Cheh Moves Bill to Expand Large Tract Review Process

Legislation would give community a seat at the table, increase transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D – Ward 3) today introduced the “Large Tract Review Process Amendment Act of 2013” at the Council’s Legislative Meeting. This bill would extend the large tract review procedures to certain large residential development projects to ensure that the community is engaged early in the development process.

“This bill will remedy a gap in the law that removes purely residential developments from the Large Tract Review process, even if such developments are on a large scale,” said Councilmember Cheh. “In truth, many developers realize how much more smoothly a project can proceed if they engage the government and the community early in the process, but there is no formal mechanism to do so. My legislation takes the existing system of Large Tract Review and simply extends it to matter-of-right residential developments of 150,000 square feet or more.”

Under current law, most large development projects have broad input from the government and the community either because they occur through a planned unit development (PUD) or because they fall under the Office of Planning’s Large Tract Review process for matter-of-right projects. The latter process is not a mechanism to approve or disapprove of a development that is permissible under the law. Instead, it provides relevant government agencies, surrounding property owners, and local ANCs and civic associations with an opportunity to identify and resolve potential issues early in a project’s development.

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