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. (Updated September 2020) 

Panel Members

Esteemed Panel member Professor Emeritus Karl DuPuy passed away unexpectedly in mid-August.  The Planning Board appointed Karl to the DAP in 2017 to represent Academia.  During his tenure Karl provided insightful architecture and site design comments with a strong emphasis on their impacts on the urban realm. He demonstrated a persuasive passion for excellent design and always sought the best for Bethesda, often from his former students.  His passion and sense of humor will be missed. The University of Maryland School of Architecture website includes a remembrance:

  • 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
  • Vacant, Representing Academia

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 drawings for review in PDF format to the Design Advisory Panel Liaison via email. Please note the Design Advisory Panel Submission Form has been updated. Beginning March 1, 2020, all submissions are required to submit the updated Submission Form. 
  3. Please see Submission Form for submittal requirements.

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.






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. Meetings notes and recordings will be posted generally within one week of the DAP meeting.


Last Updated: October 13, 2020