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Amended guidelines address rooftops, heights of buildings

By Staff
Changes made to safeguard Historic District
By MIKE VOSS
Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, amended guidelines governing heights of new buildings in the Historic District and added a section pertaining to rooftop additions to those guidelines.
The Historic Preservation Commission’s design guidelines for the Historic District now define the height of a new structure as “the vertical distance from the average grade existing on the site prior to development (plus 1 foot) to the highest point along the roofline.” That amended guideline applies to the business-historic overlay district.
The modified guidelines also set new limits on a new building’s height.
The council amended the guidelines so they now require the height of a new building in the district be no more than one story higher than buildings adjacent to it, with no new building to exceed 65 feet in height. The council determined that 15 feet would be the maximum height of that one story.
The commission’s recommendation to the council was that the height of a new building in the district should not exceed 15 percent of the average height of buildings on the same block (both sides of the street) as the new building, with a maximum height of 65 feet.
The Washington Area Historic Foundation, represented by Dee Congleton, recommended that a new building in the district not exceed the height of any building in the same block and that no new building be taller than 50 feet.
The commission’s guidelines now regulate rooftop additions, which were not addressed in the guidelines before they were modified. A moratorium on rooftop additions in the B1H district had been in place for about a year.
Rooftop addition, if allowed, must adhere to the following standards:
For more coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Daily News.