I noticed a letter in the Current yesterday discussing the topic of the D.C. Office of Planning’s historic rewrite of the zoning code. A Chevy Chase writer said:
Our neighborhood in Chevy Chase D.C. is low-density–single family homes with room for kids, the elderly, friends, dogs, lots of birds, gardens and a general war on crabgrass. …The D.C. Office of Planning thinks we need to be fixed. Low density is apparently too low. Modest homes are wrong. The officials think we need homes that are higher, wider and deeper…Why? Well who knows? As one neighbor put it, this mandate is turning her into a tea party advocate for less government. [emphasis added]
This displays a fundamentally flawed understanding how zoning works. The zoning code doesn’t mandate that certain-size buildings get built or that buildings get used in a certain way. It permits buildings to be built or buildings to be used in a way. If no one wants to build a building allowed under the zoning code, no building will get built. If no one wants to open a store in your neighborhood, no store will be opened.
[Continue reading Topher Mathews’s post here at The Georgetown Metropolitan.]
Topher Mathews blogs at The Georgetown Metropolitan . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.