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Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan Design Guidelines

  • aerial view of georgia avenue looking south at downtown Silver Spring

Design Guidelines

The Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan Design Guidelines are a key implementation tool for the Sector Plan. They will guide new building and open space development in downtown Silver Spring and help to achieve the goal of Design Excellence expressed in the Sector Plan. The Design Guidelines will also serve as a key tool for community members, property owners, applicants for development projects, Montgomery Planning regulatory staff and the Planning Board when considering new developments in the Plan. The Design Advisory Panel will consult with the Design Guidelines when reviewing new development projects proposed for downtown Silver Spring.

The Sector Plan recommendations are designed to support equitable economic and civic outcomes while highlighting the Plan values of Diversity, Resiliency, Connectivity and Community Health. The Design Guidelines reinforce those values in the physical realm by aiming to create a downtown that is a thriving urban center that is welcoming to all.

These Guidelines will ensure compatibility of new development with neighboring communities and enhance the quality of life for all residents in the area, including those inside and outside the downtown.

The Design Guidelines are currently in development and will be completed in January 2023.

Design Advisory Panel

The Design Advisory Panel (DAP) is an integral part of the Downtown Silver Spring Overlay Zone. The primary goal of the DAP is to provide advice and recommendations that will improve the quality of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture and increase design excellence overall in downtown Silver Spring. The DAP will be guided by the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities (SSDAC) Plan and the related Design Guidelines.

The DAP will include five members of the public that represent the diversity of the Silver Spring community, one ex-officio member from the Planning Director’s office, and a staff facilitator. DAP candidates must have professional experience and/or expertise in the fields of urban design, architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning, or demonstrate substantial knowledge of current practices in the fields.  Collectively, the DAP should have the following expertise:

  • A registered/experienced architect from the greater Montgomery County community
  • A registered/experienced landscape architect from the greater Montgomery County Community
  • An architect/urban designer representing academia
  • A Silver Spring community member who has a personal or professional interest in urban design, architecture, and/or landscape architecture
  • A member of the development community.  This person may be a developer, real estate professional or involved in real estate investment.

The Planning Department is currently accepting nominations for DAP membership. Candidates may self-nominate. Please send a letter of interest or recommendation and a resume to Atara Margolies by December 2, 2022.

View the Silver Spring Downtown Design Advisory Panel Draft Rules of Procedure.

Last Updated: November 21, 2022