Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Height Masterplan Underway
In November 2012, the National Capital Planning Commission and the District of Columbia Office of Planning announced a joint Height Master Plan to explore the impact of strategic changes to the federal Height of Buildings Act of 1910.
Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested the study following the committee’s July 19, 2012 hearing on “Changes to the Height Act: Shaping Washington, D.C., For the Future.” As stated in Representative Issa’s October 3, 2012 request letter, the study will explore potential strategic changes to the federal Height of Buildings Act of 1910 (The Height Act1) in those areas outside the L’Enfant City2 that support local economic development goals, while taking into account the impact on federal interests, national security concerns, compatibility to surrounding neighborhoods, local residents input and other related factors. NCPC and the District of Columbia were asked to determine the extent to which the Height Act continues to serve the interests of both federal and District governments.
The Study is Guided by Three Core Principles
•Ensure the prominence of federal landmarks and monuments by preserving their views and setting;
•Maintain the horizontality of the monumental city skyline; and
•Minimize negative impacts to nationally significant historic resources, including the L’Enfant Plan.
The Study is Organized into Three Phases
Phase 1: Overview, discussion of study principles and issues shaping federal and local interests, case studies. Public meetings in May 2013.
Phase 2: Planning analysis results and identification of opportunity areas for strategic changes to the Height Act. Public meetings in June 2013.
Phase 3: Draft recommendations. Public hearings in September 2013.
The National Capital Planning Commission will then deliberate and act on the recommendations and transmit final recommendations to Congress.