Senate passes bill allowing DC penthouses

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to expand the availability of penthouses in Washington, D.C.

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The Senate passed H.R. 4192 through a unanimous consent agreement. The bill amends a building code law that hasn't been changed since 1910. The House passed the measure last month in a 367-16 vote, meaning it now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

Federal law had previously restricted the height of buildings in the District and said no one could live in structures built on D.C. rooftops, but lawmakers now agreed that allowing people to live in penthouses above the roofline would not dramatically alter the city's architectural character. 

The goal is to keep housing costs down in the District by providing more upward space for buildings.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray had suggested increased flexibility for building penthouses last year.

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