Photo by Rex Pe on Flickr.

The epic hearings for DC’s zoning update are coming up in just a few weeks (and so are Montgomery County’s). Have you signed up to testify?

There are 4 key hearings:

  • Wednesday November 6 on low-density residential areas. This includes the proposal to allow accessory apartments which will let a homeowner rent out a basement or garage to add housing and help with the bills.
  • Thursday, November 7 on moderate-density areas. That includes areas that could welcome more corner stores, though subject to many limitations.
  • Tuesday, November 12 on car and bike parking, the most talked-about part of the update. This hearing is actually full, but there is an overflow night on Tuesday, November 19 where you can speak.
  • Thursday, November 14 on downtown, where planners want to let property owners rather than regulations decide how much parking to build.



You can learn more about these proposals and other changes in the zoning update with a new set of “fact sheets” from the Office of Planning. They outline the main changes in each proposal around accessory apartments, alley lots, bike parking, car parking, corner stores, industrial zones, low-density residential areas, sustainability, zoning processes, and a general overview.



There will surely be many people testifying at the hearings about how welcoming new residents and businesses into DC’s neighborhoods will destroy the quality of life in some way. We need to get as many people there as possible to show the Zoning Commissioners, a combination of federal and local appointees, that people of all ages want to see our city grow to be more affordable, walkable, and sustainable for all.

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.