Cozen O’Connor: D.C. Council Approves Measure to Curb Wave of Development Appeals

D.C. Council Approves Measure to Curb Wave of Development Appeals

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Meridith Moldenhauer and Samantha Mazo comment on the D.C. Council’s vote to approve amendments to the Comprehensive Plan's Framework Element nearly two years after the Office of Planning introduced the proposed changes in an article in Bisnow. The vote was postponed after Planning Director Andrew Trueblood raised concerns over language in the plan that could result in an increasing number of developments being delayed due to prolonged litigation. Amendments presented by the Office of Planning in January 2018 sought to create more clarity around the procedure to lessen the appeals that have delayed developments throughout D.C. According to Meridith, the previous draft could have made the process more challenging, however she indicated that the current draft eases her concerns.

"The way the section is now rewritten, we do feel the language parallels more the recent court cases and the way the Zoning Commission has been balancing the various section of the Comprehensive Plan," Meridith said.

Another section of the plan’s Framework Element that has not yet been approved is the definitions of the land-use categories identified in the Future Land Use Map, which sets guidelines for the level of the density that can be built throughout the city. It is believed that a number of proposed edits may be made before the map is finalized.

"That is something that developers and community stakeholders will be very attuned to," said Samantha. "Seeing how those recommendations are interpreted and adopted by the Office of Planning and as it goes through the legislative process is going to be critical."

To read the full article, click here.