There are big changes afoot for alley lot development in the District of Columbia. Over the past year, several clients approached Cozen O’Connor with challenges in developing alley lots. This was a peculiar juxtaposition given that the District’s Zoning Regulation rewrite in 2016 was seen as a boon for alley lot development. It became clear the new regulations did not go far enough to ease restrictions on alley lot development. Too many hurdles remained to make a dent in the District’s many vacant and underdeveloped alleys.
On behalf of its clients, Cozen O’Connor worked directly with the District’s Office of Planning to address these regulatory hurdles and draft revisions to the alley lot regulations. On July 8th, the District’s Zoning Commission voted to hold a formal public hearing (a.k.a. “set down”) on a text amendment proposed by the Office of Planning that would simplify the zoning and permitting process for many of the District’s alley lots. The text amendment is being processed under Zoning Commission case number 19-13.
The amendment would allow for an alley “tax lot” existing on or before May 18, 1958 to be converted to a “record lot” as a matter-of-right, provided the lot is at least 450 square feet in area. For alley tax lots created after May 18, 1958 but before September 6, 2016, the applicable alley lot can be converted to a record lot by special exception. For reference, tax lots are lots with numbers ranging from 800 to 1999, while record lots are commonly numbered 1 to 799. Read more ›