Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - November 2017

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  November 2017

A Message from the Director


This month, six members of our staff spent a day presenting at the Hindsight Conference in New York City. This event was the first of its' kind - an urban planning conference focused entirely on social justice and equity topics. They returned from the conference full of energy, and we're excited to integrate some of the new ideas discussed into our day-to-day work, particularly our efforts to more effectively engage residents of Baltimore. Read on below for a summary of their presentation and the next steps for our equity work.

As many know, our City's new zoning code went into effect in June of this year. We are constantly working to turn your feedback directly into improvements to the code itself. Currently, we have a weekly parking working group meeting on Wednesdays to consider changes to the zoning regulations governing parking in the code itself, and these meetings are open to the public. See below to sign up for updates on the conversation.

Lastly, this month we are recruiting one new member for UDARP, our urban design panel. We are looking for an architect with the experience, as well as a vision and commitment to Baltimore's built environment. Do you know someone who would be a great fit? Please direct them to our website and encourage them to apply!

Thomas J. Stosur, Director

Baltimore Planners Present, Learn at Hindsight Conference


The Equity in Planning Committee facilitated a session at the inaugural Hindsight Conference. Organized by the Diversity Committee of the New York chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), the Hindsight Conference sheds light on the discriminatory impact of planning historically, and offers tools and resources to planners working towards achieving more inclusive, just, and equitable communities today. The Conference was organized in honor of the 100th anniversary of  Buchanan v. Warley (1917), in which the US Supreme Court invalidated racial zoning on 14th Amendment grounds.

Baltimore Planning Presented on Equity, Public Engagement Efforts

The Department of Planning staff developed a presentation about our Equity in Planning Committee (EIPC). EIPC originated out of a food equity justice training held in early 2015, which prompted planning staff to organize an effort to internally examine our own history as Baltimore residents, planners, and policymakers. More information about the goals of the EIPC are available here.

A key goal for the Equity in Action Committee is to improve and increase the dialogue and connections between the Department of Planning and the broader Baltimore City community. We seek to encourage broad participation in the planning process, and we aim to ensure that all views are equally heard, respected and inform policies and plans.

At the Hindsight Conference, we discussed the Office of Sustainability's efforts to recruit and train a cadre of ambassadors. These community volunteers spent months talking to their friends and neighbors, collecting feedback to inform the update of our Sustainability Plan. And, we discussed the new Resident Food Equity Advisors (RFEA) Initiative, through which residents’ voices can influence and advise the City’s development of food policies and plans. These new approaches are designed to facilitate an ongoing conversation between the Department of Planning and the broader Baltimore community about the future of our City.

What's Next?

Working with Stephanie Smith, the Department's new Assistant Director for Equity, Engagement and Communications, EIPC will be working over the next year to:

  • Jump-start a public Equity Work Group in early 2018 to provide community stakeholders and residents with a bi-monthly opportunity to collaborate, workshop ideas, and build a shared language around equity in the urban planning context.
  • Develop a robust public engagement process for final review, adoption and initial implementation of the Green Network Plan in 2018.
  • Pilot a Planning Academy for Baltimore City Residents in late 2018 and early 2019, to equip residents with the tools necessary to act as advocates for their community during planning processes.

Do you want to get involved or stay in touch? Please reach out to Stephanie Smith at

Join a Working Group on Parking!

Our first parking requirements meeting met on Wednesday, November 8, and we will be meeting each Wednesday through Dec 13 at the Department of Planning (417 E. Fayette Street) from 5 - 7 PM.

Can't attend? Sign up for our list-serve to stay informed (click on the image below!)


Baltimore's Recreation and Parks Team is Seeking Your Input

Help us shape the future of our recreation and parks system so that it better responds to the City’s evolving needs in the 21st Century. 

Click on the image below to fill out the citywide survey.  The survey is a first step in a year long process to reach out across the City to discover what is important to you as a city resident by getting a better understanding of your perceptions, values and priorities for parks and recreation facilities and services moving forward.


Seeking Candidates for UDARP


Baltimore City Department of Planning is accepting applications from qualified individuals to fill a current opening on our Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP).

UDARP’s goal is to achieve the highest quality for the planned and built environment of Baltimore City by providing the Planning Commission and the Department of Planning with design review expertise in the areas of urban design, architecture, and landscape design for all proposed master planning efforts and significant development projects.

The Panel meets generally every three weeks in Baltimore and panel members receive a stipend for each meeting they attend.  Individuals should have a professional degree in their field and at least 8 years professional experience.  For more information please visit this webpage.

Interested individuals should send a letter of interest, resume, and brief CV along with any questions they may have to  with ‘UDARP Candidate’ in the subject line for consideration.  Applications must be received by December 8, 2017.

BCRP Kicks Off BALT: Extended Hours at Select Rec Centers

Rec Park

Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP) kicks off BALT this month: Through January 6, 2018, rec center hours will extend until 11pm on Fridays and on Saturdays from 5pm—12am.

What We're Reading...

How can we design a more inclusive City(NYTimes)

The housing market challenges that continue to vex Detroit policymakers and residents. (NYTimes)

Also from Detroit: Tiffany Brown, an architectural designer, is working to pave the way for the next 400 African American female architects through her program, 400 Forward. (Curbed)

How one town in Colorado is finding a way to engage their Hispanic community around urban planning processes. (Yes Magazine)

What comes next after Baltimore City Paper winds down, and what this could mean for Baltimore? (Columbia Journalism Review)

The Brookings Institution launches a series of studies on majority-black cities in the U.S. (Brookings)

Upcoming Events

November 14 - Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP)

The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) oversees 33 local historic districts, over 200 landmarks, and manages a local historic preservation tax credit program.  CHAP helps preserve and revitalize neighborhoods, celebrates City history, and promotes historic preservation as a proven economic driver for Baltimore City. 

For more information on the upcoming meeting agenda, visit this site.

November 21 - Sustainability Commission

The Commission on Sustainability is made up of members representing environmental groups, community organizations, labor unions, public health and environmental justice interests, and private industry.

The Commission welcomes the community to public meetings every 3rd Tuesday at 4pm in the Baltimore City Planning Office, 417 E. Fayette St., 8th Floor.

For more information on meeting materials, visit this site.

November 30 - Lunch and Learn at Impact Lab with Anne Draddy

Our Sustainability Coordinator, Anne Draddy, will be presenting an update on the Sustainability Plan on November 30th 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.

November 30 - 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

city of baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Thomas J. Stosur,