City Paper Widget

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CORRECTED: Threat of Zoning Code Revision Delays Q Street House Sale, Expansion

CORRECTED (7AM, August 14): Ellen McCarthy, Acting Director of the DC Office of Planning, has made a comment (below) saying that this report is not correct. McCarthy says the Q Street project is a matter of right and is "continuing forward". The DC Zoning Administrator's Office is reviewing projects in R-4 zones and "not holding up approvals pending a decision by the Zoning Commission on the proposed changes".

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The planned sale and expansion of a residential property at 1310 Q Street NW is being delayed while the DC Office of Zoning considers new regulations to limit conversions of single-family homes into apartment buildings. This was reported at an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle committee meeting July 30. Helen Kramer, a member of a committee of ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC), also said "the DC Office of Zoning has decided to put a hold to all permits while it considers revisions to zoning code", according to a meeting summary posting on the ANC's website.
1310 Q Street (right) plus vacant lot to be developed

1310 Q Street, a row house, is on a double-wide lot zoned "R-4". The proposed changes would apply to all properties zoned R-4. (R-4 zones are primarily for single-family residences -- see definition here.) The changes would, among other things, reduce the height to which an R-4 zone property could be expanded "by right" (i.e., without seeking city permission) from 40 to 35 feet. The proposed changes also say a building cannot be converted from a single-family home to an apartment building if the building was built to be part of a residential row of houses.

See a copy of a memo about the zoning change proposal here. The proposed changes were discussed at an August 4 town hall meeting in ANC 1B/U Street -- see SALM blog post of August 5.

ANC2F has already considered the historic preservation aspects of the project (see SALM blog post of May 5) and gave the concept and massing of the project its blessing at the May 14 meeting of the full ANC. The project also met a generally favorable reception at the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) according to this May 22 memo, although the memo also said "more detailed drawings should be submitted for review" before the project could go ahead.

1310 Q Street is located in the 14th Street Historic District.


  1. Ellen McCarthy, DC Office of PlanningAugust 14, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    This report is not correct. The Office of Planning spoke with the contract purchaser/applicant for the Q Street property and they confirmed that they have a fully matter of right project and are continuing forward. They are not affected by the proposed changes to the R-4 proposal, and didn’t know where the story came from.

    The Zoning Administrator's Office has also confirmed that the article does not accurately represent how they would review a permit under the current regs; they are continuing to review and approve projects in R-4 zones, and are not holding up approvals pending a decision by the Zoning Commission on the proposed changes..

    Please correct this account.

    I think we may need to issue a response correcting the facts.

  2. Correction published. Thank you for taking the time to comment.