March 21, 2023

D.C. Office of Planning Recommends Not Moving Forward with Inclusionary Zoning Amendment

Proposed Text Amendment Would Apply Inclusionary Zoning to Exempt Downtown Zones
Holland & Knight Alert
Christine M. Shiker | Kyrus Lamont Freeman | Dennis Russell Hughes | Leila Marie Jackson Batties | Jessica R. Bloomfield | June L. Marshall | Christopher S. Cohen | John T. Oliver | Brandice N. Elliott | Natalia Cristina Gomez Rojas

The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) filed a petition in December 2021 to amend Subtitle I of the Zoning Regulations to apply the Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program to currently exempt Downtown (D) zones (Z.C. Case No. 21-23). On March 20, 2023, the D.C. Office of Planning (OP) submitted a report analyzing the proposed text amendment and its implications and concluded that it does not recommend that the Zoning Commission set down the proposal for a public hearing.

OP finds that OAG's proposal "would result in circumstances inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, with a potential to discourage new residential use and hampering the economic recovery of the downtown." OP raises particular concern about the lack of proposed incentives to compensate for new IZ requirements. OP also asserts that "residents of color who are the majority lower-income households in the District could be disproportionately impacted" and that stifling housing production could increase cost burdens and render housing in the D zones "less attainable."

The Zoning Commission has approved several changes to the Zoning Regulations in furtherance of the IZ program in recent years, including IZ Plus, Phase 1 and Phase 2 of "IZ XL," and amendments that facilitate conversions of non-residential buildings to residential use. According to D.C.'s Comeback Plan, as of January 2023, the Central Washington planning area has achieved 44.9 percent of its affordable housing production goal, as established in the 2019 Housing Equity Report, and is estimated to reach 94.6 percent of the goal by 2025.

If you have any questions regarding OAG's text amendment petitions, please contact the authors or another member of Holland & Knight's Mid-Atlantic Land Use Team.

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, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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