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Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Pertaining to Improvements of Two Business Properties in the District of Columbia.

July 31, 1956

I HAVE WITHHELD my approval of H. R. 4993, "To authorize the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia to permit certain improvements to two business properties situated in the District of Columbia."

The two properties involved, owned by private corporations, are occupied as gasoline filling stations in a residential use district. Under the zoning regulations promulgated pursuant to the act of March 1, 1920, as amended by the act of June 20, 1938, the two stations may be continued as such in the category of nonconforming uses because they were in existence prior to the enactment of the zoning statute. However, except under certain conditions, these nonconforming uses cannot be physically extended, enlarged, or improved. At present there are approximately 5,000 nonconforming uses in the District of Columbia.

The Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia and the National Capital Planning Commission have had underway for the past three years a study looking to a complete revision of the Zoning Regulations for the District of Columbia. That study is almost completed, and when completed will doubtless include provisions dealing with the problem of nonconforming uses. We should not single out two of these now by special legislation and provide benefits for them which cannot be enjoyed by any of the other many nonconforming uses. To do so would constitute an invitation for other special legislative exceptions which, if enacted, could frustrate comprehensive planning and make impossible the orderly development of the Federal City.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Pertaining to Improvements of Two Business Properties in the District of Columbia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232990

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