Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Zoning and Zoning Commission.


Part A. Zoning Commission Established.

§ 6–621.01. Zoning Commission — Created; composition; appointment; term of office; compensation; Chairman; powers generally.

(a) To protect the public health, secure the public safety, and to protect property in the District of Columbia there is created a Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia, which shall consist of the Architect of the Capitol, the Director of the National Park Service, and 3 members appointed by the Mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the Council. Each member appointed by the Mayor shall serve for a term of 4 years, except of the members first appointed under this section:

(1) One member shall serve for a term of 2 years, as determined by the Mayor;

(2) One member shall serve for a term of 3 years, as determined by the Mayor; and

(3) One member shall serve for a term of 4 years, as determined by the Mayor.

(b) Members of the Zoning Commission appointed by the Mayor shall be entitled to receive compensation as determined by the Mayor, with the approval of a majority of the Council. The remaining members shall serve without additional compensation.

(c) Members of the Zoning Commission appointed by the Mayor may be reappointed. Each member shall serve until his successor has been appointed and qualifies.

(d) The Chairman of the Zoning Commission shall be selected by the members.

(e) The Zoning Commission shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties with respect to zoning in the District as provided by law.


(Mar. 1, 1920, 41 Stat. 500, ch. 92, § 1; Mar. 3, 1921, 41 Stat. 1291, ch. 124; Feb. 26, 1925, 43 Stat. 983, ch. 339; Exec. Order No. 6166, June 10, 1933; Mar. 2, 1934, 48 Stat. 389, ch. 38, § 1; Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 810, Pub. L. 93-198, title IV, § 492(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-412.

1973 Ed., § 5-412.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-315.02, § 1-523.01, § 6-641.01, § 6-641.03, § 6-641.06a, § 6-641.13, and § 6-641.14.

Cross References

“Agency” defined, see § 1-315.02.

Building regulations, powers and duties of Council and Mayor, see § 1-303.04.

Election campaigns, candidates, disclosure of financial interests, see § 1-1106.02.

Mayoral nomination of agency heads, review and approval of Council, Zoning Commission, see § 1-523.01.

Transfer of Functions

All functions of all officers of the Department of the Interior and all functions of all agencies and employees of the Department, including the Director of the National Park Service, were transferred to the Secretary of the Interior, with power vested in him to authorize their performance or the performance of any of his functions by any of such officers, agencies, and employees, by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950, 64 Stat. 1262, §§ 1, 2, 15 F.R. 3174.


Part B. Office of Zoning.

§ 6–623.01. Office of Zoning — Established.

There is established as an independent agency of the District of Columbia (“District”) government an Office of Zoning to provide professional, technical, or administrative staff assistance to the Zoning Commission for the District (“Zoning Commission”) and to the Board of Zoning Adjustment in the performance of their functions and any other duties provided by law.


(Sept. 20, 1990, D.C. Law 8-163, § 2, 37 DCR 4676.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-412.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 6-623.03.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) provisions regarding the source of funding, see § 305 of the Service Improvement and Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-110, July 28, 1999, 46 DCR 6320).

For temporary (90 day) Office of Zoning additional space need provisions, see § 1202 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) Office of Zoning additional space need provisions, see § 1202 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

Short Title

Short title of subtitle S of title I of Law 15-205: Section 1201 of D.C. Law 15-205 provided that subtitle S of title I of the act may be cited as Office of Zoning Additional Space Needs Act of 2004.

Editor's Notes

Section 1202 of D.C. Law 15-205 provided: “Not later than September 30, 2004, the Office of Property Management shall provide additional space within the District government office building located at 441 4th Street, N.W. (‘One Judiciary Square’) to the Office of Zoning (‘OZ’) to address OZ’s increased space requirements. The additional space to be provided shall include the Suite 200-S and other space on the second floor of One Judiciary Square.”

Section effective October 1, 1991: Section 7(b) of D.C. Law 8-163 provided that the provisions of the act shall not apply until October 1, 1991.

Section 305 of D.C. Law 13-38 provided: “The exclusive source of funding for the Office of Zoning shall be appropriated local funds.”


§ 6–623.02. Office of Zoning — Director and staff; appointment.

(a) The Office of Zoning shall consist of a Director and other staff as the Zoning Commission considers necessary.

(b) The Director of the Office of Zoning shall be appointed by the District members of the Zoning Commission and shall serve as an excepted service employee in accordance with § 1-609.01. The Director shall be a District resident throughout his or her term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, each qualified District resident applicant shall receive an additional 10-point preference over a qualified non-District resident applicant for all positions within the Office of Zoning unless the applicant declines the preference. This 10-point preference shall be in addition to, and not instead of, qualifications established for the position. All persons hired after February 6, 2008, shall submit proof of residency upon employment in a manner determined by the Office of Zoning. An applicant claiming the hiring preference under this section shall agree in writing to maintain bona fide District residency for a period of 7 consecutive years from the effective date of hire and shall provide proof of such residency annually to the director of personnel for the Office of Zoning for the first 7 years of employment. Failure to maintain District residency for the consecutive 7-year period shall result in forfeiture of employment. The Office shall submit to the Mayor and Council annual reports detailing the names of all new employees and their pay schedules, titles, and place of residence.


(Sept. 20, 1990, D.C. Law 8-163, § 3, 37 DCR 4676; Feb. 6, 2008, D.C. Law 17-108, § 209, 54 DCR 10993.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-412.2.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-108 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “The Office of Zoning shall consist of a Director and other staff as the Zoning Commission deems necessary, subject to appropriations. The Director of the Office of Zoning shall be appointed by the District members of the Zoning Commission and shall serve as an excepted service employee in accordance with § 1-609.01.”

Editor's Notes

Section effective October 1, 1991: Section 7(b) of D.C. Law 8-163 provided that the provisions of the act shall not apply until October 1, 1991.


§ 6–623.03. Office of Zoning — Transfer of functions of Zoning Secretariat of Office of Planning.

In accordance with § 1-204.04(b), the functions of the Zoning Secretariat of the Office of Planning, under the direction of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development pursuant to the Establishment of the Office of Economic Development, effective January 3, 1983 (M.O. 83-18; 30 DCR 319 ), and any position, property, record, unexpended balance of appropriations, allocation, or other funds available to or to be made available relating to the functions of the Zoning Secretariat of the Office of Planning, are transferred to the Office of Zoning established by § 6-623.01.


(Sept. 20, 1990, D.C. Law 8-163, § 4, 37 DCR 4676.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-412.3.

Editor's Notes

Section effective October 1, 1991: Section 7(b) of D.C. Law 8-163 provided that the provisions of the act shall not apply until October 1, 1991.


§ 6–623.04. Office of Zoning — Recommendations, reports, review and comment by Office of Planning.

Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the Office of Planning from continuing to provide recommendations and reports to the Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment on any zoning case. The Office of Planning shall review and comment upon all zoning cases, and the Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment shall give great weight to the recommendation of the Office of Planning. Upon request of the Zoning Commission or the Board of Zoning Adjustment, the Office of Planning shall provide recommendations, information, or technical assistance in a timely manner.


(Sept. 20, 1990, D.C. Law 8-163, § 5, 37 DCR 4676.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-412.4.

Editor's Notes

Section effective October 1, 1991: Section 7(b) of D.C. Law 8-163 provided that the provisions of the act shall not apply until October 1, 1991.