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Green Area Ratio Overview

GAR overview

What is GAR?

The Green Area Ratio is an environmental sustainability zoning regulation that sets standards for landscape and site design to help reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and keep the city cooler.

GAR Updates

Beginning January 29, 2021, DC-licensed landscape architects may now sign off on GAR plans as Certified Landscape Experts (CLE). Maryland and Virginia landscape architects may continue to sign off on GAR plans and final inspection checklists until September 1, 2021, after which they will no longer be accepted. The full text amendment may be found under GAR Regulation. For additional information on GAR plan preparation and the submittal process go to Design Development and Submittal.

The GAR Final Construction Checklist is now performed electronically through DOEE’s Surface and Groundwater System (SGS). For more information on the construction inspection process, adding CLE information to the SGS, and checklist sign off go to GAR Construction Compliance and Certificate of Occupancy.

Two new documents have been added to the GAR Guidebook, Forms, and Documents section to help CLEs understand what DOEE staff are looking for in their GAR plan reviews. One plan review aid is intended for projects being reviewed for GAR and ESC only. It includes technical items from DOEE’s Stormwater Guidebook which are referred to in the GAR Guidebook (bioretention, permeable pavement, etc.). The other plan review aid is intended for projects which also have a stormwater management requirement (see DOEE’s Stormwater Management Rule and Guidebook for applicability). It does not include these additional technical specifications, as those are addressed as part of the stormwater review.

Please review all the information provided on this site and in the links provided. If you have additional technical or GAR plan review questions, please contact [email protected] or (202) 535-2600.

For GAR applicability and exemption questions, please contact Zoning through DCRA’s contact page.

For GAR inspections questions, please contact DOEE’s Inspection and Enforcement Division, Construction and Maintenance Branch.

For questions regarding the development of the GAR regulation, refer to the Office of Planning.
GAR graphic



Cooler Temperatures  |  Improved Air Quality  |  Reduced Stormwater

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