The purposes of the Sixteenth Street Heights Residential House R-16 zone are to: 

  • Promote the conservation, enhancement, and stability of the low-density, single dwelling unit neighborhood for housing and neighborhood-related uses; 
  • Control the expansion of nonresidential uses, and/or further conversion of residential housing to nonresidential uses in order to maintain the housing supply and minimize the external negative impacts of new nonresidential uses that are permitted in the R-16 zone in order to preserve neighborhood quality; and
  • Allow neighborhoods to continue to provide a range of health and social service facilities as well as private institutions that provide cultural and religious enrichment and economic vitality, but within the framework of improved public review and control over the external effects of nonresidential uses. The objective is to make more compatible the Comprehensive Plan's goals and policies for maintaining the quality and stability of residential neighborhoods with other policies related to the reasonable provision of human services throughout the District of Columbia.

The R-16 zone is intended to:

  • Respond to concerns that over a period of years approximately one in every ten houses in the R-16 zone north of Colorado Avenue, N.W. has been converted to a nonresidential use, a much higher ratio than has been identified for any other similarly zoned neighborhood in the District of Columbia; and south of Colorado Avenue N.W., address concerns that more than 20% of the residentially zoned land is used for nonresidential purposes;
  • Recognize that the neighborhood accommodates a significant number and range of human service facilities and private institutions to an extent that new and significantly expanded nonresidential use facilities should be governed by improved public review to ameliorate adverse impacts on immediate and nearby neighbors and to preserve a predominantly single dwelling unit residential character;
  • Respond to the District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan’s identification of the number of nonresidential uses in the neighborhood as a problem; and
  • Address the impacts of the number of nonresidential uses and the conversion of houses to these uses in the neighborhood as reflected in the Comprehensive Plan.
Residential and Non-Residential Buildings
Height (ft.) /
Stories 1
Minimum Lot Width (ft.) / Area (sq. ft.) Lot Occupancy Front Setback Rear Yard (ft.) Side Yard (ft.)2 Pervious Surface (minimum) Zoning Regulation Reference
R-16 40 50 40% All residential buildings shall have a front setback equal to or greater than the average setback of all structures on the same side of the street in the block where the building in question is located. 25 8 50% Subtitle D, Chapter 8

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

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.
For a building subject to a side yard requirement, but which has an existing side yard less than 8 ft. wide, an extension or addition may be made to the building; provided, that the width of the existing side yard shall not be decreased; and provided further, that the width of the existing side yard shall be a minimum of 5 ft.