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Green Area Ratio - Determining Applicability

GAR Phase In period
Who Must Comply

All new buildings that require a Certificate of Occupancy must comply with the Green Area Ratio (GAR). Additions and interior renovations to existing buildings must comply with GAR when the cost to construct exceeds 100% of the assessed building value within any twelve-month period. Any property within the R-, RF-, USN, STE, HE, WR-1, and WR-6 Districts is exempt from GAR and no exemption form is required.

Exemptions

All projects which are not within one of the districts defined above but seek an exemption must submit the GAR Exemption Status Application to the Supporting Documents folder of ProjectDox. All exemptions must be approved by the Office of Zoning Administrator.

Upload the approved exemption application to the Surface and Groundwater System (SGS)[NM(4] if there is an accompanying stormwater management plan or if requested by the DOEE plan reviewer. If the exemption is not approved, then a complete GAR plan package must be uploaded to the SGS (see Design Development and Submittal). The exemption application process is further defined on the second page of the application. The following properties may be eligible for GAR exemptions:

  • Single family residences
  • Buildings that do not require a certificate of occupancy
  • DC Water wastewater treatment facilities
  • Some interior renovations of existing buildings as specified in the regulations
  • Historic resources certified by the DC Inventory of Historic Sites or State Historic Preservation Officer unless undergoing renovations of more than 50% gross floor area

See the GAR regulations for additional guidance on where GAR does and does not apply.


Transition Period

Properties will be exempt from GAR regulations if DCRA has officially accepted the building permit as being complete prior to October 1, 2013.

If the building permit was filed on or after October 1, 2013, then the project may be exempted from GAR regulations if an appropriate vote, public hearing, unexpired approval, or Large Tract Review occurred, as noted below.GAR cistern

The project is exempt if a commission or board has voted to approve any of the following designations: first stage, second stage, or consolidated planned unit development, variances, special exceptions, design reviews for Capitol Gateway (CG) and Southeast Federal Center (SEFC) overlays, concepts designs by the Historic Preservation Review Board or Commission of Fine Arts. The vote must have occurred before October 1, 2013 and the conditions of the voted-upon designation must be unexpired prior to granting a building permit.

The project is exempt if a public hearing was held for any of the following designations: variances, special exceptions, design reviews for Capitol Gateway and Southeast Federal Center overlays. The public hearing must have occurred by October 1, 2013 and the conditions of the designation must be unexpired prior to granting a building permit.

Unexpired approvals for: first stage, second stage, or consolidated PUD are exempt from GAR regulations if granted after October 1, 2013 but set down for public hearing before October 1, 2013.

Large Tract Reviews completed prior to July 1, 2012 need only meet a 0.1 GAR standard under the following circumstance:

  • The application was filed no later than July 1, 2014
  • The Application is consistent with Large Tract Review conditions
  • The building shall achieve a GAR of no less than 0.1 and
  • This condition expires on July 2, 2014
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