Height Limitations:

D.C. Government's Authority To Amend Building Height Limitations

GGD-86-85BR: Published: Sep 19, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the meaning and objectives of the Home Rule Act, which relates to the District of Columbia's authority to amend building height limitations.

GAO noted that legislation governs maximum private-sector building heights in the District; however, as a result of a District Council amendment to the Schedule of Heights, one of the District's construction projects exceeds previously established height limitations for that area. GAO found that: (1) before the Council's action, legislation restricted commercial buildings in that area to 95 feet; and (2) the Home Rule Act did not prohibit the Council from promulgating the Schedule of Heights amendment, to allow building construction up to 130 feet, since the D.C. Code did not contain height limitations and the amendments did not allow any increase beyond the overall height limits set in building legislation.

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