July 19, 2012
Consumer Alert – The Importance of Competent Representation Before the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment
Although the rules of the Zoning Commission (Commission) and Board of Zoning Adjustment (Board) permits any person to represent an applicant, the Office of Zoning (DCOZ) strongly encourages applicants who seek such representation to make certain that the person (whether an attorney, land use professional or architect) is well-versed in the D.C. Zoning Regulations. In particular, your representative should be experienced with the rules, procedures and burden of proof standards relevant to the relief being sought from the Commission and or Board.
An applicant should consider asking the potential representative to identify the relevant licenses or credentials they hold and to provide a list of the Commission or Board cases in which they previously worked, the dates of the hearings, and the outcome of each case. Through the use of the video on demand features accessible through the DCOZ website, an applicant can watch one or more of the hearings identified and decide whether the potential representative is what they are looking for. Depending on the type of representation being sought, an applicant may want to consult with such professional associations as the District of Columbia Bar Association, the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association for references.