The purposes of the D-8 zone are to permit high-density development, to foster the transition of a federally-owned area south of the National Mall into a mixed-use area of commercial, residential, cultural, arts, retail, and service uses with both public and private ownership, and to promote greater pedestrian and vehicular connectivity with an emphasis on re-establishing connections that have been compromised by previous street closings, vacations, obstructing construction, or changes in jurisdiction.

In the D-8 zone, other than transportation-or utility-related construction, approved monuments and memorials, and permitted building projections, no structure, building or building addition may be constructed above the grade of a street right-of-way that was included in the 1791 L’Enfant Plan for the City of Washington, regardless of whether or not it has been closed by an act of the Council of the District of Columbia or its predecessor bodies or whether a building has been constructed within it, with the exception of the following rights of way:

  • 8th Street, S.W. between Independence Avenue, S.W. and D Street, S.W.; and
  • D Street, S.W., between the L’Enfant Promenade/10th Street, S.W. and 12th Street, S.W.

The following Downtown Sub-Area is found within the D-8 zone: Independence Avenue.

Development Standards
Floor Area Ratio (max.)1 Height (ft.) Penthouse Height (ft.)/Stories Lot Occupancy
Rear Yard (ft.) Side Yard (ft.) Green Area Ratio Zoning Regulation Reference
D-8 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
6.5 (non-residential) 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
110 (fronts on right-of-way of at least 90 ft. but less than 100 ft.)
No taller than the width of the street plus 20 feet (fronts on right-of-way of at less than 90 ft)


Use Permissions 3 Courtyards Parking 4 Loading Alley Lots Inclusionary Zoning
Subtitle U, Chapter 7 Subtitle I § 207 Subtitle C, Chapter 7 Subtitle C, Chapter 9 Subtitle I § 210 Subtitle C, Chapter 10

A building in the D-8 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 in the D-8 zone is subject to the front build-to regulations in Subtitle I § 203, with the exception of a building fronting on Independence Avenue, S.W. and subject to the Independence Avenue Sub-Area regulations in Subtitle I § 618. A front setback shall not be required for a building in the D-8 zone except when otherwise subject to the front setback regulations Subtitle I § 618 for a building fronting on Independence Avenue, S.W.

All proposed uses, new buildings, and new structures, or any proposed exterior renovation to any existing buildings or structures in the D-8 zone that would result in an alteration of the existing exterior design, shall be subject to review and approval by the Zoning Commission as a special exception in accordance with the provisions of Subtitle X, Chapter 9 and Subtitle I §§ 581.2 through 581.5, and, for locations not subject to review by the Commission of Fine Arts and for locations fronting on Independence Avenue between 2nd and 12th Streets, N.W., shall be referred to the National Capital Planning Commission for review and comment.

1 The maximum permitted density shall be the density achievable within the height and bulk permitted by the zone and any applicable sub-area regulations, provided the building meets the requirements of Subtitle I § 575.2, and: (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 §576.4 is devoted to residential use; or (c) If conditions (a) or (b) are not satisfied through the employment of credits provided for by Subtitle I, Chapters 8 and 9.
2 Subject to applicable regulations governing courts, side or rear yards, front setback or build-to lines, easements or historic preservation.
3 Unless modified in in Subtitle I, Chapter 3 or by regulations governing a specific Downtown sub-area.
4 No parking is required in this zone, but parking spaces provided are subject to Subtitle C, Chapter 7.