Might the District one day have skyscraper apartment buildings?
This month the D.C. Office of Planning and the National Capital Planning Commission begin a collaborative study of the 102-year-old federal law limiting Washington building heights. Undertaken at the request of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, this vital study is coming none too soon.
In July, Issa and the committee wisely acknowledged the need for this study during a hearing. In his October letter to the two planning agencies, Issa asked for recommendations based on an examination of “the extent to which the act continues to serve federal and local interests, and how changes to the law could affect the future of the city.”
He specifically noted in his letter that federal interests reside primarily in preserving the capital’s horizontal skyline and visual prominence of the U.S. Capitol and iconic national memorials framing and anchoring the National Mall. But of comparable import are Issa’s words about serving local interests and modifying the act to benefit the city’s future.