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What is the Process? (Updated November 2012)

The first stage of review of the DC Zoning Regulations was divided into 20 subject areas. Each subject area was reviewed separately by a public working group that provided advice to the Office of Planning on our recommended changes to the Regulations. Each working group met for 1-4 months. The review of the subject areas was completed between January 2008 and May of 2011.

After working group review, recommendations for each subject area were reviewed by the Zoning Review Task Force. The Task Force is made up of community representatives appointed from all parts of the city by DC Councilmembers, as well as government officials and building industry representatives.

Next, the recommendations for each subject area were posted on this website for public review and scheduled for public hearings before the Zoning Commission. The Office of Zoning provided public notice to all ANCs and other interested parties. The public had the opportunity to review and comment on documents for at least 45 days and up to three months before they were presented to the Zoning Commission at  public hearings.

After the Zoning Commission reviewed the recommendations, OP has been preparing draft regulations based on the recommendations, and submitting the drafts to the Zoning Commission for preliminary review. The Commission has held four hearings on five components of the draft regulations (general height regulations, use categories, Green Area Ratio, parking and loading, and PDR zones). On April 25, 2011, the Zoning Commission agreed to suspend further hearings on the draft text in order to ensure adequate opportunity for public outreach and input on the full draft of the revised zoning code.

Moving forward, once OP has completed a working draft of the full zoning code, the Task Force will have an opportunity to review the draft and provide input. This part of the process began in January 2012. After Task Force review, the Zoning Commission will be briefed on the status of the drafting process and provide preliminary input regarding the draft text. This briefing will take place on September 27, 2012.


After receiving input from the Zoning Commission on the draft regulations, OP will conduct a series of public outreach meetings in 2012-2013 to get broad public input on the draft zoning code. During this process, OP will collect and document public comments, as well as the agency’s responses. Following the public comment period, OP will make any necessary revisions to the draft regulations, based on the feedback received.

Working with the Office of Zoning, the Office of Planning will then codify the regulations into a final cohesive document. This document will be available to review on this website and by the Zoning Commission at a final public hearing (or set of hearings) prior to adoption.

The entire review and approval process will take approximately five years.

What is Zoning?