The New Republic’s Adie Tomer has written a piece about a zoning decision in Washington D.C. The office of the zoning administrator ruled that a section of the city had reached its limit for bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Tomer initially opposed the idea, but…

But then I read this cross-posted piece at Greater Greater Washington and BeyondDC. The author’s general contention–these zoning limits are there for a reason, specifically to make sure neighborhoods offer all amenities needed to create a quality place–offers a solid counterpoint to my gut reaction. And using the example of a successful mall’s quota system really brings that point home, notwithstanding the differences between a commercial-only mall and a neighborhood’s residential needs.

As I’m neither a MidCity resident nor a current or prospective shop owner, I’m not sure what the right answer is here. I do know the lines to get into bars and restaurants can be overwhelming in that part of town, but I also don’t know if there’s enough hardware or grocery stores to satisfy the residents. Actually, the only thing I really know is that this will probably cause a serious ideological fight in the ever-politically-active District.

What are your thoughts on zoning limits? Have you seen them enforced in your neighborhood? Do you wish there were limits?

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