Planners release Height Act study findings

Height limits on some buildings in the District could be amended, but not without protections for sightlines of federal buildings, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Capital Planning Commission.

The draft report, which looked at the height limits on buildings in the city, found “some opportunities for strategic change” in Washington’s historic L’Enfant City. There could be changes that would allow for penthouses in the District and outside the historic area. But any changes made to the 1910 Height Act, which restricts building height in Washington, must consider the sightlines of federal buildings such as the White House.

Contrails from jet planes passing overhead intersect the National Museum of Art in Washington, Thursday morning, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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The study began last year after a request from members of Congress, according to a commission news release. A 30-day public comment period began Thursday and ends Oct. 15.

A public information session will be held Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. and a commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m. to hear public comments. Comments can be submitted online at or by mail to the commission, Suite 500 North, 401 Ninth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004.

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