Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel


The Design Advisory Panel (DAP) is an integral part of the Bethesda Overlay Zone. The primary goal of the Design Advisory Panel is to provide advice and recommendations that will heighten design excellence and improve the quality of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture in Bethesda. The Advisory Panel will be guided by the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan and the related Design Guidelines.

The Design Advisory Panel Rules of Procedure can be viewed here.

Panel Members

  • Karl Du Puy, Registered Architect Representing Academia
  • George Dove, Registered Architect from the Greater Montgomery County Community
  • Damon Orobona, Member of the Development Community
  • Rod Henderer, Bethesda Community Member
  • Qiaojue Yu, Registered Landscape Architect
  • Paul Mortensen, Ex-officio Member, Senior Urban Designer in the Director’s Office

Submission Requirements

  1. Schedule a Design Advisory Panel review date with the Design Advisory Panel Liaison.
  2. A minimum of two weeks prior to the scheduled Design Advisory Panel meeting, provide the completed Submission Form and supplemental drawings for review in PDF format to the Design Advisory Panel Liaison via email.
  3. Supplemental drawings should include the following at Site Plan and as many as available at Concept and Sketch Plan: physical model or 3D massing model that can be viewed from different perspectives in real time at the panel meeting, property location (aerial photo or line drawing), illustrative site plan, typical floor plans, sections, elevations, perspective views, precedent images and drawings that show the proposal in relationship to context buildings and any planning board approved abutting buildings in as much detail as possible. Provide a 3-D diagram or series of 3-D diagrams that illustrate side-by-side strict conformance with the design guidelines massing and the proposed project massing. The diagrams should note where the proposal does not conform with the guidelines and how the alternative treatments are meeting the intent of the guidelines.

The following is an example submission that was well-received for its clarity and completeness:


All meetings are held at the Montgomery County Planning Department 8787 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Meetings typically take place on the 4th Wednesday of every month 9:30a-12:30p. These meeting dates and times are subject to change.


  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 9:00a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • No August Meeting 
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 9:30a – 12:30p  (Third Wednesday due to Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • No December Meeting




Public Participation

While the DAP meetings are primarily for panel members to consider and comment on proposed developments, meetings should be collaborative, and input from developers, their consultants, and members of the public is encouraged.  Because panel members are volunteers, however, the DAP is not expected to meet for more than one hour on any single project.

Members of the public who wish to participate in a DAP meeting should notify the DAP’s staff liaison before the meeting.  Those who have not notified the staff liaison in advance may sign up to participate the day of the meeting.  Citizens will be invited to participate in the order in which they sign up.  In certain cases, there may not be sufficient time for all interested citizens to participate.  Members of the public who wish to ensure their comments are considered by the DAP should submit them in writing to the DAP’s staff liaison no later than twenty-four hours before the DAP meeting.  Any written comments submitted to the DAP will also be sent to the Planning Board before the Board meets to consider the proposed development.

Although DAP meetings are intended to be informal, it may be necessary in certain cases, such as meetings with many interested citizens, for the DAP to impose equitable time limits on public comments or other reasonable rules of order.  When possible, the staff liaison will announce time limits at the start of the DAP meeting.

Meeting Materials

DAP Meeting materials, including agenda and development application submission forms, will be posted one week prior to the meeting.


Last Updated: January 15, 2020