D.C. height restrictions subject of congressional hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) - A leading House Republican says he doesn't want to write off any changes to the law restricting building heights in Washington "and let it go to sleep for another 100 years."

Congressman Darrell Issa{ } of California heard testimony Monday on possible changes to the Height Act of 1910. The law generally requires that buildings in the District of Columbia be no taller than the width of the streets they face.

There's not much consensus between city officials and an influential planning commission on what to do about the law.

But Issa says there seems to be agreement that occupancy of penthouses should be allowed and that there's little need to ban taller buildings on the edges of the city, where historic structures like the Capitol are not in view.

Last year, he asked the city government and an influential planning body to come up with recommendations about possible changes to the law.

The city government would like to see taller buildings to accommodate future growth. But the National Capital Planning Commission went against its own staff by recommending no major changes to the law.