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FAQs - Inclusionary Zoning

I.  Zoning Regulations

What is the logic of determining the allocation of IZ set-aside units (50% and 80% AMI) by zone instead of by construction type (steel/concrete and stick-built)?

The Zoning Regulations essentially permit steel and concrete construction in any applicable zone, and any construction in the denser zone districts to have a reduced affordability requirement.  For instance, stick construction in a C-2-C zone would have the reduced affordability requirement.

The minimum set-aside requirement of 8% of “the gross floor area being devoted to residential use” does not appear to recognize common area space.  Also, what if there is common area space that is shared with a commercial use?

The gross will be converted to a net leaseable/saleable requirement as part of the CIZC application.  A gross calculation was necessary to compare the minimum requirement to the potential maximum requirement which is based on gross bonus density. 

The addition of share common space to the gross residential space will be weighted proportionally based on the square footage of commercial and residential space with access to the common area.

How will projects that have filed for building permits, PUD approvals or other zoning approvals be affected by the implementation of IZ on the effective date of the program?

The following projects are exempted from IZ requirements. 

  • Zoning Commission PUD cases set down prior to the effective date of IZ.
  • Projects with BZA orders promulgated prior to the effective date.  There are currently no active multi-family BZA cases without an order.
  • Projects with active Building Permits issued prior to the effective date of the regulations.
     

Has the OAG rendered an opinion on the legal sustainability of minimum matter-of-right IZ set asides with or without bonus density?

The zoning regulations, the Act and the administrative regulations have all received legal sufficiency from the Office of the Attorney General.


II. Administrative Rulemaking

Under what potential circumstances would a Deed of Trust be required for IZ developments?

The District is currently considering eliminating the need for a Deed of Trust.

What recourse does an IZ development have when an eligible and loan qualified IZ buyer is not available at the end of a reasonable period of time?

If the lottery process does not find an occupant within six months of the Notice of Availability, the Developer may apply for permission to find a qualifying household on their own.

Is it practical to require that IZ developments project unit finishes, fixtures and equipment at application for a CIZC?  On what basis would the Zoning Administrator evaluate them?

The Zoning Administrator reviews the proposed finish schedule to ensure compliance with Section 2605.4 of the Zoning Regulations.  The regulations state unit finishes and appliance must be comparable to the market rate units, but may be of less expensive materials and equipment.  If changes are made to the finish schedule the prior to Certificate of Occupancy (CofO), the developer must file an updated schedule for review before the CofO is applied for.

Has the District met with the lending community to ascertain its response to IZ foreclosure rules?

The IZ covenant is drafted to follow FannieMae guidelines for survivorability of foreclosure.  The District is currently working with the lending community on outreach to educate them on use of the covenants.

The administrative rulemaking suggests that its provisions may be more “stringent” than the zoning regulations or underlying IZ legislation.  Please explain.

The administrative rules state in the event of a conflict between the zoning regulationss, the Act, or the administrative regulationss, the most restrictive shall apply.

Will developers of condominiums be able to collect condo fee increases and special fee assessments from IZ purchasers?  If not, is that not a violation of the DC Condominium Act which requires that all units pay for common expenses proportionate to their ownership interests?

The District encourages the use of some form of par value to assess condominium fees, but once condominium fees are approved by the District, the fees may be increased proportional to the ownership interest of the Inclusionary Unit in the building.  Condominium fees are also part of homebuyer education curriculum.