Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

A Washington Post editorial this weekend on Mayor Gray’s sustainability plan all but explicitly endorses the zoning update:

Perhaps the most promising short-term proposal is to revamp the web of municipal regulations that discourage more people from living closer together and near public transportation. ... Property owners, for example, would be able to convert basements or over-garage space into livable quarters with less hassle, and those on transit corridors would be able to build up.


Proposals to allow accessory dwellings and relax parking minimums indeed will “revamp” regulations that inhibit living in many neighborhoods and near transit. Unfortunately, OP is not really making it any easier to “build up” near transit corridors, except to the extent that parking minimums make building more expensive.

The zoning update is an excellent start and worthy of the Post’s endorsement. Still, it is just one incremental step of many that will be necessary to reach Mayor Gray’s ambitious yet excellent goal of adding and retaining 250,000 more residents by 2032.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.