Issa Announces Height Act Study to Begin Next Month

November 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), joined by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a member of the committee,  today announced the first-ever congressionally requested study of the Height Act of 1910, which Issa and Norton requested at a July hearing.  In a letter in October, Chairman Issa requested that the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the District of Columbia government conduct a joint study on whether the limitations on building heights in the District enacted by Congress in 1910 continue to serve the interests of the federal and District governments.  The study, which is slated to begin in December and conclude by September 2013, will examine alternative building heights throughout the city, while ensuring that the horizontality and prominence of the city’s monumental core are preserved.

“Congress has a clear and appropriate interest in preserving both historic characteristics of our nation’s capital and ensuring that longstanding rules and regulations still pass the test of common sense,” said Chairman Issa.  “As time has elapsed and opportunities for economic growth in our nation’s capital continue to present themselves, this study will help Congress and local leaders evaluate the case for expanding existing boundaries for vertical growth.”

“The committee’s hearing on the Height Act has opened an entirely new way to see our city and its possibilities,” Norton said.  “However, our committee wisely decided that the first study since the Height Act was passed in 1910 is necessary.  This study is just the beginning of what will be a complete public process examining the economic and aesthetic consequences of changing a law that has stood for more than 100 years.”

The study will include a number of opportunities for public participation and public meetings. 

Click here for Chairman Issa’s letter to Mayor Gray and the National Capital Planning Commission

Click here for the National Capital Planning Commission’s response