DDOT Announces the Second Proposed Rulemaking for DDOT-Controlled “Pocket” Parks

The District Department of Transportation has announced the second publication of proposed rules to clarify the process to be followed when a community or individual applies to make improvements to triangle or “pocket” parks under the control of DDOT. The proposed regulations require a permit to make certain changes to the landscape and also require that public and open access be maintained.    
 
The initial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the D.C. Register on July 4, 2014. In response to the public comments received, the proposed rulemaking is revised to require that, if applicable, the Historic Preservation Office, the Historic Preservation Review Board, and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts approve park improvements prior to the Director issuing a permit.
 
In addition, the revised proposal limits how far a landscaped privacy buffer may extend onto a triangle park from any abutting property; prohibits improvements within eight feet of an abutting property unless the property owner is the applicant; prohibits the use of fencing as a privacy buffer; includes the adjacent property owner in the permit application review process when a triangle park abuts private property; provides the adjacent property owner thirty days to submit comments; and clarifies that improvements made to a park under this section become the property of the District government.
 
The second proposed rules may be reviewed and comments submitted at dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/NoticeHome.aspx?NoticeID=5396127. Written comments are invited during the 30-day comment period, which closes May 2, 2015, and should also be submitted to publicspace.policy@dc.gov.