Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Home / Development / Zoning / Zoning Advisory Panel

Zoning Advisory Panel

Zoning Advisory Panel

In March 2009, the Planning Board selected a group of community representatives, architects, developers, and other land use specialists to review, recommend, and provide feedback on new ideas and propose direction for the Montgomery County Zoning Code Rewrite. This panel meets monthly to discuss emerging ideas spanning all aspects of the revision project. The panel will explore rewrite ideas including consolidating use categories, simplifying standards, and “green” strategies like compact design and energy saving practices. The panel’s analysis and feedback is an integral part of the process and will enable staff to produce a code that reflects the County’s changing landscape.

Panel Members

Patricia Baptiste, Community Representative
Ralph Bennett, Jr., President Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects
Robert Brewer, Jr., Attorney Lerch Early & Brewer, Chtd.
Diana Conway, Community Representative
Julie Davis, Community Representative
John J. Delaney, AICP Co-Chair
Carl Elefante, Principal, Director of Sustainable Design, Quinn Evans Architects
Evan Goldman
, Development Director for Federal Realty Investment Trust
Ken Hurdle, President AST, LLC
Martin Klauber, Community Representative
Jody Kline, Partner, Miller, Miller & Canby, Chartered
Gerrit Knaap, Executive Director & Professor, National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education
Bill Kominers, Partner, Holland & Knight, LLP.
Bill Landfair, Associate, VIKA, Inc.
Leslie Marks, Community Representative
Federico Olivera-Sala, Senior Associate, SK&I
Kimblyn Persaud, Community Representative
Trini Rodriguez, President, ParkerRodriguez, Inc.
Lisa Rother, Urban Land Institute Washington
Jennifer Russel, Director of Planning/Principal, Rodgers Consulting, Inc.
Jane Seigler, Community Representative
Paul Treseder, Historic Preservation Commission Representative
Clark Wagner, Vice President of Development, Bozzuto Homes, Inc.
Mike Watkins, Architect, Michael Watkins, Architect, LLC.

Françoise Carrier, Planning Board Chair
Rollin Stanley
, Planning Director
Pamela Dunn
, Project Manager
Joshua Sloan
, Development review staff
Damon Orobona
, Development review staff

Patricia Baptiste has been active in civic and land use matters in Montgomery County for over three decades. She is a past chair of the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights and has represented residents in a number of zoning matters before the Planning Board and the Board of Appeals. As a five term member of the municipal board of Chevy Chase Village, she worked on numerous subdivision, zoning, variance and special exception issues within the Village, and represented the interests of Village residents before both District of Columbia and Montgomery County Government agencies. In addition to serving on many County-wide committees she chaired the County Task Force on the Regional District Act. She served on the Montgomery County Planning Board from 1991 to 1998.
Currently she is an appointed member of the County Task Force overseeing the BRAC issues and the Planning Board’s Master Plan Advisory Group on the Functional Master Plan for the Purple Line. She serves on the Board of the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, the Board of the Montgomery County Educational Foundation, the Board of the historic preservation group of the National Park Seminary (SOS), and is president of MobileMed, an organization which provides medical care to over 8,000 medically indigent residents of the County.

Ralph Bennett Jr. is currently the President of Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, Inc., a general residential practice that consults on major mixed use and transit related projects.  He was a member of the faculty of the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture for thirty-one years.  Mr. Bennett received both his B.A. and M.F.A. in Architecture from Princeton University. Since 1998, Mr. Bennett has served as the Vice Chair of the Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County and was Chair of the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission from 1998-2002. He was honored with the Community Architect of the Year Award in 2008 by the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and received the Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in 1998.  Mr. Bennett has also produced numerous publications, both as author and architect.

Robert G. Brewer, Jr.Robert G. Brewer, Jr. practices in land use and transactional real estate matters, as well as in health care matters.  He received his B.A. degree from Hamilton College in 1973 and received his J.D. degree with honors from the University of Maryland in 1976.  Since joining the firm in 1977, Mr. Brewer has specialized in the fields of real estate development and health care.
Brewer has been actively involved in the Greater Bethesda Chevy-Chase Chamber of Commerce (President, Vice President-Economic Development, Vice President-Legislative Relations) and in the Bethesda Kiwanis Club (President, Foundation President, Secretary, Treasurer). He has served on the Board of Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (Chair, 1998-1999). He was appointed to serve as the Chair for the Maryland State Bar Special Committee on Health Law for 1987-1988, and he served on the Section Council of the Health Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association from 1989-1992.

Diana Conway has been a resident of Montgomery County since 1991.  She is currently a board member of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, the West Montgomery County Citizens Association, Hoover Middle School Parent Foundation and treasurer of the Jay Pritzker Foundation.  She received a B.A. in Public Policy from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School, where she was Secretary and Vice President of the Student Bar Association.
Previously, Conway served nine years on the Potomac Elementary School PTA Board (including two years as president), served on the Leggett Transition Team, the Potomac Master Plan, the Montgomery County Sustainability Work Group, as well as two three-year appointments to the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, including one year as chair. She is married and has three children in Montgomery County Public Schools.

