D.C. Zoning Commission Takes Proposed Action on "Expanded IZ" Text Amendment

Holland & Knight LLP

At the conclusion of its public hearing on Nov. 16, 2020, the Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia (Commission) took proposed action on Z.C. Case No. 20-02, which proposes text amendments to the Zoning Regulations that would establish Expanded Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) set-aside and mapping requirements. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) is expected to be published in the D.C. Register in the near future.

Expanded IZ, also referred to as "IZ Plus," would provide a new tool for affordable housing production. In summary, Expanded IZ would apply to applications for a map amendment to a higher density zone. The Expanded IZ set-aside requirement is determined by a sliding scale that is based upon the percent increase in density gained through the rezoning.

Specifically, Expanded IZ will:

  • Apply to any map amendment:
    • where the new zone permits a higher maximum residential floor-area-ratio (FAR) than the existing zone
    • from a Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) zone to an R, RF, RA, MU, D, CG or ARTS zone, or
    • from unzoned to an R, RF, RA, MU, D, CG or ARTS zone
  • In such a map amendment, increase the existing Inclusionary Zoning (Regular IZ) set-aside requirement relative to the percentage increase in permitted residential FAR to create a new Expanded IZ set-aside requirement of up to 20 percent.
  • Not apply to a planned unit development (PUD) application with a related map amendment, or to map amendments to certain special purpose zones.
  • Provide an alternative set-aside requirement if all of the Inclusionary Units are reserved for households earning no more than 50 percent median family income (MFI), or if 50 percent of the Inclusionary Units have three or more bedrooms.

During its public hearing, the Commission established that any map amendment applications submitted prior to the Nov. 16, 2020, public hearing would be exempt from the new Expanded IZ requirements.

Prior to final action, the Commission asked the D.C. Office of Planning (OP) for additional information on whether map amendments to zone currently unzoned property should be exempt from Expanded IZ as well as whether the Expanded IZ set-aside requirement should be based on "achievable" density, as opposed to the density theoretically available under the resulting zone.

In addition to Expanded IZ, OP anticipates bringing forward other text amendments to the Regular IZ program early next year. As part of these additional amendments, referred to as "IZ XL," OP will be evaluating the potential applicability of Regular IZ requirements to certain zones that are currently exempt, to certain historic districts and to conversions of nonresidential buildings to residential uses.

Conclusion

A public meeting on Z.C. Case No. 20-02 will be scheduled after the 30-day comment period established by the NOPR.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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