Urban Design & Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP)

The Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel’s role is to provide the Planning Commission and the Department of Planning design review expertise in the areas of urban design, architecture, and landscape design for all proposed master planning efforts and significant development projects with the goal of achieving high quality designs for the planned and built environment of Baltimore City.  

Design Equity Statement

In keeping with the Design Review Objectives of the Zoning Code and the Design Manual to enhance the quality of City life, equity must be a key focus in the planning of development projects. The quality of space shaped by public and private development will signal the City's values and priorities to residents and visitors alike. 

To ensure Baltimore is inviting to all, the design process must consider the diversity that exists within our communities early and often. Projects should look beyond site boundaries to achieve the most equitable design. Sensitivity to the surrounding context will promote a vibrant, thriving Baltimore. While the Design Manual regulates the vertical design of development sites, design decisions should be made from in-depth study of the unique character and features of the neighborhood, while maintaining a focus on equity. 

Process 

Design review may include staff review, UDAAP review, or a combination of both. The Department engages the Panel for review and professional design assistance for a range of projects that may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Signature sites, new construction, and substantial rehabilitation,  
  • Planned unit developments (PUDs),  
  • Master plans, 
  • City sponsored projects, 
  • City School Projects, 
  • Projects that require Planning Commission approval,  
  • Significant projects proposed within communities and/or along main transportation corridor, 
  • Projects within Urban Renewal and/or conservation areas, 
  • Parks and open space. 

There are two formal stages of Panel review – Schematic and Design Development. These reviews typically coincide with the stages of development that design professionals follow through project design. The Panel’s comments must be addressed before a project can move on to the next stage of review. The Department of Planning staff is available to assist with any questions or concerns about Panel comments, guidelines, or policy. Failure to provide adequate submission material in a timely manner will result in the loss of opportunity to present to the Panel or move to the next level of review. In some cases, a work session with Planning Department design staff may be warranted before moving to the next level of UDAAP review. 

Format

The following format for the Panel presentations is recommended to ensure a complete and concise review within the typically allotted 60-minute review period. Presentations are currently held virtually in a ‘roundtable’ style with the project team leaders at the table with the UDAAP members in order to encourage meaningful and collegial dialogue and design discussion.  Special presentations for projects of significant size and scale may be allotted additional time. 

Recommended 60 Minute UDAAP Slot Agenda :

  • Brief introduction of development team and project by the developer or team leader. 
  • 5 minutes - Project context presented by team leader.  
  • 20 minutes - Project presentation by team architect(s) and landscape architect(s) with clarifying questions from the Panel members.  
  • 35 minutes - UDAAP Chairperson facilitates discussion, comments and next steps with the development team.  

Schedules, agendas and minutes are posted to the Department of Planning’s web page <link to page> . While attendance is open to the public and members of the press, their role in attending is limited to observation in order to allow maximum interaction between project teams and panelists. If a stakeholder group would like to advise the Panel of their concerns, it should be provided as a written statement at least two business days in advance of the meeting date for consideration by the Director of Planning. 

Scheduling

The Design Planner assigned to the project will work with the development team to determine the Design Review path and, if UDAAP is required, will work with the team to schedule the project. All UDAAP meeting review requests must be made and confirmed via email to the UDAAP Coordinator. The agenda is finalized the week prior to the meeting. All presentation drafts are due to the UDAAP coordinator the Friday prior to the public UDAAP meeting.