The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning

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A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

March 2016

A Message from the Director:

After several months of preparation, the Department of Planning is excited to announce the launch of a new planning process: Baltimore's Green Network Plan. This issue of the Compass introduces our concept for the Green Network Plan to the community. 

The Green Network Plan will be a collective vision for transforming vacant properties in Baltimore into parks, gardens, urban farms, and other types of green spaces, including parcels for future redevelopment. The planning process will directly address the urgent challenges associated with abandoned properties - one of city's most entrenched physical problems.

The Plan will be developed throughout 2016 and will identify areas to strategically set aside for new green spaces throughout the city. We hope that the Plan will improve city quality of life for residents and spur additional private investment for years to come. The Plan will also be useful to help target City and State blight elimination and stabilization funding through the Project CORE program. We look forward to working with community members as we begin to shape The Green Netowrk Plan's goals and priorities.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director

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EPA Climate Preparedness Conference Comes to Baltimore in April

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with Antioch University's Center for Climate Preparedness & Community Resilience is hosting a conference in Baltimore on April 4-6. The conference is designed to build capacity for local decision makers from throughout the Eastern United States (EPA Regions 1-4).Click the image below for more information!


Baltimore City School Board Forum: 21st Century Buildings Plan

Tuesday, April 5, 2016; 6:00 PM

Alice G. Pinderhughes Administrative Building, 1st Floor Board Room 
200 E. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202

(Map Link)

The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners will host a forum to gather public input on the implementation of the 21st Century Buildings Plan. 

The signup sheet for public comment will be available from 4:45pm - 5:45pm for members of the public interested in providing input.  

Visit BCPS webiste for more information.

Baltimore Launches New Green Network Plan

A new planning process, the Green Network Plan, gets underway in Baltimore this spring. The Green Network Plan will be a collective vision for Baltimore to revitalize communities by creating an interconnected system of greenspaces throughout the city. The planning process will bring together City agencies, residents, neighborhood partners and Baltimore businesses to transform vacant properties into community assets such as recreation areas, trails and urban gardens. By targeting resources towards areas of blight and underinvestment, the Plan will increase opportunity, create safe and healthy spaces, and support economic development.

The Department of Planning has selected a multi-disciplinary consultant team to lend specialized planning assistance to the effort. This team of locally based consultants will be led by environmental planning firm Biohabitats. The consultant team also includes team members from the firms of Floura Teeter, Advanced Placemaking, Living Design Lab, and Toole Design Group. Together, they will apply their knowledge of environmental planning; park and open space planning; pedestrian and bicycle planning; land use and real estate analysis; and social equity analysis to developing Baltimore's Green Network Plan.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Director Thomas J. Stosur will be kicking off the project in April by convening the first meeting of the project’s Leadership Team. The Leadership Team is comprised of Mayoral staff, City agency directors, community leaders, non-profit partners, and state and federal agency representatives. 

Green spaces

Later this spring, the project team will begin working with stakeholder groups in the community to identify project goals and community needs. Department staff will be attending upcoming community events and meetings, including Strong City Baltimore’s Neighborhood Institute on April 16th, and the Commission on Sustainability Town Hall on April 19th, to provide more information about the project and engage residents in the planning process. Community residents will play a key role in shaping the Plan.

The final Plan will be a vision for vibrant green open spaces and corridors connecting the entire city and laying the foundation for the revitalization of some of Baltimore's most challenged neighborhoods.

For more information on on The Green Network Plan, contact: 

Amy Gilder-Busatti at 410-396-4369 or


City and Community Organizations Offer Tax Sale Prevention Services

Baltimore City Housing is collaborating with other agencies to prevent Baltimore homeowners from losing their homes during the annual tax sale process. 

Low income homeowners earning less than $60,000 per year may be eligible for the State of Maryland’s Homeowners Property Tax Credit. This tax credit limits a homeowner’s tax liability and can prevent a household from losing their home.

Homeowners with outstanding City bills should take immediate action to address the problem. The last day that a property owner can avoid having their property listed for tax sale is April 29. 

Owners may get assistance by calling:

Baltimore City Division of Aging and CARE Services’ Maryland Access Point: 410-396-2273

Baltimore City Community Action Program:  410-545-1511

Baltimore homeowners can also access assistance at:

If you are behind on your property taxes or your water bill, legal help is available from the Pro-Bono Resource Center of Maryland. For more information on dates, click on the flyer below.

Legal Aid