Impose an immediate moratorium on approval of building permits by the DCRA for conversion of single-family rowhouses to multifamily apartment buildings (pop-ups) pending revisions to DC's zoning regulations.

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Impose an immediate moratorium on approval of building permits by the DCRA for conversion of single-family rowhouses to multifamily apartment buildings (pop-ups) pending revisions to DC's zoning regulations.

This petition had 743 supporters
StopthePopDC and Concerned District Residents started this petition to Mayor Bowser and

To District Residents - please support our request below, which seeks a moratorium on new building permits for conversion of single-family rowhouses to multifamily apartment buildings (pop-ups) pending revisions to DC's zoning regulations, by signing our petition.  When signing, please include your address and phone number or email.  For more information please visit us on Facebook or on Twitter (@StopthePopDC).

Dear Mayor Bowser, Chairman Hood and Interim Director Bolling:

As residents of the District of Columbia, we are extremely concerned with the substantial increase of rowhouse conversions to multifamily apartment buildings by adding one or more stories and constructing massive additions in the rear (“pop-ups”).  These pop-up developments are having an adverse impact on our communities.  While we respect the property rights of owners, we wish to preserve the character of the District’s residential neighborhoods.  Thus, we present this petition signed by District residents to request that you place an immediate moratorium on approval of building permits by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”) for such pop-ups pending revision of the zoning regulations by the Zoning Commission (“ZC”).

The substantial increase of pop-up developments in the District is extremely troubling.  The additional stories and massive additions often result in a loss of privacy, air and natural light to nearby property owners.  The height and rear additions are often out of character with the existing homes on the block and change the historical nature of the neighborhood.  Residents affected by these pop-ups have no input about their construction, scale or the effect on our homes and communities, and the rights of the developers seem to trump the rights of existing District residents.  The developers’ interest in profit comes at the expense of our rights to use, enjoy and protect our homes and investments.

Pop-up buildings also increase density and reduce available parking and the number of single-family neighborhoods in the city.  In some instances, pop-up buildings have resulted in damage to adjoining homes and the ability of some residents to collect solar energy from panels installed on their roofs.  The continued efficiency of solar energy panels and green roofs are threatened by increasing densification of nearby pop-up developments.

There is a limited supply of single-family homes in the District.  The Office of Planning (“OP”) has indicated that buildings with one and two dwelling units represent only about 4 percent of the units in the housing pipeline for the city over the next 15 years.  Conversely, according to OP, the city has a large supply of multifamily or mixed-use zoned land and developments in the housing pipeline for multifamily housing appropriate to meet the demand of smaller households.  Permitting developers to continue to convert single-family rowhomes to multifamily housing would deplete the existing supply of single-family housing.  OP has indicated that pop-up construction is inconsistent with the intent of the R-4 District and the character of the neighborhood.  In addition, OP has proposed amendments to the zoning regulations to address the concerns of pop-up developments and to preserve single-family neighborhoods in R-4 Districts.  We support OP’s proposal and believe it will address some of our concerns.  However, OP’s proposal might not extend far enough to reduce the number and scale of pop-up construction in affected residential districts.

Accordingly, we request that you place an immediate hold on the approval of building permits for pop-up construction until OP and ZC have revised the zoning regulations to address concerns expressed by District residents.  An emergency moratorium is necessary to prevent the continuing adverse impact pop-up developments are having on our homes and communities.  As you are aware, rulemaking is a protracted process.  Without an immediate moratorium on approval of pop-up building permits, our homes and communities will continue to endure permanent and irreparable harm from these developments.  Attached is a letter from Mayor Bowser (while she was Ward 4 Councilmember) to former DCRA Interim Director Sabbakhan with a similar request.

Please direct any questions to stopthepopdc@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

 Concerned District Residents (see attached signature pages)

 

cc:        Council of the District of Columbia

Sara Bardin, Director, Office of Zoning

Eric Shaw, Acting Director, Office of Planning

Matthew Le Grant, Zoning Administrator, DCRA

 

 

 

 

Petition Closed

This petition had 743 supporters

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