Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - October 2018

Having troubles viewing this email? View as a webpage.

the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  October 2018

A Message from Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director


We are quickly approaching November, and election day for 2018. Our Agency, through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), works on the long-term investments needed to ensure a thriving city for years to come.

In November, voters will be asked to authorize the City to borrow up to $160 million in general obligation (G.O.) bonds over the next two years. The bonds will help the City pay for important capital projects, including renovation of cultural institutions and libraries; recreation center expansions; and the preservation or redevelopment of affordable housing.

Through the CIP program, the City can invest in its neighborhoods and build on the qualities that make our City a great place to live. In this month’s Compass, please read more about the four bond questions that will be on the November ballot.

On November 6, please join me in voting FOR questions A through D to ensure that we continue to make the long-term investments that become the foundation for the future of our City.


Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director

Vote "FOR" Bond Issue Questions A-D on November 6

Vote for

In addition to choosing candidates on November 6, 2018, voters in Baltimore City will be asked to make decisions on several bond issue and charter amendment questions on the ballot.

Questions A through D are bond issue questions, and are directly related to the capital budget. Every two years, voters are asked to authorize the City to issue general obligation (G.O.) bonds, which are debt instruments secured by the full faith and credit of the City. The questions are sometimes referred to as loan authorizations, as voters are authorizing the City to issue debt that will be paid back over time. Each bond issue question refers to a “loan” dedicated to a specific purpose, described further below.

This year, voters are being asked to authorize up to $160 million over two years to fund the City’s capital program. These long-term investments in physical infrastructure will support residents, neighborhoods, and jobs in Baltimore by helping to build affordable housing, improve schools, revitalize neighborhoods, and improve public facilities.

Read below and visit our website to learn more about each loan and see examples of the types of projects each could fund. Don’t forget to vote “FOR” these questions on November 6, 2018 to allow the City to continue to invest in its future!

AH Loan

The Affordable Housing Loan would allow the City to spend up to $10 million over two years to be used for an affordable housing program, including acquisition, preservation, demolition, rental assistance, and housing counseling (among other related activities). These funds supplement other federal, state and local funds for affordable housing.


The Schools Loan would allow the City to invest up to $38 million over two years in improving City school facilities. This loan complements the much larger 21st Century Schools initiative by providing funding for large-scale maintenance improvements along with a few new school construction projects.


The Community and Economic Development Loan would provide the City up to $47 million over two years to be used for community and economic development. Potential uses range from renovation of some of the City’s cultural institutions to acquisition and demolition of vacant homes, among other activities.

question d

The Recreation and Parks and Public Facilities Loan would allow the City to invest up to $65 million over two years to improve public buildings and land, including libraries, parks, municipal buildings and other city-owned properties.

For more information on the capital improvement program or the bond issue questions that will appear on the ballot, contact Kristen Ahearn at (410) 396-8357 or

What is a G.O. Bond?

With voter approval, the City raises money for specific capital improvements by issuing General Obligation Bonds or G.O. Bonds. G.O. bonds are debt instruments secured by the full faith and credit of the City.

Every two years, including 2018, G.O. bonds (termed as Loans in the ballot questions) are presented to voters for approval on the November ballot. G.O. Bonds are used for a variety of capital projects, including schools, parks, and libraries.

In addition to being approved by a majority of the voters in Baltimore City, these bonds must also be approved by the City Delegation to the General Assembly, Planning Commission, Board of Finance, Board of Estimates and the City Council. The bonds are rated investment grade and provide the City with a valuable inexpensive means to fund projects. The 2018 Bond Issues will appear as Questions A through D on the November 6 election ballot and, if approved, will provide capital funds for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

Census 2020 Plans Launched for a Complete Count


On September 29, 2018, Mayor Pugh hosted a Census 2020 Community Workshop at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The Department of Planning is the city agency lead on the Census and has been working with City leadership to establish a Census 2020 Complete Count Committee and strategy for resident outreach.

Nearly 200 residents joined local, state and federal officials to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by Census 2020’s unprecedented focus on technology and inclusion of a citizenship question. Getting Baltimore’s fair share of federal resources is directly tied to securing the most accurate resident count possible. Federal funding formulas for grants and programs are often based on Census data. This means Baltimore could lose over $18,000 for each undercounted resident from 2020-2030.

