Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - May 2018

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  May 2018

A Message from the Director


This month, we continue to seek your input and ideas for our draft Sustainability Plan Update. To encourage more input, we’ve extended the comment period until Friday, June 8th. This additional time will allow more community members to read through the plan and offer their questions, ideas and suggestions as our team moves towards finalization.

If you have not had a chance to comment on the plan, please visit our comment tool at and encourage others in your network to do the same. 

There are two more unique opportunities coming up to learn more about the Sustainability Plan on May 24th and June 6th. On these days, from 1 to 2 PM, planners will be engaging with community members on all of our social media platforms, fielding responses to your questions about the plan. It's easy to participate - simply post a comment during that time frame with the hashtag, #sustainbmore.

Finally, this month, it’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that Beth Strommen, our founding Director of Sustainability, passed away after a three-year battle with cancer. Beth was a veteran staff member and leader within Baltimore City's Department of Planning for over 25 years. She worked passionately and tirelessly to make Baltimore a healthy and vibrant place to live, work and play for today’s residents and for future generations. In recognition of her devotion and many contributions, she was awarded the 2012 Richard A. Lidinsky, Sr. Award for outstanding public service to the citizens of Baltimore. Perhaps most telling are the many tributes and expressions of gratitude that have been pouring in from colleagues, residents and community stakeholders. Her impact on the City will be felt for years to come. For those of us who were fortunate to know her, it’s been our privilege to simply experience her contagious energy, compassion and sense of humor. May our collective work to move Baltimore forward continue to be inspired and guided by the commitment and values that shaped Beth’s many contributions to Charm City.     

Thomas J. Stosur, Director

Sustainability Plan Comment Storm Scheduled for May 24th and June 6th. Join us to #Sustainbmore

Comment Period update

We have extended our comment period for the Sustainability Plan thru June 8, 2018. 

We hope that you will help us spread the word and encourage your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to weigh in on the plan using our Civicomment tool.

You are also invited to join us from 1 to 2 PM on Thursday, May 24 and Wednesday, June 6th for a comment storm on all of our social media platforms! Our goal is to generate public awareness around the Sustainability Plan and maximize public input. 

What is a comment storm?

Similar to a Twitter or Facebook Town Hall, our comment storm is an opportunity to generate awareness of the Sustainability Plan on social media by sparking a conversation around the #sustainbmore hashtag. During this time, our staff will field questions and comments from YOU about the Sustainability Plan on all of our social media accounts in real time.

How can you participate?

Check out the Sustainability Plan update via our Civicomment tool, and leave a comment on any part of the plan that speaks to you! During the comment storm, post your thoughts on the Sustainability Plan and encourage others to also participate by providing feedback on the plan. And send your comments and questions on the plan to us during the comment storm on Twitter and Facebook - just use the #sustainbmore hashtag!

Read the 2017 Baltimore Department of Planning Annual Report: Now Available Online!

2017 Annual Report

The 2017 Annual Report for the Department of Planning is now available. 

The report covers our major accomplishments and progress made during the 2017 calendar year, including the implementation of our City's new Zoning Code; the pilot of our Resident Food Equity Advisors program; and our student interns' receipt of the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Please take a look by downloading it from the Department of Planning's website here.

The Neighborhood Design Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary!


The Association for Community Design's (ACD) 41st Annual Conference will be hosted by the Neighborhood Design Center in Baltimore, Maryland this year in honor of NDC's 50th anniversary!  

Join hundreds of community designers and partners on Friday, June 8th and Saturday, June 9th as they converge for Reverberations| the Roots and Relevance of Community Design conference.  Then stay for their 50th anniversary Celebration Gala as they celebrate their commitment to community design and recognize the significant contributions made by NDC founders, volunteers, community groups, and supporters who have aided our efforts over the past half century.  Ticket prices increase June 1 so don’t miss out!

INSPIRE Hosts Tours at Local Forum in May


This year the Community Schools National Forum was hosted in Baltimore from May 2nd to May 4th. 

The forum drew a diverse set of people from all over the United States including; community schools practitioners, families, youth, schools, non-profit leaders, policy makers, program leaders and many others.  INSPIRE had the pleasure of leading tours at Frederick Elementary, Fort Worthington Elementary and John Ruhrah Elementary Middle School. These tours highlighted INSPIRE’s work and collaboration with the 21st Century School Buildings Program and the Family League’s Community Schools Program.

For more information on INSPIRE, visit this website.

Voice Your Concerns about Parks!


