One small step for inclusionary zoning
After months of inaction and 98 days beyond the Council's final, final, we're really serious this time deadline, the Fenty Administration has published final Inclusionary Zoning regulations in the DC Register. This is a big step toward actually implementing the law the Council first approved in December 2006.
If the administration follows through, then Inclusionary Zoning will go into effect in DC on August 13th, 2009. New development approved after that date will have to provide some, fairly modest amount of housing to people below the median level of income. There is still one more step, however: today's publication mysteriously omitted the Maximum Rent and Price Schedule, which gives the exact number of dollars in income a household needs to qualify for various categories of affordable housing. The Council's laws, including their most recent reiteration, required Fenty to publish not only the regulations but the schedule as well by February 6th, 2009.
Today's regulations specify that Inclusionary Zoning will not go into effect until 90 days after the publication of the rules (that's 90 days from today), or after the publication of the price schedule, whichever is later. That means that there's still the possibility for even longer delays.
This is an opportunity for the Mayor to correct what the Council Committee of the Whole called an "egregious ... flouting of the law." By August, he could make things right and put this behind him. Or, he could drag it out and keep breaking the law. Right now, it looks like he's serious about getting the job done. We'll be watching.
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