At a Wednesday hearing, Norton, center, and Issa, right, questioned why the District seemed to shy away from autonomy on the topic of building heights recently.
Norton identified the source of the opposition as a handful of citizens, “I can name them all,” she added, who “guard the Height Act with their lives.” She indicated she was open to exploring a broader change to the century-old law.
Looking toward the future, Issa said, he hopes the city will view the changes approved Wednesday as an opportunity. He also suggested pilot studies of the impact of allowing whether more vertical growth should take place on a few hundred acres on the edge of the city in an area such as the Anacostia Waterfront.
Issa suggested the folks who object to the height increase “would not object to a blighted area being developed in a way that would be beneficial to the income of the city and also to the residents.”
Congress could take more action on the Height Act in the near future, Issa predicted, saying there was a possibility that he or some other Oversight chairman “will be able to further enhance the skyline through legislation.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.