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Did you know that DC’s Zoning Commission approved a new zoning code for the District of Columbia?

January 29, 2016

On January 14, 2016, DC’s Zoning Commission unanimously voted to approve a new zoning code. The comprehensive review of DC’s zoning regulations is known as the Zoning Regulations Review (ZRR) project. The ZRR project, led by DC’s Office of Planning, began in 2007 and is the first comprehensive revision of DC’s zoning regulations since 1958. Of interest to many Did You Know readers are the changes to regulations governing accessory apartments. Accessory apartments are additional residences located on the same lot as a single-family dwelling such as an English basement or carriage house. The regulations governing accessory apartments have been changed to allow for these additional residences by-right across the city, although, special exceptions will be required in Georgetown. Additional changes to the zoning regulations concerning accessory apartments include lessening the size requirements of houses with accessory apartments, increasing the allowable size of the accessory apartment in proportion to the main residence and allowing accessory buildings to be recognized as accessory apartments. These changes will create more options for your clients who are looking to offset the cost of purchasing a new home by renting out part of the property. There are many more changes to the zoning regulations, including changes to parking requirements, which may be of interest to those of you who work with developers.

The new zoning regulations are expected to go into effect in September of this year. If you have questions concerning the new regulations, Shulman Rogers’ comprehensive real estate practice includes attorneys who specialize in zoning and would be happy to answer your questions.


Matthew D. Alegi
David M. Kochanski
Marc D. Lipman


For more information regarding our Residential Real Estate Settlements Group or our general real estate transactions and litigation practice, please contact the Group Chair at 301-230-6574 or

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer.