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Home Rule Questions Likely to Dominate Height Act Hearing

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Issa will lead a follow-up hearing next week to receive recommendations from the National Capital Planning Commission and D.C.’s Office of Planning on the future of the Height Act.

Lewis, who has been writing about the Height Act since the 1980s, said the “most probable outcome is probably a decision not to pursue it any further.”

The D.C. Council has weighed in on the matter, siding nearly unanimously against the Gray administration’s position. Twelve of 13 councilmembers signed on as co-sponsors of a ceremonial resolution introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson that says the Height Act should not be revised or amended at this time.

The measure cites input from constituents who appeared at the John A. Wilson Building this fall to offer feedback on the Office of Planning’s draft recommendation. According to the resolution, 94 percent of the testimony at the Oct. 28 hearing criticized the recommendations and urged no change.

Tregoning acknowledges that the city has heard a lot of public input from people who don’t want the height of buildings to change.

“That’s a totally valid perspective,” she said. Under the proposed changes, the council, NCPC and Congress would all have the opportunity to veto any new vertical growth.

“Who knows what a future council, what a future mayor, what a future city government or what a future set of citizens might want to do,” she said. “The ability for the city to decide is a long-held principle.”

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