John O. Antonelli, whose development plans for a section of the 1700 block of N. Street NW have aroused vigorous neighborhood opposition, has agreed to delay demolition of three historic Victorian town houses he owns in the block until as least Dec. 1.

Antonelli, stepson of multimillionaire developer Dominic F. Antonelli Jr., announced the delay through his attorney at a special meeting this week of the D.C. Zoning Commission.

The meeting had been called to consider a petition by a citizens coalition calling for emergency rezoning to stop denser development of the Dupont Circle area.

Antonelli wants to build an office building behind - and attached to - three townhouses he owns at 1752, 1754 and 1756 N St. NW. He has said that if neighborhood opposition stops that project he will tear the houses down and build an apartment or office building on the site.

Residents of the area, fearful that the houses would soon be razed, had asked for emergency rezoning of the area until the commission has ruled on proposed zoning changes that would restrict development.

Antonelli's agreement to wait 180 days from June 1 before attempting to demolish the houses lessened the immediacy for the emergency rezoning and the commission turned down the coalition's request.