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Congress to study D.C. building height restrictions

Friday - 11/9/2012, 5:51am  ET

Man on the street: Why can't D.C. have skyscrapers?

WTOP's Mark Segraves reports

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WASHINGTON - The House committee that oversees the nation's capital is launching a study on potential changes to building height restrictions in Washington.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced Thursday that the study will begin next month. Issa chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held a hearing over the summer on the Height Act of 1910. Issa and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, requested the study.

Buildings in Washington have been limited to about 12 stories for more than a century. Advocates say easing the restrictions only slightly could open up new development opportunities and accommodate the city's swelling population. But preservationists have vowed to fight any changes to the law.

The study is scheduled to conclude next September.

A collection of historical documents regarding the height of D.C. buildings is available from The Committee of 100 on the Federal City.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press and WTOP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)