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WASHINGTON (AP) - A House committee has approved a minor change to the century-old law that bans skyscrapers in the nation's capital.

The bill that was sent to the House floor Wednesday would allow occupancy of penthouses that are currently permitted only to house mechanical equipment.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., had explored the possibility of more significant 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. Issa chairs the committee that oversees the district.

City officials are deeply divided on the possibility of taller buildings. Mayor Vincent Gray's administration wants height restrictions relaxed to accommodate future growth, but the D.C. Council sided with preservationists in urging Congress to leave the Height Act alone.

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