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D.C. Height Restrictions Subject Of New Study

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The Height Act has kept D.C. buildings 12 stories and under for more than a century now.
Joshua Bousel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshbousel/197722630/
The Height Act has kept D.C. buildings 12 stories and under for more than a century now.

The House committee that oversees the nation's capital is launching a study on potential changes to building height restrictions in D.C.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) says the study will begin next month. It was requested by Issa and D.C.'s Delegate to Congress — Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Under the Height Act of 1910, buildings in Washington have been limited — commercial buildings are capped at 110 feet and residential buildings at 90 feet. Advocates say easing the restrictions slightly could open up new development opportunities and help accommodate the city's growing population.

Preservationists have vowed to fight any changes to the law. They say the Height Act is what helped define the District's distinct skyline, where the Capitol and Washington Monument are visible from many areas in the city.

The study will examine alternative building heights and ways to maintain the prominence of the city's monuments.

It is scheduled to conclude next September.

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