Zoning Handbook

D - F

Dinner Theater: A restaurant with a stage or performing area where the main activity is the serving of dinner and, following dinner, the performance of a play or musical theater.

Director: The Director of the Office of Zoning or such successor official as shall be designated to be the supervisor of the full-time administrative staff of the Commission and Board, unless otherwise noted.

District of Columbia Construction Codes: The District of Columbia Construction Codes and District of Columbia Construction Codes Supplement as those terms are further described at 12 DCMR A § 101.1.

Driver's License Road Test Facility: A building and associated paved area used by the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles in connection with road tests or other tests of driving ability given to applicants for drivers' licenses or endorsements.

Drive-Through: A system designed to permit customers of an establishment to obtain goods or services by driving through the property and conducting the transaction while the customer remains within a motor vehicle. The system has two (2) major parts: a vehicular queuing lane or lanes, and one (1) or more service locations where customers place orders or receive services or both. No part of this definition shall be construed to apply to a gasoline service station.

Dwelling, Multiple: A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units or rooming units, or any combination of these units totaling three (3) or more.

Dwelling Unit: One (1) or more habitable rooms comprising complete independent living facilities for one (1) or more persons, and including within those rooms permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. A dwelling unit is intended for a single household.

Dwelling Unit, Principal: The primary residential structure on a lot. El: An uncovered, unoccupied space, bounded by a side lot line and two (2) exterior walls of a building.

Elderly Day Care Home: A dwelling unit used in part for the care, education, recreation, or training of no more than five (5) elderly individuals who are not related by blood or marriage to the caregiver and who are present for less than twenty-four (24) hours per day. This definition encompasses facilities generally known as senior care centers, elder care programs, and similar programs and facilities.

Elderly Development Center: A building or part of a building, other than an elderly day care home, used for the non-residential care of individuals age sixtyfive (65) or older, totaling seven (7) or more persons, who are not related by blood or marriage to the caregiver and who are present for less than twenty-four (24) hours per day. This definition encompasses facilities generally known as senior care centers, elder care programs, and similar programs and facilities. An elderly development center includes the following accessory uses: counseling; education, training, and health and social services for the person or persons with legal charge of individuals attending the center, including, but not limited to, any parent, spouse, sibling, child, or legal guardian of such individuals.

Electronic Equipment Facility (EEF): A facility or space used primarily for or intended to be used primarily for the housing, operation, and/or co-location of computer equipment that provides: (a) electronic data switching, (b) transmission, and/or (c) telecommunication functions, whether inside or outside the facility. The term “Electronic Equipment Facility” includes, but is not limited to, Data Center, Server Farm, Co-Location Facility, Telecommunications Switching Center, Tech Hotel, Telco Hotel, and Telecommunications Central Office.

Embassy: The official residence of an ambassador or other chief of a diplomatic mission, or that portion of a combined chancery/embassy devoted to use as such official residence.

Emergency Shelter: A facility providing temporary housing for one (1) or more individuals who are otherwise homeless as that arrangement is defined in the Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005, effective October 22, 2005 (D.C. Law 16-35; D.C. Official Code §§ 4-751.01 et seq.).

Enclosed Pedestrian Space: An area located within a building designed for pedestrian use and enclosed on all sides that may be covered by a roof of a transparent material that exposes the area to natural light.

Equipment Cabinet or Shelter: An enclosure housing only equipment related to the operation of an antenna located at the site and connected to the antenna by cable.

Expanded Child Development Home: a dwelling unit used in part for the licensed care, education, or training for more than six (6) individuals, up to a maximum of twelve (12) individuals fifteen (15) years of age or less including all individuals age four (4) and younger who reside in the dwelling unit, provided that no more than six (6) of the individuals may be under two (2) years of age. Those individuals receiving care, education, or training who are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the caregiver shall be present for less than twenty-four (24) hours per day. This definition encompasses facilities generally known as a child care.

Farmers Market: A temporary market, open to the public for no charge, held in an open area where groups of individual sellers offer for sale to the public such items as agricultural produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, meats, eggs, and honey that they produce or grow; items for sale may also include items made from the agricultural produce such as baked goods, jams, jelly, and sausages; sales are customarily made from temporary booths or vehicles located on site. The market may operate daily, intermittently throughout the week, or seasonally.

Fast Food, Drive-through: A fast food restaurant that includes a drive-through and may not provide customer seating.

Fast Food, Restaurant: A business, other than a prepared food shop, where food is prepared and served very quickly; and where the food is typically made of preheated or precooked ingredients, served to the customer in a packaged form for carry-out/take-away, although it may be eaten on site.

Characteristics of a fast food establishment may include:

  • Foods that are prepared by production-line techniques;
  • Foods that are standardized foodstuffs shipped to a franchised establishment from central locations;
  • The establishment includes trash receptacles located in the dining area for self-bussing of tables;
  • Seating for customers; and
  • Food served on disposable tableware. An establishment meeting this definition shall not be deemed to constitute any other use permitted under the authority of these regulations, except that a restaurant, grocery store, movie theater, or other use providing carry out sales that is clearly subordinate to its principal use shall not be deemed a fast-food establishment.

Firearm: a gun, pistol, or any weapon capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.

Firearms Retail Sales Establishment: An establishment engaged in the sale, lease, or purchase of firearms or ammunition. If an establishment is a firearms retail sales establishment as defined here, it shall not be deemed to constitute any other use permitted under the authority of this title.

Fire Department: the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department of the District of Columbia.

Fire Station: A building and associated land used by the Fire Department to house personnel and equipment in connection with the provision of fire, rescue, emergency medical, hazardous materials response, and other types of emergency services throughout the District- of Columbia, and includes the harbor facility.

Flat: A dwelling used exclusively as a residence for two (2) families living independently of each other.

Floating Home: A sailboat, motorboat, or other floating structure that is designed and built to be used, or is modified to be used, as a waterborne residential dwelling, is dependent for utilities upon a utility linkage to a source originating on shore, and in which the tenant or owner sleeps overnight an average of fifteen (15) days per month.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR): The ratio of the total gross floor area of a building to the area of its lot; determined by dividing the gross floor area of all buildings on a lot by the area of that lot. See Also: Subtitle B §§ 304 and 305.

Floor, Ground: The floor level nearest to and above the adjacent finished grade.

Food Delivery Service: A restaurant, prepared food shop, or fast food establishment, in which the principal use is production of prepared food for delivery to customers located off the business premises. Seating and tables for customers may or may not be provided for on-premises consumption, but if present are clearly subordinate to the principal use of preparing food for delivery to off-site customers. Any establishment that derives more than seventy-five percent (75%) of its sales from delivery orders will be considered a food delivery service in all cases. This definition does not include catering establishments.