|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters||401 9th Street NW, Suite 500|
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is a U.S. government agency that provides planning guidance for Washington, D.C., and the surrounding National Capital Region. Through its planning policies and review of development proposals, the Commission seeks to protect and enhance the extraordinary resources of the national capital.
The 12-member commission includes three presidential appointees, of which one must be from Virginia and one from Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., the chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, two mayoral appointees, and the chairmen of the House and Senate committees with review authority over the District. Other commission members include the heads of the three major land holding agencies, which are the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, and the General Services Administration. The Commission is supported by a professional staff of planners, architects, urban designers, historic preservation officers, among others.
Congress established the "National Capital Park Commission" in 1924 to acquire parkland for the capital in order to preserve forests and natural scenery in and about Washington to prevent pollution of Rock Creek and the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and to provide for the comprehensive development of the nation's park system. Two years later, Congress renamed the agency the "National Capital Park and Planning Commission" and gave it the additional responsibility of comprehensive planning for the Washington region. Among its early members was noted Philadelphia architect Clarence C. Zantzinger.
The 1952 Capital Planning Act gave the commission its current name and the responsibility for preservation of important natural and historic sites in the area.
The Home Rule Act of 1973 gave some of the commission's local planning authority to the District of Columbia government. The commission remains the planning authority of federally owned land and buildings in the region. In addition, NCPC plays an advisory role to the District in certain land use decisions.
NCPC operates under many laws and authorities that guide the agency's work. These include the National Capital Planning Act, Height of Buildings Act of 1910, Commemorative Works Act, District of Columbia Zoning Act, Foreign Missions Act, International Centers Act, NEPA, Home Rule Act, and the Capper Crampton Act.
NCPC principle responsibilities include:
NCPC often works in partnership with other federal and District agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, District Office of Planning, and District Department of Transportation.
As part of its long-range planning responsibilities, NCPC produced a visionary blueprint for the nation's capital. The 1997 plan Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st century redefines Washington's monumental core and encourages the location of new museums, memorials, and federal office buildings in all quadrants of the city.
The Memorials and Museums Master Plan advances the vision for Washington's monumental core expressed in NCPC's Extending the Legacy. It identifies 100 potential sites for future museums and memorials and provides general guidelines, siting criteria, and implementation strategies.
The Monumental Core Framework Plan: Connecting New Destinations with the National Mall received unanimous approval from the Commission during its April 2009 meeting. The plan, a joint product of NCPC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, aims to create vibrant and accessible destinations in the federal precincts surrounding the National Mall. It plans to reclaim Washington's waterfront, especially the Anacostia waterfront.
CapitalSpace is the first comprehensive planning analysis of Washington's parks and open space in almost 40 years. The 2009 plan is a joint initiative of NCPC, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia. The six "big ideas" of the CapitalSpace plan includes linking Fort Circle Parks, improving playfields, enhancing center city parks, improving public schoolyards, enhancing natural areas and transforming small parks.
Representing the United States capital, NCPC is a founding member of Capitals Alliance, an international forum of planners and designers in capital cities around the world.
NCPC also hosts multiple international delegations every year from planners to academia to visitors.
Commission meetings are open to the public. In addition, the public may comment on NCPC plans and activities.