Study Considers Taller Buildings in D.C.

Most buildings in D.C. are much shorter than the tall buildings in the suburbs due to a 1910 height limitation law, but a study to allow construction of taller buildings is under way.

The height restriction act limited city buildings based on the size of nearby streets and blocks.

A new federal and local review is exploring whether the city should allow buildings outside of downtown to grow larger if local residents don't object.

“When you look at New York Avenue, for example, which is a gateway into the city, right now we've got a lot of warehouses there,” Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie said. “There's huge potential.”

D.C., the federal National Capital Planning Commission and other agencies meet Tuesday night at the National Archives building downtown to discuss the far-reaching issue.

Many city leaders welcome the review but aren't anxious to lose D.C.'s small-scale design.

“I'm open to listening, but I think the current height limit has served us very well,” Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells said.

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