Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - October 2017

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  October 2017

A Message from the Director


This fall, we have the honor to announce that two of our Youth Environmental Interns, Claire Wayner and Mercedes Thompson, are the 2017 recipients of the Brower Youth Award. Only six young people receive this award each year, and it recognizes the incredible work of our young people in Baltimore to move the needle on environmental issues. We at the Department of Planning salute these two women for their commitment to our City's future! Read more in this issue of The Compass about their accomplishments and several additional honors bestowed on Department of Planning staff over the past month.

October, as you can read below, is the American Planning Association's Community Planning Month. All month long, we are celebrating by highlighting some of the places and neighborhoods that make Baltimore unique on social media. Please follow along each week to see what #greatplaces we have selected to highlight for 2017.

Lastly, this month we welcome a new cadre of Planning Commissioners to our team. After an orientation and training early this month, they will be participating in their first Commission meeting on the 19th of October. As always, these meetings are open to the public and you are encouraged to join us at the Benton Building. The meetings are a great way to stay up on the latest development news across our City. Meeting materials are also available post meeting on our webpage and live-streaming is available for those who can not attend in-person.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director

October is Community #PlanningMonth.

Follow us on Social Media this October!

October is the American Planning Association's (APA) Community #planningmonth. We are using this month to lift up and highlight seven hidden neighborhood gems around Baltimore (#7for2017) on our social media channels: Facebook and Instagram (@BaltPlan). 


Baltimore is Home to Two APA Designated #GreatPlaces

Each year, the American Planning Association (APA) honors 15 places as great neighborhoods, public spaces or streets.

Charles Village was honored one of 10 Great Neighborhoods in America for 2008, recognizing its' iconic Painted Ladies architecture and civic activism. 

Fells Point was similarly honored in 2012, when the APA recognized the neighborhood's architectural significance, rich history, and preservation activism.

Want to Nominate Your Favorite Baltimore Neighborhood for Next Year?

Review the guidelines on the APA's webpage and consider suggesting your neighborhood as a future #GreatPlace. 

In the News: Walking School Bus Program at Frederick Elementary Takes Off

walking bus

Frederick Elementary School's walking school bus was featured in the Baltimore Sun

Learn more about the story behind this initiative, and the community members that made it happen. Our INSPIRE planning process will continue to advocate for more walking school buses across the City at area schools. 

Housing Development Milestones

As of October 2017, 5,955 additional housing units are under construction in Baltimore City. For more information, visit our map.


Sustainability Plan: 

October Updates in Brief

The Sustainability Plan needs you in the next few weeks. It is your chance to be heard! 

Send us suggestions and ideas on your favorite topic(s) by November 10th, when the comment period ends. 

Each draft section of the plan is available for review online through a special website.

The updated plan release is scheduled for April 2018 at our Annual Town Hall meeting.


New Planning Commissioners Begin Term

This month, a number of new Planning Commissioners start their term. 

Baltimore's Commission is a nine-member board responsible for reviewing land use proposals throughout the City.

All Commission meetings are open to the public and held in the Phoebe B. Stanton Boardroom of the Department of Planning, located on the 8th floor of 417 East Fayette Street. Live streaming is available.

PC Commission

This year, Davon Barbour joined the Commission. Davon is Vice President for Economic Development at the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. Learn more about Davon's new role below:


Where are you from and what brought you to Baltimore?

I’m a Baltimore native. I attended the former Westside Elementary and William H. Lemmel Middle schools in West Baltimore and graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA). I stayed local and attended Goucher College where I studied Sociology and French. After college, I began my professional career working for non-profit, government and private sector organizations dedicated to improving urban communities. I’m most proud of my time in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods where I worked very closely with the Planning Department staff to implement the East Baltimore Development Inc. project. After nearly twelve professional years away from Baltimore, I was galvanized by the unrest that shook Baltimore. As a student of BSA, I would ride the subway almost daily from the Penn-North station. While watching on TV a hard-fought CVS burn in flames from home in Miami, I thought to myself, “My city needs me.”

What do you look forward to the most about your new role as a Planning Commissioner?

The Planning Department leads several initiatives that align with my personal and professional interests. Notably, I am excited to work with City staff in implementing strategies related to the Food Policy Initiative, Capital Improvement Program, Leveraging Investments in Neighborhood Corridors (LINCS) and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

What recent development projects in Baltimore have inspired you?

I’m very excited about overall trajectory of our City. Certainly, Downtown’s growth into a mixed-use residential community is inspiring. Innovation Village also has tremendous potential to transform neighborhoods along the North Avenue corridor. Led by Under Armour’s expansion, Port Covington will activate acres of underutilized land and improve the City’s tax base. As a community, our collective challenge will be to maximize opportunities for City residents to participate at every level of these projects.

20 years from today, how do you envision Baltimore?

I have big dreams for Baltimore. What Baltimore’s success looks like to me is very simple. It’s when a neighbor is telling a friend or family member: “There’s a house on the market in my neighborhood, you must buy it!” Success is when a CEO confidently encourages another company to move into the City. Success is when outsiders clamor to be in Baltimore. Success is when residents clamor to stay. At a granular level, I envision the following:

  • Howard Street transformed into an awe-inspiring arts and cultural hub that serves as home to numerous artists, makers and technology firms.
  • The City’s infrastructure attracting and retaining fast growing companies.
  • An education system that produces a pipeline of workers to sustain and grow our local industries.

    Staff Recognized Locally and Nationally


    Student Environmental Intern team Honored with Brower Youth Environmental Award

    Mercedes Thompson and Clare Wayner are 2017 recipients of the Brower Youth Award. 

    Claire and Mercedes are active leaders for their Green Team at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and in 2016 they founded Baltimore Beyond Plastic, a campaign to reduce plastics pollution in Baltimore City.

    As leaders and founders of Baltimore Beyond Plastic, Mercedes and Clare have effectively led over 100 students for a lobby day in Annapolis, meeting with legislators; organized a 125-person rally in front of City Hall pushing for a local resolution to uphold state-wide legislation; and coordinated a 100-student Youth Leadership Summit on Environmental Justice. 

    They successfully testified in front of both the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate regarding an expanded polystyrene prohibition and played an instrumental role in pushing the Baltimore City Council to adopt City Council Resolution 17-0011R. This legislation called on the General Assembly to act towards banning the use of polystyrene foam food containers.

    The Awards Ceremony will be held on October 17 at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, CA. 

    More information about this special honor is available on the Brower Youth Awards webpage.

    More information about Clare and Mercedes work' to end the use of plastics in City Schools is available on Baltimorebeyond


    Assistant Director Recipient of Fulcrum Fellowship

    Assistant Director Stephanie Smith will be a part of the  inaugural class of Fulcrum Fellows. This is a 15-month program for rising executives in the fields of population health, climate resilience, community development, urban planning and community investment, and is designed to position fellows to help disinvested communities achieve their environmental, social and economic priorities.

    The fellowship is a program of The Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

    More information is available on this website.


    Youth Sustainability Coordinator Selected for National Environmental Fellowship

    Andrea G. Calderón, Youth Sustainability Coordinator, will be a Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program’s 2017 National Fellowship Program. ELP's National Fellowship Program offers intensive leadership and skills training, as well as national networking opportunities for fellows.


    Made in Baltimore Program Manager Selected as one of 40 under 40 by Baltimore Business Journal

    Baltimore Business Journal named Andy Cook, Made in Baltimore Program Manager, as one of 40 under 40 honorees for 2017. He and his co-honorees were selected from over 450 nominations citywide. They will be honored at an event in November. 

    What We're Reading...

    Small businesses are flourishing in the historic Cambridge Building in West Baltimore (Baltimore Sun)

    What does a $250,000 housing discrimination settlement mean for the Baltimore region?(Baltimore City Paper)

    A new white paper from the Nature Conservancy argues that trees should be at the center of city policies to improve public health.

    What happens when playgrounds remain open outside of school hours for public programming and fun. (City Lab)

    A new cooperative in Baltimore is providing immigrants and refugees with a platform to share their cuisines with the public, and hopes to someday open a brick-and-mortar restaurant location. (Baltimore Magazine)

    Upcoming Events

    October 18 - 

    2017 AIABaltimore Urban Design Lecture: Reinventing Baltimore

    Author and local architect Klaus Philipsen will discuss his new book, Reinventing the American Legacy City, at the The Annual Urban Design Lecture of AIABaltimore. 

    For more information, visit the AIA website.

    October 19 - Lunch and Learn at Impact Lab with Anne Draddy

    Our Sustainability Coordinator, Anne Draddy, will be presenting an update on the Sustainability Plan on October 19th at Impact Lab. Join Anne to learn more about the process behind the plan, and what to expect next.

    Click here to learn more and RSVP.

    October 19 - Planning Commission

    The Planning Commission meets regularly each month. All meetings are held in the Phoebe B. Stanton Boardroom of the Department of Planning, located on the 8th floor of 417 East Fayette Street and are open to the public. Live streaming is available.

    The agenda and staff reports are available on this website

    October 28 and 29 - Doors Open Baltimore

    On October 28 – 29, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, in partnership with AIABaltimore, will present the fourth annual Doors Open Baltimore. Learn about Charm City’s fascinating history through its architecture and the people who design and preserve it. The weekend will include free behind-the-scene tours of many notable Baltimore buildings and spaces.

    For more information, visit this website.

    city of baltimore

    Catherine E. Pugh,

    Baltimore City Planning

    417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

    Baltimore, Maryland 21202


    department of planning

    Thomas J. Stosur,