ZONING IN NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL OVERLAY DISTRICTS

NB: The city is in the process of updating the zoning code. A FAQ on the update process is here.

The complete DC Zoning Regulations can be found at dcoz.dcgov.org/info/reg.shtm. Chapter 13 of the Zoning Regulations covers Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Districts, two of which border or lie within the Cleveland Park Historic District. Below are pieces of the regulations that are often cited in discussions of neighborhood issues. Please refer to the link above for the complete document.

1300.1  The Neighborhood Commercial (NC) Overlay District is established to preserve and enhance neighborhood shopping areas, by providing the scale of development and range of uses that are appropriate for neighborhood shopping and services.

1300.3  The purposes of the NC Overlay District are to:
(a) Encourage a scale of development, a mixture of building uses, and other attributes, such as safe and efficient conditions for pedestrian and vehicular movement, all of which will be as generally required by the Comprehensive Plan;
(b) Encourage retention and establishment of a variety of retail, entertainment, and personal service establishments, predominantly in a continuous pattern at ground level, so as to meet the needs of the surrounding area’s residents, workers, and visitors; and
(c) Limit the maximum permitted height of new buildings so as to encourage a general compatibility in scale between new and older buildings.

1302.4  The designated uses listed in § 1302.2 shall occupy no less than fifty percent (50%) of the gross floor area of the ground level of the building, subject to the following requirements:
(a) No more than twenty percent (20%) of the ground level floor area shall be devoted to banks, loan offices or other financial institutions, travel agencies, or other ticket offices;
(b) The ground level floor shall be the floor that is nearest in grade elevation to the sidewalk: and Title 11 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations
(c) In those parts of the affected building or lot other than as delineated in this section, the use provisions of the underlying zone district shall apply.

1302.5  Restaurants, fast food restaurants, delicatessens, carry-outs, and similar eating or drinking establishments shall be subject to the following limitations:
(a) These uses shall occupy no more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the linear street frontage within a particular NC Overlay District, as measured along the lots that face designated roadways in the particular district; and
(b) Except for a fast food restaurant, such uses may be applied to fulfill the requirements of § 1302.4; provided, that when such uses are so applied, they shall remain subject to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection.

SOURCE: Final Rulemaking published at 36 DCR 7616, 7617 (November 3, 1989); as amended by Fial Rulemakiig published at 47 DCR 9741-43 (December 8, 2000), incorporating by reference the text of Proposed Rulemaking published at 47 DCR 8335. 8444 (October 20, 2000).

1306 Cleveland Park Neighborhood Commerical Overlay District

1306.1  The Cleveland Park Neighborhood Commercial (CP) Overlay District is applied to a compact geographic area surrounding the Cleveland Park Metrorail Station and within the Cleveland Park Historic District, comprising those lots zoned C-2-A in Squares 2218, 2219, 2222, 2068, 2069, and 2082.

1306.2  In addition to the purposes in § 1300, the purposes of the CP Overlay District are to:
(a) Provide for safe and efficient pedestrian movement by reducing conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular traffic so as to improve access to retail services, the Metrorail station, and other uses in the area;
(b) Encourage compatibility of development with the purposes of the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-144, as amended; D.C. Code QJ 6-1101 to 6-1115 (formerly codified at D.C. Code JJ 5-1001 to 5-1015 (1994 Repl. & 1999 Supp.)); and Title 11 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.
(c) Provide for retention of existing housing within the CP Overlay District so as to help meet the need for affordable housing and to enhance pedestrian activity, safety, and consumer support for businesses in the commercial area.

1306.3  For purposes of § 1302, the designated use area shall include any lot within the CP Overlay District that fronts on Connecticut Avenue or Macomb, Newark, Ordway, or Porter Streets.

1306.4  For purposes of § 1303.2, the designated roadway within the CP Overlay District shall be Connecticut Avenue.

1306.5  In the CP Overlay District, no dwelling unit or rooming unit in existence as of October 1, 1987, shall be converted to any nonresidential use or to a transient use as hotel or inn; provided, that this restriction shall not apply to the ground floor of the building; that is, that floor that is nearest in grade elevation to the sidewalk.

1306.6  The maximum permitted height for any building or structure in the CP Overlay District shall be forty feet (40 ft.).

1306.7  The matter-of-right floor area ratio in the CP Overlay District shall be 2.0, not more than 1.0 of which may be occupied by nonresidential uses.

SOURCE: Final Rulemaking published at 36 DCR 7616, 7620 (November 3, 1989).

1308 Macomb-Wisconsin Neighborhood Commercial Overlay District

1308.1  The Macomb-Wisconsin Neighborhood Commercial (MW) Overlay District applies to the neighborhood commercial area near and extending from the intersection of Macomb Street and Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., comprising those lots zoned C-1 in Squares 1920 and 1920N.

1308.2  In addition to the purposes set forth in § 1300, the purpose of the MW Overlay District is to provide for public review of large developments as to their proposed uses, vehicular access, and the scale and massing of proposed buildings so as to ensure compatibility with and enhancement of the primary neighborhood retail function of the commercial area and to advance the other purposes of this overlay district.

1308.3  Within the MW Overlay District, on a lot that has ten thousand square feet (10,000 k2)or more in land area, construction of a new building or enlargement of the gross floor area of an existing building by fifty percent (50%) or more, shall be permitted, subject to review and approval as a special exception by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, pursuant to the standards and criteria in § 3104. Title 11 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

1308.4  For purposes of § 1302, the designated use area shall include any lot that fronts on Wisconsin Avenue or Macomb or Newark Streets within the WP Overlay District.

1308.5  For purposes of § 1303.2, the designated roadways within the MW Overlay District shall be Wisconsin Avenue and Macomb Street.

SOURCE: Final Rulemaking published at 36 DCR 7616. 7622 (November 3, 1989); as amended by Final Rulemaking published at 47 DCR 9741-43 (December 8, 2000). incorporating by reference the text of Proposed Rulemaking publisbed at 47 DCR 8335, 8446 (October 20, 2000).