On October 6, 2014, we emailed all D.C. Council candidates on the question of residential downzoning. Contact information was obtained from the D.C. Board of Elections website.


We invited D.C. Council candidates to leave additional comments if they so desired. We will post comments below as they are received. 


The following comments may be extended or revised by the commenter, if desired. Contact Lanier.Neighbor@gmail.com with your request.

Any Revised and Extended Comments are INDENTED.


Broadly speaking, I am opposed to zoning in its current form and would seek efforts to reform the system to reduce the power of government to dictate property owners' rights to develop their land as they see fit. I believe that the zoning code is the source of immense corruption in DC, as big developers are able to use their influence and money to navigate the byzantine system (and buy exemptions to the code), while individuals and small businesses do not. I view Houston as the gold standard--no zoning and limited government interference in the property market.

Preston Cornish (Ward 5 Council Candidate)

For 10 years I have worked to restore the benefit provided by parity of our tax Deductions and Exemptions with the federal rates. We lost this in 1973 upon receiving Home Rule when our elected Council failed to peg these rates to inflation. This has cost us over $1 billion over the years. Coupling our rates with federal rates will return $85 million annually to our pockets and community businesses. I was very distressed, however to see that the Council is slowly phasing in this change, not be be fully implemented until 2019. The increase in Exemptions, especially important to families will not even begin until 2017. Our lower income families are being driven out of the City by this kind of thinking. That is why I am running.

G. Lee Aikin (Candidate for Chair of the Council)

Regarding the rezoning, I was very concerned at the briefing by Ms. Tregoning when we were shown the width of center city streets. Many were on streets currently lined with attractive older row houses. I dread the thought of these being torn down and replaced with modern sterile glass boxes. I do think that repurposing carriage houses and garages into small units of housing for single people or a small family if current bedroom standards are met makes sense. A friend showed me her garage which now is a home and it is very attractive. I also believe that certain low volume businesses can be placed on the ground or basement level (English basement) floors without harming most neighborhoods. I am specifically thinking of a dressmaker's shop I saw in such a location. They operated with appointments, doing fittings and sewing, with several lovely garments displayed in their window.

G. Lee Aikin, DCSGP (Candidate for Chair of the Council)

People should be free to do whatever they want with their property.

Frederick Steiner (At-Large Council Candidate)

Every neighborhood is different. There is no "one size fits all" solution. 

John Cheeks (Candidate for Chair of the Council)

I will bring absolute empowerment to the residents and voters of the District of Columbia as the Chairman of the Council.

John Cheeks (Candidate for Chair of the Council)

Every neighborhood is different. There is no "one size fits all" solution. 

Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1 Council Candidate)

Thank you for sending this candidate poll. I decline to take this poll, as the specific matter of downzoning in Lanier Heights will be before me as ANC commissioner next month.

Kind regards,

Brian Hart (At-Large Council Candidate)