How D.C. is Getting More Inventive with its Rooftops
Thanks to a small change to the Height Act and amendments to D.C. Zoning Laws in 2016, buildings have since been able to take advantage of the wide array of available uses for rooftops. These existing and planned spaces are ideal for amenities, tourist spots, bars and even residential penthouse units—all of which were originally not allowed or very difficult to get permission for on most sites. Now that rooftop spaces are popularized and normalized, architects and developers across the District have been given more creative liberty and are becoming more innovative with their plans.
Land Use and Government attorney Christine Shiker told Washington Business Journal that "more than half" of the projects she represents are evaluating use of the space, as part of either a planned unit development or matter of right project. Rooftops are "desirable because it provides additional usable space in the building, often with spectacular views."
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