Norton Reintroduces D.C. Zoning Commission Home Rule Act to Remove Federal Officials from Commission

Aug 10, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced the District of Columbia Zoning Commission Home Rule Act today, which would remove the Architect of the Capitol and the Director of the National Park Service from the D.C. Zoning Commission. Currently, the Commission consists of these two federal officials and three mayoral appointees, even though the Commission has no authority over federal property. Despite the D.C. Home Rule Act, which gave D.C. jurisdiction over local matters, 40 percent of the members of the Commission are federal officials, who are unaccountable to the more than 700,000 residents who live in the District.

“This bill is an essential step to increase home rule in the District of Columbia,” Norton said. “Land use is an entirely local matter. The federal government loses nothing because the interests of the federal government in land use in the nation’s capital are protected by federal law.”

The Commission creates zoning maps and regulations, which must “not be inconsistent with the comprehensive plan for the national capital.” The mayor is responsible for the local elements of the comprehensive plan, subject to Council approval. The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), which is the central federal planning agency for the federal government in D.C. and approves federal projects here, is responsible for the federal elements of the comprehensive plan. This bill would not alter the comprehensive plan process nor the authority of NCPC and the Commission.