Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - July 2018

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  July 2018

A Message from the Director


This fall, the Planning Department is launching a Planning Academy program for interested Baltimore City residents. The application period for the inaugural Planning Academy cohort closes this month on July 27. We have been overwhelmed by the interest from the Baltimore community! To date, over 200 of you have applied for the 30 available seats. This speaks to the strong interest that city residents have to better understand and navigate the planning and development process. 

We are looking forward to working with the first cohort of participants this fall, and will be finalizing speakers and content over the coming weeks. And we will be carefully reviewing each application - our hope is that the first cohort will be a diverse group of passionate City residents excited to dig into challenging topics and conversation with us. 

As you can see from the items below, summertime does not necessarily mean a slower pace of activity here at the Planning Department. From community art opportunities to resident-driven policy work on corner stores to research and analysis on neighborhood real estate markets, the Planning Department team remains actively engaged with communities and stakeholders across all sectors of the City.

In closing, I want to share some news about my position as Planning Director. Earlier this week, I announced that I will be retiring from City Government after 30+ years of service. Nearly a decade of that time has been spent serving as Director of this great Department, and as Executive Secretary of the Planning Commission.  It’s really been an honor and a privilege to serve in these roles, to work with such dedicated and talented staff and colleagues, and to play a role in Baltimore’s ongoing evolution and progress.  I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity.

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you who work every day to make your communities healthy and your businesses successful. It is through your individual and collective efforts that the Planning Department will be empowered to fulfill its ongoing mission: To build Baltimore as a diverse, sustainable and thriving city of neighborhoods and as the economic and cultural driver for the region.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director

Second Cohort of Food Equity Advisers Finalize Corner Store Recommendations

RFEA 2018

Launched in 2017, the Resident Food Equity Advisors (RFEA) are Baltimore residents who work with the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI) to collectively drive equitable food policymaking. Sixteen advisors were selected out of 80 applicants and were compensated for their time. 

The 2017 cohort of RFEA identified small food retail (corner and convenience stores) as a policy issue they wanted to address in 2018. The advisor priorities were further underscored by the Baltimore City’s Food Environment: 2018 Report, which showed there are over 708 small food retail stores across the city, and that on average, these store types carry the lowest amount of healthy food while remaining plentiful in unhealthy foods and beverages.

In response, the 2018 RFEA cohort attended six meetings to learn and share their expertise related to small food retail. BFPI staff brought in subject matter experts to equip the advisors with  broader understanding of the state of small food retail and potential policy and programmatic tools.

After an intensive process of learning, sharing and engaging, RFEA have generated four key recommendations  on small food retail. These recommendations will be further researched, explored, and vetted by BFPI, with some incorporated into the Healthy Food Environment Strategy. Not all of these recommendations will be implemented by City government—many will be implemented in partnership with and by various stakeholder organizations and residents.

The recommendations will be released later this summer.

Last Chance! Apply for Baltimore's Inaugural Planning Academy by July 27.

Planning Academy

Baltimore's Department of Planning is launching a Planning Academy in September and we want you to apply!

This is a FREE six-week class designed to introduce participants to planning and development process in Baltimore. 

The application is now open and we invite Baltimore residents to apply by July 27 (Friday!).

Three YouthWorks Students Join Planning for Summer '18

Youthworks logo

Youth Works is Baltimore City's summer jobs program, offering thousands of youth ages 14-21 a five-week job experience with non-profit, government, and private sector employers. Here at the Baltimore City Department of Planning there are three youth workers this summer.

The youth workers are paired with people within different divisions to help take on many projects: some are working on social media and others are assisting with some of the environmental and historic preservation work of the Department. 

 The three youth workers with the Baltimore City Department of Planning this summer are:

  • Jamar Price, Jr., of West Baltimore, is planning on attending Morgan State University to study Business and Management, and he also is thinking about graphic design.
  • Tayla Spencer, of Northeast Baltimore, is planning to attend Cedar Crest College to study Biochemistry and Environmental Conservation.
  • John Boyd III, of West Baltimore, will be entering his senior year of high school at Mervo High School, so he will be looking at colleges this upcoming year.