John DelaneyJohn J. Delaney, AICP Senior Counsel, Linowes and Blocher, LLP. Formerly an Assistant County Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, Mr. Delaney has represented developers, institutional clients and public sector entities in a variety of land use matters before Maryland agencies and courts, the federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the adjunct faculty of American University’s Washington College of Law. He is co-author of the book, “Handling the Land Use Case” (Thomson-West, 3d Ed. 2009), and his law journal writings include such topics as the crisis in workforce and affordable housing, development agreements and the need for reform in the development review process. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Carl ElefanteCarl Elefante, Principal, Director of Sustainable Design, Quinn Evans Architects FAIA, LEED AP (offices in Washington DC and Ann Arbor, Michigan). Carl also serves as principal-in-charge and design team leader for a broad spectrum of projects, including architecture, historic preservation, and community revitalization.  He attended Pratt Institute School of Architecture and received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Elefante served on the Sustainable Communities Task Force of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) in 1994 & 5.  He is President of the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and was a founding board member of the National Capital Region Chapter of the United States Green Building Council.  He also served on the District of Columbia Green Building Task Force and Montgomery County, Maryland, Sustainability Working Group, and currently serves on the Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel.

Evan Goldman is responsible for managing the redevelopment of Mid-Pike Plaza Shopping Center into a 3.4 Million square foot mixed-use LEED certified project at the White Flint Metro in Montgomery County, MD. He is an active participant in the White Flint Partnership, an advocacy organization comprised of 7 of the largest commercial property owners in White Flint, including Lerner, Tower, JBG, Gables, Combined Properties, and Holladay Corp. On behalf of the White Flint Partnership, Mr. Goldman led the grassroots community outreach campaign to secure the passage of the White Flint Sector Plan by the County Council in March of 2010. Mr. Goldman also served as the key point person coordinating the development community’s response to MNCPPC and the County Council in regards to the White Flint Sector Plan document, the Montgomery County Annual Growth Policy, and the newly approved CR zone. He also performs acquisition and redevelopment analyses for mixed use projects in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Kenneth Hurdle is President of AST, LLC a consulting company that works in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Real Estate/Home Building Industry initiating growth strategies, business development, marketing concepts and market research, mergers & acquisitions, and select human capital assignments.  His clients range in size from large multinational firms to small local business. Born in Washington, DC and a life long resident of Montgomery County, MD, he has been involved in state and local political campaigns, was President and then Trustee of an 850 family citizens association, works with his local community on land use and zoning issues and was appointed to a Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) Steering committee redoing the White Flint Sector Master Plan in North Bethesda, Maryland.  Ken earned a BA from the University of Maryland, College Park, in Industrial Technology.

Martin Klauber held the position of the People’s Counsel for Montgomery County for ten years. In this position, he helped citizens to understand all relevant zoning and planning issues so that they could participate effectively in land use hearings. Prior to this role, Martin was the former Hearing Examiner for Montgomery County, a position which he held for twelve years. He has provided legal and general counsel to a diverse group of clients and employers, which include the National Capital Planning Commission and Chilean Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. Martin is the co-founder and chair of the Maryland Land Use Round Table, and a guest lecturer at the George Washington University School of Law and University of Baltimore School of Law. He holds graduate and law degrees from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. Martin is a resident of Bethesda.

Jody S. Kline joined Miller, Miller & Canby in 1974 after serving as a law clerk during the summer of 1973 and earning his J.D. degree from Washington and Lee University.  He has been a principal of the firm since 1981 and has served as head of the firm’s Land Use and Zoning Department since that time.  He specializes in land use, zoning and subdivision law in Montgomery and Frederick Counties and the incorporated municipalities within those jurisdictions. Mr. Kline is a member of the Suburban Maryland Building Industry Association, the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute.  He has served on a variety of public interest commissions such as the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (Montgomery County), the Ad Hoc Committee for Parking Ordinance Amendments (City of Gaithersburg), the Citizens’ Technical Advisory Committee on Public Facilities (Montgomery County), the Neighborhood Six Citizens’ Advisory Committee (City of Gaithersburg), the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Sensitive Areas (City of Gaithersburg), and the Gaithersburg “Smart Growth Committee”.

