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Old Posted Jan 2, 2018, 9:35 PM
C. C. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Wow, thanks Cirrus. That was very helpful and answers many of the questions I had.

Originally Posted by JManc View Post
I'm curious as to when (if at all) DC will do away with the height restrictions. At least in some parts of town.
As has been mentioned. Arlington, VA is probably the best bet for future skyscrapers.

Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I can understand why anti-gentrification advocates might want to increase the height limit - denser downtown development means less displacement on the downtown fringes. Of course, right now such people hate developers, so they won't do anything that might help their sworn enemy.
This is logical, but NIMBYism and the anti-gentrifies don't use logic. It's really sad when I see the anti-gentrifies, who have a true passion of love for the community and their residents, end up blindly support policies that are either directly or indirectly causing gentrification.

I can also understand why developers might want to increase the height limit - bigger projects are more efficient to build, it would enable cheaper design features like above-ground parking podiums and allow them to make more money with less land.
I have no doubt developers would love to increase the height limit. Even if it was upped by six or so floors, the demand for space is probably there to keep the parking underground and use the additional height allowance for residential/commercial sqft.

Personally, I wish more cities would just ban above ground parking facilities. Remove parking minimums in the zoning text and require it be surface or underground only. The market will determine how many below ground spots are needed and the appropriate rate for a space. Above ground parking has an impact of the pedestrian environmental, and parking minimums indirectly subsides car ownership by folks that don't drive.

But from a planner's perspective - isn't the height limit working exactly as intended? New development is spread over a pretty large area. More and more parts of the city are becoming dense and walkable. Developers are building neighborhood-scale projects that often integrate new public space and even (minor) transit improvements, so it takes some of the burden off of government to provide these things. The only planning argument against this is that the city is now struggling to provide full-fledged transit to these newly developed areas. However, even with more intensity in the core, WMATA would still be struggling with severe capacity issues at places like Metro Center and Farragut. Arguably, their current plan of building a streetcar network to serve the downtown fringe is much cheaper than expanding subway stations and building whole new relief lines...
That would be my sense, too. The height limit has been beneficial to DC's development over the years. But I would be interested to hear from a planning perspective on this.

One could wish some of the commercial architecture were better, but this native would not wish for high rises in the city itself. Arlington, whether part of DC or not, and Silver Spring are pretty good places for them.
I hear this a lot from DC folks, but personally I find the architecture for the new buildings in DC rather interesting. I think you guys are spoiled in that the rest of the country, it's not unusual to see new developments like this:

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