The Pennsylvania Avenue East

Small Area Plan

was unanimously approved by

DC Council!


Bowser Administration Completes Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan to Realize a More Vibrant Mixed-use Corridor 


Tuesday, February 7, 2023 

(Washington, DC) The DC City Council voted unanimously to approve the Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan (PAESAP). The DC Office of Planning (OP), guided by the Bowser Administration, completed the small area plan and transmitted it to Council for adoption November 28, 2022.  The PAESAP is a guide for the community, District government, housing providers, property owners, and advocacy organizations to implement the Comprehensive Plan’s policies for greater equity and resilience.  Developed during the COVID-19 public health emergence, the PAESAP is a community-informed vision documented in advance of future development within the neighborhood and in relation to broader local and metropolitan growth patterns.  

The Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan builds upon the vision from the 2008 Small Area Plan by revisiting existing plan recommendations, highlighting new community aspirations, and providing supplemental guidance to the policies and land use changes approved in the 2021 Comprehensive Plan update. The PAESAP focuses on the corridor between the Sousa Bridge and Southern Avenue and is intended to serve as a companion to the 2008 plan.  The PAESAP is framed around the following themes:  Economic Development and Retail Opportunity; Transportation Access and Connectivity; Housing Opportunities and Affordability; and Vibrant Public Realm and Urban Design.  The recommendations around each theme establishes a framework that will support a thriving commercial main street where all residents can live, work, eat, and play.   

The vision of the Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan strives for equity in place and is an essential step towards addressing the historical disinvestment and segregationist land use and development practices that have contributed to the present state of the Pennsylvania Avenue East corridor.  Through the implementation of the PAESAP, the corridor, residents and stakeholders, will experience improved access to transit and multimodal opportunities; improved pedestrian safety; and an enhanced public realm.  The community will also experience infill development that provides additional retail and economic development opportunities especially for local small Black-owned businesses.  Additionally, the community will benefit from an affordable housing development pipeline that will included family-sized rental units as well as homeownership options providing opportunities for generation wealth building.   



To view the Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan, visit planning.dc.gov/penn-ave-east-small-area-plan. For more information about the DC Office of Planning, please visit planning.dc.gov




Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan

The Pennsylvania Avenue East Small Area Plan will develop a vision for a gateway corridor that is vibrant and meets the needs of adjacent neighborhoods. Building on the 2008 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor Land Development Plan, this new small area plan will focus on implementation efforts along the length of the corridor East of the River. OP will work with community stakeholders and interagency partners to develop recommendations that enhance a safe, accessible, and vibrant public realm; encourage economic development and retail opportunities; improve transportation access and connectivity; and drive socio-economic resiliency.  

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Pennsylvania Avenue East SAP is led by the Office of Planning (OP) and is a cooperative effort with the District's implementing agencies, including OP, Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), East of the River Development, and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). 

Questions? Reach out online at PennAveSEplan@dc.gov or on the phone at 855-925-2801 (pin: 9252)

This plan is managed by Deborah Crain-Kemp, Lead Planner for Community Engagement and Outreach. 

Learn more from our partners at American University online at: https://pennaveeast.storytelling.city/dc/

Frequently Asked Questions

Small Area Plans (SAPs) supplement the Comprehensive Plan by providing more detailed recommendations and implementation strategies for the development of city blocks, corridors, and neighborhoods. The intent of such plans is to guide long-range planning and development that establishes future neighborhood improvements, identifies gaps and opportunities in neighborhood services and amenities, and advances social and economic benefits.

SAPs are developed through a collaborative process that includes meaningful community engagement to communicate the goals and milestones of the planning process and provide opportunities for community dialogue about place-based priorities. SAPs are typically approved by resolution of the DC Council, and key recommendations are incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan Elements.

Learn more about SAPs at planning.dc.gov/page/op-neighborhood-planning

This planning process has been designed to be responsive. The project team is continually checking this project page for new comments and survey responses, emails, and phone messages. All of the feedback we receive over the course of this plan, will help shape recommendations for the final plan. During each community meeting, we will summarize the things we hear over the course of the plan in order to help the community reach a consensus around critical place-based issues.

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