The purposes of the D-5-R zone are to promote high-density residential development through housing requirements and incentives in areas near Mount Vernon Square and in the Mount Vernon Triangle while accommodating high-density commercial and mixed-use development.

A building with frontage on a designated primary or secondary street shall meet the design requirements on Subtitle I § 602, unless the building fronts on a designated primary street in the Mount Vernon Triangle Principal Intersection Sub-Area and is therefore governed by Subtitle I § 553.2.

The following Downtown Sub-Areas are found within the D-5-R zone: Chinatown, Massachusetts Avenue Corridor and Mt. Vernon Square, Mount Vernon Triangle, Mount Vernon Triangle Principal Intersection.

Development Standards
Floor Area Ratio (max.)1, 2 Height (ft.)2 Penthouse Height (ft.)/Stories Lot Occupancy
Rear Yard (ft.) Side Yard (ft.) Green Area Ratio Zoning Regulation Reference
D-5-R None (3.5 min. residential) 130 (fronts on right-of-way of at least 110 ft.) 20 100 2.5 in. per 1 ft. of vertical distance from the mean finished grade at the middle of the rear of the
structure to the highest point of the main roof or parapet, but not less than 12 ft.
If provided, at least 2 in. wide for each 1 ft. of height of building but no less than 5 ft. 0.20 Subtitle I, Chapter 5
120 (fronts on right-of-way of at least 100 ft. but less than 110 ft.)
110 (fronts on right-of-way of at least 90 ft. but less than 100 ft.)
No taller than the width of the street right of way, plus 20 ft (on streets less than 90 ft)


The D-5-R zone is not subject to the Inclusionary Zoning provisions of Subtitle C, Chapter 10; however, a building in the D-5-R zone may generate or use credits in accordance with Subtitle I, Chapters 8 and 9, which explains the credit system relating to Transferable Development Rights (“TDR”) or Combined Lot Development (“CLD”) rights.

A building on a lot in the D-5-R zone must provide the equivalent of at least 3.5 Floor Area Ratio (“FAR”) of residential use before any non-residential uses may be provided on the lot, unless the development meets one of the exceptions in Subtitle I § 547.2. The permitted height of a building in the D-5-R zone is based on the right-of-way width of the street upon which it fronts, as detailed in the table below.

A front setback is not required, except as otherwise required by Subtitle I § 612 in the case of a designated primary street segment.

The maximum permitted FAR for a building shall be the density achievable within the height and bulk permitted by the zone and any applicable sub-area regulations: (a) If all of the building’s FAR is devoted to residential use; (b) If all FAR exceeding the non-residential density permitted in Subtitle I § 547.5 is devoted to residential use; or (c) If conditions (a) or (b) are not satisfied, through the use of credits provided for by Subtitle I, Chapters 8 and 9.
Unless: (a) the residential requirement is reduced or eliminated by Subtitle I §§ 200.2 or 200.3, or Subtitle I § 547.4; (b) relieved of a residential requirement by the provisions of Subtitle I § 305.3; (c) the residential requirement is reduced by up to 1.4 FAR through constructing or financially assisting affordable housing pursuant to Subtitle I § 305.7; or (d) the requirement is met using the credit procedures enabled by Subtitle I, Chapters 8 and 9.
3 Subject to applicable regulations governing courts, side or rear yards, front setback or build-to lines, easements or historic preservation.
Unless modified in in Subtitle I, Chapter 3 or by regulations governing a specific Downtown sub-area.
5 No parking is required in this zone, but parking spaces provided are subject to Subtitle C, Chapter 7.