The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning


A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

December 2015

A Message from the Director…

For this month’s Compass, I am pleased to share with you the Southwest Partnership Vision Plan. After almost three years of hard work, engagement, and commitment, the Partnership -composed of seven neighborhoods and six anchor institutions - completed a Plan for this vibrant part of the City.  

Committees worked on topics including housing, commercial development, neighborhoods, education and workforce development, and neighborhood marketing and preservation. Committees were comprised of neighborhood associations, institutions, active community members and stakeholders that are passionate about the future of Southwest Baltimore. Experts worked with the committees and the greater community to develop and produce the final Vision Plan, which was adopted by the Planning Commission in September. Please read on to learn more about this exciting partnership.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director 

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City Council Bill 

#12-0152 Zoning Code Hearing

Tuesday, December 15th;  6 pm
Baltimore Polytechnic High School
1400 W Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21209

This will be the last hearing of the Land Use and Transportation Committee for the proposed zoning maps.  Public comments are welcome.  The maps being discussed will be available that evening for review and are available on the Council website.


Baltimore’s Public Confederate Monuments 

The Commission to Review Baltimore’s Public Confederate Monuments will hold its third public hearing on December 15, 2015, 5-8 p.m. This hearing is exclusively for public testimony, and all citizens are invited to attend this hearing and provide testimony about the monuments. The Commission greatly values the input of citizens on this important matter and requests that all who want to testify also provide staff with a copy of their testimony.

Email for Testimony and Comments: 

The Commission will be making recommendations regarding the Confederate Monuments to the Mayor in early 2016. Please visit the Commission’s website to learn more about the Commission and its goals, information about each monument, historical contexts, and contact information.  

The Southwest Partnership Vision Plan

The leaders of the seven neighborhoods that became the Southwest Partnership gathered in February of 2012 over concern about a large methadone clinic that had opened in the Mt. Clare Junction Shopping Center.  Determined to work together in order to show a shared vision that included the many assets in the area and have more clout, the leaders began monthly planning meetings.  The neighborhoods are Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Roundhouse, Mt. Clare, Pigtown, Poppleton, and Union Square.


From the beginning it was clear that the University’s three entities—UMB, UMMS (the medical system), and the BioPark—had significant impacts in the neighborhoods, and that these institutions needed to partner with the community organizations in order for any plan to be implemented successfully.  


At the same time that the neighborhood leaders banded together to form the Southwest Partnership (SWP), Wexford, the developer of the BioPark, hired consultants to determine how they could be more involved in the future of the surrounding neighborhoods.  The three UMB institutions, along with the BioPark developer Wexford, Bon Secours, and the B&O Railroad museum, began to attend the monthly SWP meetings, eventually committing to be partners in the plan creation and implementation.


A series of community meetings and workshops were held that engaged hundreds of stakeholders in the planning process.  Five committees were established that continue to meet monthly.  The vision plan they developed seeks to balance the desire for redevelopment while retaining housing opportunities for existing residents, and improving quality of life for current and future residents.


The plan promotes redevelopment of W. Baltimore Street and the Hollins Market.  It also focuses on “The Squares,” education and workforce development, safe and vibrant 


streets, and preservation and promotion.  Once the plan was completed with beautiful graphics by Gensler architects, it was adopted by the Planning Commission on September 17, 2015.

In the summer of 2015, Southwest Partnership was able to hire a director and an assistant.  The vision plan will serve as the guide as the SWP moves forward in revitalizing this part of West and Southwest Baltimore.  The website is

Click here to view the Southwest Partnership Vision Plan.

The Southwest Partnership has adopted an official song written by Planning Department's own Brent Flickinger.  Click here to view the lyrics to “Our Sowebo Song”.