Gerrit-Jan KnaapGerrit-Jan Knaap earned his B.S. from Willamette University, his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, and received post-doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in economics. His research interests include the economics and politics of land use planning, the efficacy of economic development instruments, and the impacts of environmental policy.  He received the Chester Rapkin award for the best paper published in Volume 10 of the Journal of Planning Education and Research, with Greg Lindsey he received the 1998 best of ACSP award, and in 2007 he received the Outstanding Planner Award from the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association.  He serves on the State of Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet and on the Science and Technical Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

William Kominers is a Partner in the Bethesda, Md. office of Holland & Knight.  Mr. Kominers practices in the areas of land use, land development, zoning, real estate, administrative and municipal law. He also engages in documentation of development projects in areas such as density limitations, traffic mitigation and plan enforcement. Mr. Kominers has represented clients in administrative proceedings involving rezonings, master plan amendments, subdivisions, adequate public facilities examinations, site-plan reviews, special exceptions, variances and building and occupancy permits.
Before joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Kominers was a partner for five years with a Washington area land use firm. Prior to that, he practiced for almost 20 years in land use law as an associate and partner at a land use firm in Montgomery County. Mr. Kominers has served as an occasional guest lecturer at the Catholic University Planning School and the George Washington University Law School, as well as an Associate Professional Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School.

Bill LandfairBill Landfair, AICP, is an associate with VIKA, Inc., a consulting firm to the land development community in the metropolitan Washington area, and serves as senior planner and project manager on a broad range of projects related to land planning and development.  Previously, Mr. Landfair worked for 18 years with the Montgomery County office of the Maryland National-Park & Planning Commission, primarily in regulatory review.  Mr. Landfair received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master of Planning from the University of Virginia.  Mr. Landfair currently serves on the Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel.

Leslie Marks has been a Montgomery County resident for over 60 years.  She is a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, and has a BA Degree in History from the University of Maryland. Ms. Marks has spent her entire professional career in the building business, where she has worked for over 35 years.  For the past 25 years she specialized in the area of Senior Housing. Ms. Marks is a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging.  She will chair the 2011 Commission Summer Study on Housing.  In 2010, Ms. Marks co-chaired the Commission’s Summer Study on Transportation.  She is the Commission’s liaison to the Design for a Lifetime Committee exploring options to creating “accessible” housing.
In addition, Marks is the Co-Chair of the Montgomery County Vital Living Committee.  She also chairs the Housing & Zoning Subcommittee of the Vital Living Committee. Ms. Marks was appointed to County Executive Isaiah Leggett’s Senior Summit and participates in the Senior Sub-Cabinet on senior issues.  She is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery, was a Board Member of Montgomery Housing Partnership, and a Board Member of the HOC 236 Bauer Drive Community.  Ms. Marks is a past president of the State of Maryland Home Builders Association.

Federico Olivera-Sala has been practicing architecture for many years, with a concentration in urban design and regional planning.  Prior to joining SK&I, his current firm, Mr. Olivera-Sala was an Associate Architect with the Argentinean firm of Guiraldes, Cordeyro & Soifer in Buenos Aires. He received two urban design awards for resort buildings in Buenos Aires, as well as five commissions for conceptual master plans for communities surrounding Buenos Aires.  Mr. Olivera-Sala also gained professional experience as the co-founder of a firm he managed in Buenos Aires for six years. His company provided services from conceptual design to construction documents to construction administration for a variety of building types, ranging from residential to commercial, and including an interior design practice. Mr. Olivera-Sala was a faculty member for six years teaching Urban Design at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires. He received his Bachelor and the equivalent to US Master’s degree in Urban Design from the University of Belgrano’s School of Architecture. As Senior Associate at SK&I Mr Olivera-Sala is in charge of feasibility studies and the Planning Department. He acquired vast experience in all sort of zoning cases in the West Coast Region, from New York to Florida.

Kimblyn Persaud has extensive experience in the field of healthcare administration, communication and outreach. She has worked for the National Council on Aging, National Committee for Quality Health Care, and the American Council on Education. As a Montgomery County resident for many years, Ms. Persaud has been involved in several local organizations. She is currently an advisor on the 4th District Police Advisory Committee and is president of the Wheaton Regional Park Neighborhood Association. She is also a member of the League of Women Voters.

Trini Rodriguez, AICP, RLA, is President of ParkerRodriguez, Inc. She is principal of the planning, urban design and landscape architectural firm and former head of design for HOH Associates, Inc. a nationally renowned planning firm. A Montgomery County resident, she holds degrees in architecture and urban design from Universidad Central de Venezuela and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute. She was a lead planner for Celebration, Florida, an award-winning nationally renowned TND. She has planned and designed scores of infill projects throughout the region including North Bethesda Town Center, Market Common at Clarendon and Columbia Heights in Washington. She has also been the planner for many award-winning Greenfield PUD’s and new towns including Lansdowne, Dulles Town Center in Virginia and St. Charles, a 9,000 acre environmental new town, Sunset Island, Riderwood, Cabin Branch and BeechTree in Maryland. Ms. Rodriguez has had extensive exposure to the Montgomery County Code and can provide valuable lessons learned regarding the successes and failures of the Code. She is LEED accredited.