Residents were introduced to the Census 2020 Complete Count Committee and participated in the breakout sessions to give feedback on how we can best target the hardest to reach communities.

If you missed this event, please review this video of the presentations and sign up to receive monthly updates here.

Made in Baltimore Store Open for the Holidays!

Made in Baltimore will open at 22 W. North Avenue, between Maryland and Charles Streets. 


The Made In Baltimore Store hosted a Grand Opening on October 5th.

This is MIB’s sixth pop-up store, and their longest to date.  The shop will be open October 5th through the end of February 2019, Thursdays through Sundays from 12-7pm.  

We will feature more information on the vendors over the next two months!

More information is available at:

Planning Academy Fall Session Concludes


The Fall session of Planning Academy concluded in October, and the public is encouraged to follow along by downloading materials for the course and viewing video on our website HERE.

This was the inaugural edition of Planning Academy, and we plan to continue to host the Academy twice annually moving forward. The next open application period will be over the summer of 2019.

Next month, we will provide a more detailed round up of the Academy's first series of workshops.

Meet New Planning Interns Joining for 2018-2019

Below, we highlight another new intern with the Department of Planning!

Tara Hogue

Tara Hogue joins CHAP

Tara Hogue grew up in Perry Hall, Maryland. Currently, she is a part-time second-year senior at Stevenson University. Tara received an Associates' Degree in General Studies from the Community College of Baltimore County in the spring of 2015. 

She then transferred to Stevenson University in the fall of 2015 into the Public History program. Doing her internship for the Department of Planning has been a great first experience in working in the Public History field.  Tara has been working on a staff designation report on the Greenmount Cemetery for CHAP.  She states, "As well as doing research on Greenmount Cemetery, I have been able to go on site visits and attend the monthly hearings, which has helped me to learn a lot more about city planning and how it relates to Public History."

Baltimore Green Network News

Clean Up Planned for Racheal Wilson Memorial on 9/27; RFP for Green Network Now Available

Everyone is invited to the Community Cleanup Day at Racheal Wilson Memorial Day, 127 S. Calverton this Saturday (Oct. 27) from 9 a.m. to Noon.

On Saturday, Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to Noon, Mayor Pugh is hosting Community Cleanup Day.   One of the registered sites is Racheal Wilson Memorial Park at 127 S. Calverton.  We will have gloves, but feel free to bring garden loppers to help remove brush as well as pick up trash.

The park is named after Firefighter Racheal Wilson, who was the first African-American female fighter in Baltimore City to lose her life in the line of duty.   This site is part of the Baltimore Green Network and INSPIRE.

Green Network RFP Issued: Deadline is November 15

The Baltimore Green Network has released a Request for Proposals for two firms to work with residents to create conceptual designs for Druid Square and Smithson, pilot programs of the Baltimore Green Network. A non-mandatory site visit is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. at Smithson Park, 1011 N. Carey Street and 10:30 a.m. for Druid Square, 534 Gold Street.

The deadline for the RFP is November 15 at 4pm. 

The RFP form is the same for both projects. Click here for the RFP.

For more information contact Kimberly M. Knox, Greening Coordinator, Baltimore Green Network. 

Engage with Baltimore's Liquor License Board!

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners is an agency of the State responsible for regulating the sale, storage, and distribution of retail alcoholic beverages in Baltimore City.

As part of a new Engagement Initiative, the BLLC is now posting its quarterly CommunityStat report online.

In addition, community groups may request the attendance of Community Liaison, Matt Achhammer, at meetings by contacting Matt at

NEW GRANT opportunity: Community Catalyst Grants Program (CCG) Now Open!

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the City's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) recently announced the Community Catalyst Grants Program (CCG), to support locally driven community development work.

Eligible organizations include community development corporations, neighborhood-based development organizations, umbrella organizations and other neighborhood-based organizations. Eligible projects will support locally-driven revitalization initiatives and help advance neighborhood revitalization and transformation.

More information is available on DHCD's website.

The application will be due on November 30, 2018.

Upcoming Events

11/1 and 11/29 - 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.

11/13 - 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.

city of baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director