May 2, 2007


"We have a moral imperative to increase density, to get us out of our cars," said Christopher Leinberger, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, said in the WaPo, making a global warming argument against the height-limit on commercial buildings, condos etc.

Developers, architects and planners grouse that the law imposes constraints that force builders to erect box-like buildings with low ceilings and it prevents the kind of population density necessary to draw higher-quality retail.

In 2003, DC commissioned a study that concluded that the city could generate an additional $10 billion in tax revenue over 20 years if it raised the height limit to 160 feet.

On the other hand, "I would state emphatically that we have the Height Act to thank for preserving the city's character," said Patti Gallagher, executive director of the National Capital Planning Commission.

True enough, but the limit also has created "downtowns" in Tysons and Bethesda, sucking economic activity away from the city and creating sprawl, sprawl and more sprawl.

No comments: