The purposes of the D-5 zone are to promote high-density development of commercial and mixed uses in areas that had been receiving areas for transferable development rights under Chapter 17 of the 1958 Zoning Regulations.

A building with frontage on a designated primary or secondary street shall meet the design requirements on Subtitle I § 602.

The following Downtown Sub-Areas are found within the D-5 zone: Chinatown, Massachusetts Avenue Corridor and Mt. Vernon Square, Mount Vernon Triangle, North of Massachusetts Avenue (NoMA), M and South Capitol Streets, North Capitol Street Corridor.

Development Standards
Floor Area Ratio (max.)1, 2 Height (ft.)2 Penthouse Height (ft.)/Stories Lot Occupancy
Rear Setback (ft.) Side Setback (ft.) Green Area Ratio Zoning Regulation Reference
D-5 None 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.) 1 plus mezzanine; Second story permitted for penthouse mechanical space
6.5 (non-residential) 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)


Use Permissions4 Courtyards Parking5 Loading Alley Lots Front Build-to
Subtitle U, Chapter 7 Subtitle I § 207 Subtitle C, Chapter 7 Subtitle C, Chapter 9 Subtitle I § 210 Subtitle I § 203

The D-5 zone is not subject to the Inclusionary Zoning provisions of Subtitle C, Chapter 10; however, a building in the D-5 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.

The permitted height of a building in the D-5 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.

1 Unless otherwise regulated by the non-residential density requirements of Subtitle I § 609 for the Chinatown Sub-Area, a building with at least 2.0 FAR on its lot may provide up to 0.5 FAR for non-residential use, which shall be located only on or below the ground floor.
2 A building with frontage on Mount Vernon Square or on Massachusetts Avenue between North Capitol Street and 15th Street N.W. shall be subject to the Massachusetts Avenue Corridor and Mt. Vernon Square Sub-Area.
3 Subject to applicable regulations governing courts, side or rear yards, front setback or build-to lines, easements or historic preservation.
4Unless 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.