DC Office of Zoning Announces Six COVID-19 Changes to Business-As-Usual

The District of Columbia’s Office of Zoning (“OZ”)  – the independent agency that, among other tasks, accepts development applications to the District’s Zoning Commission (the “Commission”) and Board of Zoning Adjustment (the “BZA”) – remains open for business in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, though all staff members are teleworking until at least April 27.

The move to a remote work environment has resulted in the following important changes:

  1. All pending Commission and BZA hearings and decision dates have been suspended until at least April 27. Cases are being postponed in the order in which they were scheduled; e.g.,  a hearing scheduled for March 18 (the first hearing date after the suspension) will be heard on the first hearing date after the suspension is lifted.  
  2. Although the hearings are suspended, other filing dates and requirements continue to apply. This mean, for example, that pre-hearing statements must still be filed 21 days before the scheduled hearing date. Local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (“ANC”)  will still need to be served on all filings (regardless of whether ANC is meeting).
  3. OZ is continuing to accept electronic case filings through its Interactive Zoning Information System (“IZIS”) and by filing, as well as through bzasubmissions@dc.gov for cases before the BZA and zcsubmissions@dc.gov for cases before the Commission.
  4. OZ is also accepting new BZA and Commission applications filed through IZIS. All application fees can be paid online, and hard copies can be submitted after OZ reopens.
  5. Hearing dates for newly filed applications will be assigned when OZ reopens.
  6. Public signs which typically are picked up at the office will not be issued until the office re-opens. If you have not already obtained your sign and posted it 14 days before the scheduled hearing date, the sign will be available after OZ reopens and the rescheduled hearing dates are determined.
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Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use

Cozen O’Connor has represented residential, commercial, retail, and industrial builders in the development and redevelopment of building lots and millions of square feet of real estate. Our team handles every aspect of the zoning, land use, and development approvals process, from obtaining building permits and variances to negotiating stormwater management and traffic plans.

Head of the DC Zoning Group & Blog Editor