Washington, DC, Zoning Regulations

Updated December 2019

By: District of Columbia Government

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Table of Contents

Accessory Dwelling Units

The city's zoning code permits internal, attached, and detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by right in most residential districts (§253). Use-specific standards address number of units per lot, owner occupancy, maximum occupancy, floor area, unit access, and rental licensing.

Biophilic Planning

This city’s zoning regulations includes a green area ratio to ensure new developments are including biophilic elements. The green area ratio creates standards to improve stormwater infrastructure on new developments through landscaping (§11-34).

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The city’s zoning regulations outlines a “green area ratio (GAR)” system, which promotes environmental site design and landscaping. It lists several features that qualify as GAR landscape elements including, bioretention facilities, vegetated walls, vegetated roofs, and permeable pavement (Table C, §602.9) and provides standards for each. The zoning regulations outlines the submittal requirements for complying with GAR standards (§604), special exceptions (§605), and maintenance requirements (§606).

Washington, DC

2010 Population: 601,723

2010 Population Density: 9,856.56/square mile