April 30, 2020

D.C. Zoning Commission Takes Emergency Action to Extend Validity Periods by 6 Months

Commission Also Authorizes Immediate Publication of Public Hearing Notice
Holland & Knight Alert
Christine M. Shiker | Christopher S. Cohen

At its April 27, 2020, public meeting, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission approved, on an emergency basis, various text amendments to extend discretionary entitlements and requirements for a broad range of projects that would be set to expire within the 2020 calendar year. Accordingly, the validity periods of all implicated Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) Orders are extended for an additional six months.

In addition to taking emergency action, the Zoning Commission authorized immediate publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and concurrently approved a notice period of 30 days, rather than the customary 40-day time frame. The Commission also set down this rulemaking case (Z.C. Case No. 20-07) for public hearing, where the text amendments could receive final approval. However, that date cannot be anticipated at this time.

The text amendments, introduced by the Office of Zoning will promote confidence and continuity in the development process throughout the District despite the many challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, the proposed text amendments:

  1. Extend by six months from the date of expiration the period of validity for BZA and commission orders and approvals set to expire between April 27, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.  The extensions apply to special exceptions, variances, Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), and any other contested case decisions, including First Stage, Second Stage and Consolidated PUDs, and conditions with deadlines falling within this period; and
  2. Extend by six months from the date of expiration and construction deadline scheduled to expire between April 27, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.


Given the gravity and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus health crisis, Holland & Knight has already submitted comments requesting that the Commission consider projects and entitlements that could expire even after the 2020 calendar year. These comments suggest that the text amendments are further refined to include orders, approvals and constructions deadlines scheduled to expire up until Aug. 31, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding Z.C. Case No. 20-07 and the validity period extensions approved by the commission, or would like assistant preparing comments during the 30-day notice period, please contact the authors or a member of Holland & Knight's Mid-Atlantic Land Use Team.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis. Please contact your responsible Holland & Knight lawyer or the author of this alert for timely advice.

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult competent legal counsel.

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