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Interpretation ZA-004: Meaning of Abut


Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Reference: 
ZA- 004

The term ‘Abut’ is not defined in the Zoning Regulations. However, 11 DCMR B-100.1(g) directs the Office to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary for terms not defined in the B-100.1.

Webster’s defines ‘abut’ as:

  1. 1. to touch along a border or with a projecting part
  2. 2. a. to terminate at a point of contact, b. to lean for support.

Therefore, there has to be some form of contact when something abuts; This is further distinguished from the more permissive term of ‘adjacent’ that Webster’s defines as:

  1. 1 a. not distant: nearby, b. having a common endpoint or border

Adjacent infers that they don’t have to actually touch, just that they be close by; Abut denotes actual touching or intersection.