Issa Statement on House Passage of D.C. Height Act Amendment
WASHINGTON – The House today passed H.R. 4192, to amend the 1910 Height of Buildings Act, as amended, on a recorded vote of 367-16. The legislation will allow the District of Columbia government to approve human occupancy of penthouses up to one-story tall above the top story of buildings in the city.
“The height of buildings in this city will not change by one foot under this Act, but the beauty of tops of buildings and their usability will. The revenue to the city can increase because of the value of these top floors and yet we will cover up mechanical penthouses that today are simply elevator shafts, rooftop air conditioners, water towers and the like,” Chairman Issa said on the House floor today. “Those [proposed developments] will continue to go through a rigorous process before they can be approved and they will continue to be consistent with the 1910 Height Act…. This bill simply gives the city a little more latitude in penthouses where ugly mechanical penthouses already exist and are allowed.”
The change enacted by H.R. 4192 was one of the recommendations made by the National Capital Planning Commission report released on November 27, 2013.