Lisa Rother recently celebrated the 21st anniversary of her move to the Glenmont area of Montgomery County. She is trained as a professional planner and worked on zoning and planning issues for the City of Rockville for 18 years, and then for the next five years was part of a team in the Montgomery County Executive’s Office that helped to coordinate real estate and land use issues among the County Council, Planning Board and Executive Branch. For the last two years, she has served as the Executive Director of ULI Washington, the local district council of the Urban Land Institute that provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.

Jennifer RusselJennifer Russel is a Principal and team leader of the Planning Studio for Rodgers Consulting, Inc.  a planning and engineering /design firm headquartered in Germantown Maryland.  With an emphasis on design excellence, she guides the Planning team, which is well known for its expertise and experience in New Urbanism, infill development and mixed-use projects. She holds a B.A. from George Washington University and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.) from Catholic University.With more than 30 years experience in the public sector, Jennifer has overseen land use and development activity review and approvals and master planning activities for one of the largest incorporated municipalities in Maryland charged with autonomous planning and zoning powers.  She is well versed in ordinance revision, plan review, Smart Growth policies and New Urbanism. As Director of Planning and Code Administration for the City of Gaithersburg for 26 years, she was instrumental in the review, development and approval of Kentlands, one of the nation’s first year-round neo-traditional neighborhoods as well as its neighboring community Lakelands.

Jane Seigler is a graduate of Brown University and Rutgers University Law School. She completed a judicial clerkship with the D.C. Court of Appeals then entered private practice as an antitrust and utility litigator. She completed her judicial career as Government Affairs Counsel with the Government Affairs Office of Waste Management, Inc. in Washington D.C.  Jane retired from active practice to devote full time to being chief operating officer of Reddemeade Farm, Inc., in Ashton, Maryland. Reddemeade Farm is one of the largest commercial riding stables in Maryland, operating since 1984. Jane is the current Vice President of the Maryland Horse Council, former member of Montgomery County’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, and organizer and speaker at the MD Horse Council Annual Equine Business Seminars, 2007-2009. Jane has served on numerous boards and committees related to the equine industry. She was also actively involved in the legislative consideration of the Montgomery County Equestrian Facility Zoning Text Amendment, which became law on April 5, 2004.

Paul Treseder, AIA, has practiced as an Architect in Montgomery County, Maryland for 21 years, opening his first office in Takoma Park, Maryland in 1986 and relocating to Bethesda, Maryland in 1996. He is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, having grown up and gone to school in Los Gatos, California and received his architectural degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Treseder is recommended by the Historic Preservation Commission to serve as its representative on the Zoning Advisory Panel. He is a current member of the Commission and has experience in zoning code evaluation and rewriting from earlier in his career in California.

Clark W. WagnerClark Wagner oversees the design and development activities for Bozzuto Homes, manages the entitlement of major projects, and sources new land opportunities for the company. He has developed over 1,300 total residential units over the last eight years that have won numerous awards. Prior to coming to Bozzuto, he spent 16 years with the City of Gaithersburg in various positions. One of his major accomplishments is the author of the City’s award-winning Smart Growth Policy.  He attended Towson University and obtained his BS degree in Liberal Arts, and holds a Masters in Planning degree from The University of Virginia. He recently obtained his LEED Accredited Professional designation from the US Green Building Council.

Wagner is an active member of the MNCBIA having previously served on the Monument Awards committee. He is a member of the MNCBIA Board of Directors serving as Co-Chair of the Multifamily Housing Council. He founded the Ride Allegheny bike tour from Pittsburgh to Gaithersburg which has raised over $100,000 for Operation Second Chance benefiting wounded soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He’s a member of the Montgomery County Forest Conservation Advisory Committee and the Gaithersburg Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

Mike Watkins, after 19 years with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), enrolled in a new one-year degree program being offered by The Georgia Institute of Technology in association with the Institute for Classical Architecture & Classical America (in NYC) in 2007.  Having received his MS Architecture with a Concentration in Classical Design degree in 2008, Watkins has now established his own firm, Michael Watkins, Architect, LLC, which provides services as an architect, town architect and town planner. Watkins is one of several co-authors with Andres Duany of the SmartCode, a CNU Award winning zoning ordinance that, once adopted, legalizes the development of traditional neighborhoods.  In 2003 Mr. Watkins edited and produced “The Guidebook to the Old and New Urbanism in the Baltimore/Washington Region”.

In his free time Watkins serves on the boards of several organizations including the Seaside Institute, BOTA and New Star Communities.  Working with the BOTA organization he leads college and high school students on mission trips to Tecate, Mexico where they build homes for families in need.  New Star has committed to build a mixed-use neighborhood of more than 200 residences in Pass Christian, Miss., largely for those impacted by Hurricane Katrina and other recent storms in the area.