More on inclusionary zoning & its impact in Bates area

New DC Inclusionary Zoning Regulations Taking Effect in August — Bates/Truxton Circle impacted

See this article from the Friday, July 31, 2009, Washington Business Journal on the new DC inclusionary zoning laws going into effect in August.

Do the new IZ rules impact the Bates/Truxton Circle area?  Yes.

Both the McMillan Sand Filtration site project in Bloomingdale and the now-stagnant Fairfield/Trammel Crow site project in Eckington are using the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.  Affordable housing is part of the requirements of a PUD that includes a residential component.

Isn’t the Joe Mamo project on the northwest corner of Florida and North Capitol Street NW — long-time dormant, yes — using the PUD process as well?

So the goal of inclusionary zoning — to provide more affordable — is ostensibly addressed in the PUD process.

But what about the shuttered apartment buildings at 1812 & 1814 North Capitol Street NW, for example?   These two buildings by themselves will not follow the PUD process when they get developed (hopefully before we all die of old age).  PUDs are usually for large tracts of land.

A developer who purchases these two apartment buildings would need to honor the new inclusionary zoning regulations and provide a minimum of 10% affordable housing.

There are examples throughout Bates/Truxton Circle where IZ regulations will govern (that are not otherwise governed by a PUD process.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

D.C. inclusionary zoning law to take effect, finally

Washington Business Journal – by Jonathan O’Connell Staff Reporter


A day long dreaded for housing developers arrives Aug. 14, when D.C.’s inclusionary zoning law is expected to go into effect, and both builders and government officials are sorting through how it will work.

The law, passed two years ago, will require builders of low-rise developments to provide 10 percent of units below market value — half at prices affordable to people making 50 percent of the area median income and half to those making 80 percent of AMI. High-rise projects must provide 8 percent of units at 80 percent of AMI.

In exchange for the affordable units, developers will get a 20 percent density bonus.

City officials briefed more than 100 developers, consultants and attorneys on the coming regulations July 28 at a tutorial organized by the D.C. Building Industry Association, whose leaders argued that the new regulations would be another blow to a still-weak housing market.

The new rules will affect most projects that have not obtained building permits, received zoning orders or had a zoning variance hearing scheduled.

Not all planned buildings of 10-plus units need to comply, said Art Rodgers of the D.C. Office of Planning. For example, the rules exempt dormitories, hotel rooms, diplomatic housing and supportive housing, known as community-based residential facilities. Other exemptions include areas where density bonuses would violate historic districts, such as Georgetown and Anacostia, or where no more density is available, like downtown.

Fraud is a concern for both developers and buyers. Affordable units must be disbursed through the building and be “comparable” but not identical to the others, Rodgers said.

In some jurisdictions, kitchens in affordable units were given shelves while the others received cabinets, he said. “That to us wasn’t acceptable. On the other end, we aren’t expecting all the affordable units to have Viking ranges.”

Matt LeGrant of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which will inspect the units, said, “We will be looking to make sure that the units are comparable, but lesser-cost equivalents are acceptable.”

A third agency, the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, which hosted the event, will be responsible for finding buyers or renters.

It plans to hold a lottery to determine who gets a shot at below-market-rate homes. Some developers worry that they will have little say in the selection or that it will be difficult to identify eligible buyers or renters.

“For every unit, at least four households [from the lottery] will be referred to the developer,” said DHCD’s Martine Combal.

Question, comment, or suggestion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s