The following cases will be considered in February by the District of Columbia Zoning Commission. For more information, call 727-6311.

Feb. 4, 7 p.m.

The commission will consider placing restrictions on the operations of rooming and boarding houses. The restrictions would include: a minimum length of stay of either one week or one month; a ban on the hanging of signs at the site; and a prohibition of any advertisement, on or off the premises, that represents the facility as a hotel, inn, hostel, or any other kind of accomodation.

Boarding houses would be allowed to provide a central dining area, but no individual facilities. No cooking or dining facilities would be allowed in rooming houses.

The proposed restrictions would not affect the current ban on boarding and rooming houses in low-density residential areas.

Unlike hotels, motels, inns, guest houses and tourist homes, boarding and rooming houses are not subject to the city's nigthtly hotel occupancy tax. Feb. 25, 7 p.m.

The commission will consider establishing a Naval Observatory Precinct District in the area surrounding the 72-acre U.S. Naval Observatory, at Massachusettes Avenue and Observatory Circle NW. At its largest point, the district would stretch about a quarter-mile from the observatory's property line.

The propsoed district, which would cover residential and commercial zones, including the Glover Park shopping district on Wisconsin Avenue, would have a building height limit of forty feet. In addition, the National Capital Planning Commission, the zoning arm of the federal government, could block any plans that it decided would have adverse impacts on the observatory.

The National Capital Planning Commission asked the zoning commission to establish the special district last year, when the zoning commission heard a request by developers to build a nine-story condominium building on an adjacent lot. Navy and Secret Service officials feared a potential sniper attack on vice president George Bush, who lives at the observatory. Also, the Navy has warned that light coming from neighboring buildings could hinder the observatory's star-gazing, and that heat coming from new buildings could affect sensitive celestial readings, which are used for missile guidance, satellite tracking and ship navigation.


The following were among actions taken at the Jan. 11 meeting of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission. For more information, call 727-6311.


The commission gave final approval to a change in zoning regulations prohibiting artists' studios and art galleries in some residential areas. Previously, studios and galleries were permitted in the two highest density residential zones, R-4 and R-5. Under the new regulations, galleries and studios are prohibited in R-4 zones. In the R-5, or highest-density residential zones, they can open only with Board of Zoning Adjustment approval. Studios and galleries now in these zones can remain.


NEW YORK AVE., 1001The commission gave final approval to a plan allowing Hadid Development Cos. to add three stories and 70,000 square feet to a proposed office building. In exchange, the developers must renovate 60 units of low-income housing nearby. Two of the sites are vacant buildings in the 1200 blockj of 12th Street NW, which will hold a total of 44 units. The other locations have not yet been selected.

PENNSYLVANIA AVE., 601 -- The commission gave preliminary approval to a request by Walter Abernathy Corp. and the Sigal/Zuckerman Co. to allow a building under construction to be used for offices rather than a hotel. The building is the second part of a two-building development on a lot bounded by Indiana and Pennsylvania avenues, and faces Indiana Avenue. The building acing Pennsylvania Avenue is complete and holds retail and office space.

20TH ST., 1701 -- The commission, which in December denied a request for commercial zoning for the 14,341-square-foot property occupied by Fourways Restaurant, instead rezoned the lot to a "higher density" residential classification that allows building heights of 90 feet, rather than 60 feet; allows a building to accupy 75 percent of a lot rather than 60 percent; and allows the owners, Fourways of Washington Ltd., to build a seven-story condominium in the vacant yard behind the restaurant. Neighbors had objected to the building plans, saying that further development would aggravate severe traffic and parking problems. They had also feared that the owners' request for commercial zoning of the property would lead to the proliferation of buisnesses in the residential area.

FIFTH AND I STREETS -- The commission approved a request by Malcolm E. Peabody and John C. Theoharis to build a 209-unit apartment building with a recreation area, 15,600 feet of ground floor retail space, and underground parking for 144 cars on 20,639 feet of space at the northeast corner of Fifth and I streets NW.