewriting the zoning regulations so that the recently approved “ZR16” ensures many types of development that previously required public review are now ‘matter of right.’
The public anticipates the city will continue to serve private interests by eliminating from the Comprehensive Plan safeguards that allow residents to appeal zoning projects that destabilize existing neighborhoods.
‘Residents and developers rely on the Comprehensive Plan for the appropriate size of developments,’ said Stephen Hansen, Chair of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City. ‘It is outrageous that some developers are seeking to upend the certainty offered by the Plan so that they can have an unchecked shot at development . . . across the city.’
The Office of Planning officials intend to ‘throw open the doors to amending the Comprehensive Plan’ at the beginning of April.