D.C. Bill to Establish Landscape Architecture Licensing Introduced

On June 21, 2016, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the “Regulation of Landscape Architecture and Professional Design Firms Act of 2016.” Among other provisions, the bill requires landscape architects working in Washington, D.C., to be licensed in the District and firms located in D.C. to be registered as professional design firms. The legislation was developed through a three-year collaboration between the ASLA Potomac Chapter, the D.C. Board of Architects and Interior Designers, and ASLA National. Potomac Chapter and ASLA National advocacy efforts to date include reviewing and commenting on the draft language, conducting outreach to allied professional organizations, engaging a local lobbyist, and leading multiple informational meetings with D.C. councilmembers and their staffs.

This legislation would complete the last piece of the “licensure puzzle.” If signed into law, every state-level jurisdiction in the United States would then have a landscape architect licensure requirement. Chairman Mendelson asserts the bill will help with quality assurance, stating, "I believe that there are landscape architects who feel that there are bad actors out there, and the way to deal with it is to have a licensing process."

After introduction, the bill was referred to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs. The next step is a hearing, likely to take place this fall, at which the Potomac Chapter and ASLA National, along with the mayor, will testify. Final passage and the mayor’s signature must be completed prior to December 22 for the bill to become law in 2016.


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator