I love DC's rowhouse neighborhoods. I love the many buildings on a block with interesting colors and shapes. I love the neighborhood feel of the corner store. I love seeing people out walking their dogs, biking to work, or doing shopping. I'd like to preserve the neighborhoods that have this, and build new neighborhoods that have it too.
If Georgetown burned down tomorrow (I sure hope not!) then the zoning code should allow it to be rebuilt similar to the way it is today. If someone wanted to expand the rowhouses of Capitol Hill to vacant blocks in Southeast they hould be able to. But that's not true, and I'm honestly baffled by people who argue otherwise. For example, Barbara Zartman, of the Committee of 100 and a Georgetown resident, argued in Wednesday's parking zoning meeting that R-4 zones (like Georgetown) should keep the current requirements forcing every new building to have at least 1 parking space and for larger buildings to have 1 space per 3 units. Our old neighborhoods in R-4 zones certainly don't meet this requirement today.
My current building in Dupont has 13 apartments and zero parking spaces. If it were rebuilt today, it would need an empty lot next door that's about the same size as the building to fit the seven spaces required under current zoning. It would mean more cars crossing the sidewalk, and one of the prettiest blocks in Dupont would be much less. And having these spaces would encourage more driving and raise the cost of living here.
"We're not like Europe," said one person in the historic preservation meeting. People drive instead of walking to the store. Well, we're not more like Europe because of policies that block it and vocal advocates who oppose change, even change that makes DC more like Europe.
- Cyclists are special and do have their own rules
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money
- ICC losing bus service in classic bait and switch