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Washington, DC, Considers New Self-Storage Requirements in PDR Zones

January 23, 2020

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Washington, DC, Considers New Self-Storage Requirements in PDR Zones

The Washington, D.C., Office of Planning has filed an amendment with the zoning commission affirming self-storage as a by-right use within PDR (production, distribution and repair) zones; however, it added a stipulation that would require new developments to include a ground-floor use that encourages foot traffic. Preferred uses would include an apartment for a resident manager as well as space designated for arts, dining, offices, pet care or retail, according to the source.

In addition, planners have asked that ground-floor uses occupy at least half of the floor’s square footage and 100 percent of street frontage. “Although self-service storage facilities are a component of the industrial landscape and a desired use by many, as evidenced by their popularity for both residents and business owners in the district, the use results in a low-intensive utilization of the land, neither generating significant employment nor activating the street with other more active uses, such as manufacturing, retail commercial, service-commercial or office space, as anticipated by the zone,” planners wrote in the application.

PDR zones are typically found in the northeast and southeast quadrants of the city. Planners are hopeful the ground-floor requirements will make self-storage projects more appropriate for neighborhoods in which PDR and residential uses coincide, the source reported.

The zoning commission is expected to review the amendment request next week.

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