BCRP is planning for the future and wants to know – specifically from people who use our city's parks and facilities and/or participate in our programs – what kind of improvements BCRP should be making to build a stronger, better parks and recreation system for Baltimore City.
The survey is estimated to take 20 minutes.  We know it is long, but please stay with it… your comments are important to us and will help shape future goals and plans for parks, trails, recreational activities and facilities.
The Spanish language version will be available starting Tuesday, May 8. The entire survey will run from May 7 through June 11.

Click the link to learn more and take the survey.

Assistant Director Speaks at Health and Vacancy Focused Lecture Hosted by Morgan State University

On April 23, Stephanie Smith, Assistant Director, joined a panel of experts to discuss the linkages between health and vacancy. The lecture was held at Morgan State University and sponsored by the School of Architecture and Planning's (SA+P) Community Design Health Forum and the AIA Baltimore Health & Wellness Committee. The speakers included:

  • James Dilts (Architectural Historian)
  • Joshua Sharfstein (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) 
  • Jennifer Goold (Neighborhood Design Center)
  • Klaus Philipsen (Arch Plan, Inc.) 

The lecture can be accessed on YouTube via this link.

Two New Local Historic Districts Announced

In partnership with BDC, CHAP is excited to announce the designation of two new local historic districts on the west side of downtown: Five & Dime and Howard Street. These districts will contribute to the exciting renaissance happening in West Baltimore. 

The building stock within the proposed Five & Dime historic district, located near the corner of Howard and Lexington Streets, transitioned from retail-residential-warehouse uses to commercial in the late 19th century. The district houses a variety of warehouses and some early discount and wholesale stores. The Howard Street Commercial District represents the smaller, specialized retailers in buildings that transitioned from primarily residential to commercial use at the turn of the 20th century.

Visit CHAP's website for more information on this and other initiatives!

Planning Academy 2018: Applications Available Soon!

Planning Academy

Baltimore's inaugural Planning Academy will launch in September 2018! 

Our intention is to bring together a diverse group of community residents with an interest in urban planning and development. 

Keep your eyes open for the application - we will be releasing the application in June!

Don't forget to comment on the Sustainability Plan!


We are in the final stages of updating the citywide Sustainability Plan, together with the residents of Baltimore! 

A final round of public comment on the draft plan will run from now through Friday, June 8. 

Visit and continue to spread the word!

Now Hiring!


The Baltimore City Department of Planning is seeking a Design Planner to join the Land Use and Urban Design Division (LUUD).  Architects, Landscape Architects, and Urban Designers with experience in creating dynamic plans and concept renderings and who have an interest in working to reimagine the built environment should apply.  

Deadline is June 5, 2018

Upcoming Events

5/30 - A Better Maryland Online Listening Sessions

In August 2017, Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2017.20 charging the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) with drafting a new state development plan. 

If you were unable to attend one of the listening session meetings, please plan on joining us for one of two online meetings on Wednesday, May 30. Register for a meeting at the links below:

2:00 to 3:30 p.m. session

7:00 to 8:30 p.m. session

5/31 & 6/21 - 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.

6/6 - Office of Sustainability Comment Storm

Over the past 2 years, the Office of Sustainability has reached a diverse network of stakeholders to update the city’s Sustainability Plan, interweaving racial equity throughout. We are hosting a comment storm on all of our social media channels on 6/6 from 1 to 2 PM. Please share your thoughts on the Sustainability Plan, and encourage others to do the same. Use the #sustainbmore hashtag to participate!

6/6 - Food PAC

Established in 2010, Food PAC members work actively to improve food access and the food system. Facilitated by the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, Food PAC provides opportunities for collaboration and idea sharing around food-related organizations in Baltimore. 

More information provided here.

6/12 - 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.

6/14 - UDAAP

The Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel’s role is to provide the Planning Commission and the Department of Planning design review expertise in the areas of urban design, architecture, and landscape design for all proposed master planning efforts and significant development projects with the goal of achieving high quality designs for the planned and built environment of Baltimore City. More information found here.

6/26 - 2018 City of Baltimore Design and Construction Presentation 

Baltimore City Departments of General Services, Housing and Community Development, Public Works, Recreation and Parks, and Transportation cordially invite you to attend the fifteenth annual Design and Construction Presentation. This is a presentation for projects that will be advertised within the 2019 fiscal year.

This program will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the War Memorial Building at 101 N. Gay Street.

To register, click here.

city of baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Thomas J. Stosur,