Study Recommended on Easing Height Restrictions in Anacostia, Upper Northwest D.C.

Year-long Study Results to be Released

By Sam Nassau, Mark Segraves and Carissa DiMargo
|  Thursday, Sep 12, 2013  |  Updated 7:38 PM EDT
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After years of talk of lifting the height restrictions on buildings in the District, a federal commission is taking the first step toward allowing a taller DC.

Mark Segraves

After years of talk of lifting the height restrictions on buildings in the District, a federal commission is taking the first step toward allowing a taller DC.

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Taller buildings in the district could be on the way.

The National Capital Planning Commission released its recommendations on building height in the city Thursday.

Among them: A study to consider allowing taller buildings in the outer areas of D.C., such as Anacostia and upper Northwest.

The commission also recommended allowing human habitation of penthouses. Currently, penthouses can only be used as mechanical rooms or as elevator shafts.

The recommendations come after a year-long study analyzing how a building height increase would impact D.C., including its skyline and public spaces.

Currently, federal law limits buildings to a maximum feet 130 feet tall based on the width of the street.

The public will be able to comment on the recommendations through Oct. 14. Then the commission will vote on what to present to Congress.

District officials also plan to submit their own plan next week. It's expected to differ from the commission's plan, which is most concerned with security, vistas and the monuments.

But city officials say they don't believe security is a factor because the federal government can already nix a construction project if it poses a security issue.

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