August Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning


A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

August 2015

A Message from the Director…

Today marks the release of the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan Draft – which guides resource allocation in the fourteen neighborhoods surrounding the Horseshoe Casino - for public comment. Beginning in September 2013, the Department of Planning engaged other City Agencies, residents, businesses, non-profits and institutional partners to assess existing conditions and offer improvement ideas for the area. The resulting product, the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan, puts forward goals and strategies for the area’s growth over next 20 years.

I hope you will take time to review the plan and provide input regardless of whether you live or work in these specific fourteen neighborhoods. Many
of the proposals, such as creating a
world-class waterfront park and nature
center on the shores of the Middle
Branch, will enhance the quality of life for residents both local and citywide.

Lastly, I want to highlight the recent efforts on Grow Baltimore, led by the Mayor’s Office with support from Planning, Housing, Finance, CitiStat, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs. City staff spent the past 18 months guiding the research of Grow Baltimore conducted by BNIA and Live Baltimore, supported through the generosity of the Goldseker Foundation, which you can also read about in this month’s Compass. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer, and please share your comments on this and ideas for future issues of the Compass.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director 

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Bridgeview/Greenlawn Enhancement Project 


On Friday, August 7th, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin celebrated the Bridgeview/Greenlawn Enhancement Project groundbreaking.  

The project, a winner of the Growing Green Design Competition, will transform a vacant, asphalt-covered lot on Riggs Avenue into a pocket park for the neighborhood that will provide recreational, educational, and environmental benefits. 


Montebello Water Filtration Plant’s 100th Anniversary

Completed in 1915 to national acclaim, Montebello has become a landmark of municipal water filtration plants and was the second largest and most modern of its type in the nation. 

Come celebrate this historic engineering marvel with music, food, boats, and family fun for the whole family.

Click here to download the event flyer.

September 19, 2015
Lake Montebello (map link)
3501 Hillen Road
Baltimore,MD 21218

Click here to learn more about the incredible significance of this historic landmark.


South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan

Following a presentation to the Local Development Council (LDC) on July 30th and a briefing to the Planning Commission on August 6th, the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan draft is now available for public comment. Beginning today, August 17th, the Planning Department invites you to provide feedback on the contents of the plan during a 30 day public review period. This draft plan is the product of an extensive two-year planning process that produced a set of shared goals and priorities for the planning area, depicted in the map below.

Planning and their consultant the Hatcher Group will incorporate feedback received along with other edits currently underway. The goal is for Planning Commission to adopt a final version of the Plan in October, following the public comment period and one last public meeting in early September. 

Click on map to enlarge.

The South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan, led by the Department of Planning, is the product of community stakeholders’ and City agencies’ input on a long-range vision for resource allocation and policy actions in the Horseshoe Casino Impact Area. Fourteen neighborhoods and two industrial zones in South Baltimore surrounding the Middle Branch will benefit from Local Impact Grant (LIG) funds resulting from revenues of the casino operations. For more background information on the plan process, working groups, and maps, please visit the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan website.

Planning staff and their consultants conducted an in-depth review of agency work group reports to identify common themes, resolve any conflicts and identify policy implications. Community input sessions gave residents and other stakeholders a chance to contribute their ideas and concerns on these topics.


The draft Plan is the result of community and stakeholder input, gathered over a series of eight public meetings, on key topic areas including Housing and Land Use; Education, Workforce and Economic Development; and Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. The Plan builds upon already-adopted Master Plans and previous planning efforts in neighborhoods including Cherry Hill, Key Highway Waterfront, Locust Point, Middle Branch, Sharp-Leadenhall, and Westport/Mount Winans/Lakeland.

As the Master Plan moves towards final approval, the LDC will translate the Goals, Strategies and Recommendations, as outlined in the Plan’s “Implementation Matrix,” into a Multi-Year Spending Plan for Local Impact Grant (LIG) funds. The planned October Planning Commission vote will roughly coincide with the release of the City's Draft Spending Plan for FY17 LIG funds to the LDC, which is envisioned to align with the multi-year plan.



Findings Release and Implications


On May 21, 2015 Grow Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s initiative aimed at growing the city by 10,000 families, reached a major milestone - the release of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance study that, for the first time, explores why people move out of Baltimore. What the city experiences on an annual basis is “churn,” with new residents entering the city and others moving away.  The study examined population changes and migration trends within the city to see where, and potentially why, people are moving.

For the first time in generations the City has seen population gain – The US Census Bureau estimates Baltimore’s population at 622,793 in 2014, or a 0.3 percent increase over the 2010 count of 620,961.  The map below shows a new community indicator, developed by BNIA, which measures the percentage of owner-occupied households that remain under the same ownership for a five year period.  Flow Baltimore, is a visualization tool that helps community stakeholders discover trends of where residents from their communities are moving.


Many Baltimore residents are drawn to the surrounding counties in Maryland, specifically around the time their children reach Middle School age. BNIA surveyed many of these citizens that moved to determine “Push” and “Pull” factors. In many cases, those that left the city did so based on school choice.

(Click on map to enlarge.)

Based on BNIA’s research and additional focus groups, Live Baltimore developed a website portal called “Way to Stay”, targeted at family retention by providing the necessary resources for families to make a well-researched decision before moving.

Way to Stay features three key areas: Schools, Space, and Support.  In addition to Live Baltimore’s information on neighborhoods, buying and renting, and financial incentives, Way to Stay contains maps of the city by public school zone and features 17 enhanced school profiles ranked by leadership, facility quality, and parent rankings.

For its part, the Department of Planning supports the Grow Baltimore initiative by continually tracking residential development.  Since 2010, the city has added 10,784 new residential units.  The Department also closely tracks the annual population estimates released by the US Census Bureau.

Follow the City’s progress at #GrowBaltimore