Artists! Apply Today for Lots Alive 2018-2019

Lots Alive

The deadline for the 2018-2019 Lots Alive outdoor sculpture program is fast approaching - it is July 28, 2018.

Lots Alive supports the creation of temporary outdoor sculpture sited on vacant lots within the Baltimore City limits. For this grant cycle, seven vacant lot sites have been identified for artist activation in the Park Heights neighborhood (on Park Heights Ave).

Winning proposals will be eligible for grants up to $5,000.

More information is available here.

BOCEK Beautification Project Complete


The Bocek-Madison East End Community Association just completed several murals throughout the neighborhood, supported via a Coca-Cola grant. One of the murals honored President Rocky Brown, who works tirelessly with young people on efforts to improve the neighborhood. The project is a collaboration with Arts and Parks and more can be read here about each mural piece. In total, eight new murals were created. Park benches, tables and a pavilion are also a part of the project. 

Additional INSPIRE Artist and Engagement Opportunities

Arlington INSPIRE Garden – Gateway Entrance

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with the Baltimore Department of Planning’s INSPIRE program seeks design proposals for a new artwork or creative gateway to act as the entrance to the soon-to-open Community-managed green space and garden within the Arlington INSPIRE planning area. To apply for the project, please click here. The deadline is August 1, 2018.

Pimlico Elementary School – Creative Placemaking Project

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in partnership with the Baltimore Department of Planning INSPIRE program, seeks a qualified artist to engage and work with students and neighbors of Pimlico Elementary Middle School in the development and creation of an outdoor creative placemaking project to be incorporated in a newly established community managed greenspace near Pimlico Elementary Middle School in Park Heights. To apply for the project, please click here. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2018.

Get Involved!

If you are interested in participating in the INSPIRE planning for Bay Brook, Fairmount Harford, or Harford Heights, contact Jennifer Leonard at

Housing Market Typology Updated for 2017


Baltimore's Housing Market Typology (HMT) update for 2017 was recently made available to the public. The HMT is jointly developed by the Baltimore City Planning Department, Department of Housing & Community Development, and Reinvestment Fund.

The typology is a housing market analysis based on quantitative data and a statistical process called "Cluster Analysis." Data studied include vacancy, median sales price, foreclosure, building permits, and owner occupancy, among other variables. The descriptions of each market identified in Baltimore for 2017 can be found here.

The typology is a critical tool used by the Department of Housing’s Vacants to Value program to address city-wide vacant housing challenges. The typology is also used by the Housing Code Enforcement Division to tailor market interventions and strategies to neighborhood conditions. The typology can also used to inform local neighborhood planning by helping neighborhood residents understand the housing market forces impacting their communities.

Upcoming Events

8/2 - 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.

8/14 - 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.

8/16 - 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.

South Baltimore: Gateway Partnership Community Grants Now Available



Get ready to apply for the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership's (SBGP's) next round of Community Grants! The SBGP Summer 2018 Community Grant Program application opened July 9 and closes August 31. 

More information is available on the SBGP website. If you need help applying, come to one of SBGP's upcoming workshops. These workshops are specifically for grant applicants seeking up to $5,000 through the Summer 2018 Small Community Grant Program. Please RSVP to

Stay Safe. Be Informed about Your Flood Risk.

  • 30: The number of days it takes for flood insurance to begin. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Learn more about buying Flood Insurance. #FloodSafety
  • A few inches of water in a 1,000-square foot home could cost more than $10,000 in repairs & replacement of personal possessions #FloodSafety
  • Before a flood: reduce potential property damage by elevating utilities & installing sewer backflow valves. #FloodSafety
city of baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Thomas J. Stosur,