The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning


A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

June 2017

A Message from the Director:

June is a always a busy month in the hallways of City Hall and City Agencies, as one fiscal year closes and next year's budget needs to be finalized. This June also marks an additional milestone for Baltimore City: on June 5th the City's new Zoning Code became effective.

The new Zoning Code has been eight years in-the-making. It includes new tools and processes that benefit all levels of stakeholders, from individual homeowners seeking to update their homes, to real estate developers with a vision for large scale projects.

Planning staff have been working hard to build a Zoning Code that is flexible, allowing a mix of uses and encouraging creative new development projects. The new code also provides more clear standards for design and landscaping, allowing more projects to happen as of right.

This re-write is the first update to the Zoning Code in 45 years. You can review the new code and design manuals via this link, and let us know your thoughts.

In addition, this month, staff have been finalizing the text for the Sustainability Plan update and it is ready for your feedback. The Sustainability team has made the draft available online, and I encourage you to provide comments and do not hesitate to reach out to the Sustainability Team with questions.

This month's newsletter also covers many of the other initiatives currently underway - Park Heights improvements, Camp Zero Small Waste and Made in Baltimore. Please read on for details on the status of these projects.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director 


Sustainability Plan Available for Comment

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The Office of Sustainability held a packed Annual Meeting this spring with over 250 people attending. Now, the Draft Sustainability Plan is on our website ready for your comments. 

125 Volunteer Sustainability Ambassadors surveyed almost 1,200 residents of Baltimore to find out what they liked most/least about their neighborhoods. This process contributed to the Draft Sustainability Plan. One common theme: people being connected to their neighbors. It seems a sustainable life starts by being connected to one another. 

Please take the time to click on this link and review any of the topics that interest you.  Feel share your comments with Anne Draddy, our Sustainability Coordinator, at And, spread the word! The comment period will be open for at least the next month.

We will also take the ‘show on the road’ this summer! So, if you want to share the draft plan at your neighborhood block party, farmer’s market, library, church or community center, reach out to Anne Draddy. We will work with you to make this happen!

Staff Member Honored with NDC Award


Earlier this month, Laurie Feinberg, Assistant Director of the Department of Planning, was honored with the Neighborhood Design Center's Larry Reich Award. This award is given annually to an individual whose volunteer and professional work exemplifies a special commitment to community-based planning and design. It is named after Baltimore's legendary Planning Director Larry Reich, who served in that capacity from 1966 - 1990.

In May, Laurie also celebrated 30 years of service with Baltimore City and the Department of Planning this month. We are grateful for her many contributions.

New Bus Schedule Launches June 18

Baltimore LINK

BaltimoreLink, a new and more reliable bus schedule, is launching on June 18.

For more information, visit the MTA's website for the new system and download the new rider's guide.

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The Planning Department has a new website!

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PCDA Finalizes New Spending Plan

This winter, the Pimlico Community Development Authority (PCDA) worked with residents and stakeholders to create a draft spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018. The plan allocates $8.7 M in Local Impact Aid for the Park Heights Master Plan area, the Northwest Community Planning Forum, the Liberty-Wabash area, and Coldspring Newtown.

Mayor Pugh and the PCDA hosted a public forum in February and a second public forum in March to receive comments on the FY 2018 spending plan. The Final FY18 Pimlico Local Impact Aid Spending Plan is now available for review.

For FY 2018, the City is estimating that $8 million in Local Impact Aid will be available for the entire Pimlico area.  This estimate is subject to change. The FY 2018 spending plan will also include $713,000 in revenue from FY 2016 that exceeded that year's estimated funding, bringing the total spending plan amount for FY 2018 to $8,713,000. 

The priorities for the FY 2018 spending plan are:

  • Promote visible, physical redevelopment
  • Leverage this unique funding source
  • Focus where need is highest and impact will be greatest

To implement these priorities, 85% of the funds are allocated to the Park Heights Master Plan area, where the need is greatest, and 15% to the 1 mile radius.  Within the Park Heights Master Plan area, funds are targeted to two new initiatives that will achieve visible redevelopment progress: an initiative focused on the Park Heights Avenue corridor as the area’s main gateway and an initiative to provide development incentives to help developers and residents renovate and occupy properties that are currently vacant.

For more information on the PCDA and the FY 2018 spending plan, please visit PCDA’s website.


About the Pimlico Community Development Authority

The Pimlico Community Development Authority (PCDA) is an advisory group established through State legislation to provide community input on how slots funding is allocated in the Pimlico area.

In 2007, the State legislature passed the Maryland Education Trust Fund – Video Lottery Terminals legislation (2007 SB 3), which provides Local Impact Aid to jurisdictions that have casino facilities. The legislation also directs a portion of the impact aid to the area around the Pimlico Race Track.  The current statute provides funds to the Pimlico Area for 20 years, through fiscal year 2032. 

Camp Small Zero Waste Begins to Generate Savings

In 2016, Baltimore City began the Camp Small Zero Waste Initiative, using an Innovation Fund loan from 2015. This initiative is a collaboration of the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks and the Baltimore Office of Sustainability. The project aims to reduce the expense of managing wood waste, save city trees from landfills, and support the wood-based economy in Baltimore.

Camp Small has been used for wood processing in Baltimore since the nineteenth century. The new initiative, Camp Small Zero Waste, allows the city to earn new revenue through the sale of compost, mulch, wood chips and logs.

Check out the Tree Baltimore website for more information about how you can get wood products from Camp Small.


Made in Baltimore Awarded EDA Local Technical Assistance Program grant

In 2016, Baltimore City Planning was able to launch the Made in Baltimore program with a $110,000 grant awarded by the EDA. Made in Baltimore focuses on growing the local economy by supporting small-scale makers and manufacturers through a brand certification program. In addition, the initiative opened a series of five pop-up shops throughout the city featuring more than 80 local vendors. The most recent pop-up shop generated more than $30,000 in sales over the 2016 holiday season.

Over the past six months, Made in Baltimore has also run a series of workshops to connect small business owners with startup support services, including access to capital, marketing strategy development and other best practices, in partnership with Open Works makerspace.

Next, Made In Baltimore will be completing an economic impact study of Baltimore’s ‘Maker Economy’. Businesses in the maker/manufacturing sector are encouraged to complete our business owner survey at

Read more about the Made in Baltimore initiative in this recent Baltimore Sun article. For more information on the forthcoming workshops for small businesses, please email Program Manager Andy Cook at