The purposes of the Naval Observatory Residential House R-13 zone are to:

  • Promote the public health, safety, and general welfare on land adjacent to or in close proximity to the highly sensitive and historically important Naval Observatory in keeping with the goals and policies of the Federal and District elements of the Comprehensive Plan and the adopted Master Plan for that facility;
  • Ensure that public land within the zone shall be used in a manner consistent with the historic or ceremonial importance and special missions of the Naval Observatory;
  • Reflect the importance of the Naval Observatory to the District of Columbia and the Nation;
  • Provide additional controls on private land to protect Federal interest concerns, including the critical scientific mission performed at the Naval Observatory and the security needs of the Vice-President's residence; and
  • Provide development standards to reduce or eliminate any possible harm or restrictions on the mission of the Federal establishment within the zone.

The R-13 zone is intended to permit single dwelling unit row houses on small lots, include areas where row houses are mingled with detached houses and semidetached houses, and retain the single dwelling unit nature of these areas.

Development Standards
Height (ft.) /
Stories 1
Minimum Lot Width (ft.) Minimum Area (sq. ft.) Lot Occupancy Front Setback Rear Setback (ft.) Side Setback (ft.) Pervious Surface (min.) Zoning Regulation Reference
R-13 40 30
(row dwellings & places of worship)
A front setback shall be provided within the range of existing front setbacks of all structures on the same side of the street in the block where the building is proposed. 20 None required, 5 ft. if provided 20% Subtitle D, Chapter 7
3 16
(IZ row)
(IZ row)
(all other structures)
(all other structures)
(all other structures)

Use Permissions Parking Inclusionary Zoning
Subtitle U, Chapter 2 Subtitle C, Chapter 7 Subtitle C, Chapter 10
R- Use Group C

1 Institutional buildings or structures may be erected to a height not exceeding 90 ft., not including the penthouse, provided that the building or structure shall be removed from all lot lines of its lot a distance of not less than 1 ft. for each foot of height in excess of that authorized in the zone in which it is located.