Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - November 2018

Having troubles viewing this email? View as a webpage.

the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  November 2018

A Message from Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director


With the end of the year approaching, many people are looking forward to the holidays. This year, consider shopping truly local by visiting the Made in Baltimore shop between now and February. The shop is open and operating at 22 W. North Avenue, and features local artisan created gifts at every price point. The shop will be open through the end of February 2019, Thursdays through Sundays from 12-7pm. 

This season, the Made in Baltimore program, which was incubated at the Department of Planning, has formally moved over to the Baltimore Development Corporation. This is an exciting move for the program as it grows and develops. We are so proud to see the program continue to flourish. 

The mission of Made in Baltimore is to grow employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Baltimore’s light manufacturing sector through the support and promotion of local maker businesses. At the Made in Baltimore store, you will find great gifts from over 60 businesses made within Baltimore City borders. And the store's location along North Avenue is square in the middle of an area full of other artistic projects and endeavors. So after you shop, you can also visit the Parkway Theater complex or the Motor House arts hub. Hope to see you there!


Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director

CHAP Staff Honored with Award This Fall


The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) was named the 2018 Organizational Partner of the Year by Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA). The award recognizes the work done by CHAP staff,  former Director Tom Stosur, Deputy Mayor Colin Tarbert and others to lease the city-owned H.L. Mencken House (a National Historic Landmark and Baltimore City Landmark).

The Baltimore National Heritage Area is one of 13 certified heritage areas in Maryland and one of 49 Congressionally designated national heritage areas across the country. BNHA’s mission is to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore’s cultural and historic legacy and natural resources for current and future generations.

BNHA is an important catalyst for heritage tourism that provides significant economic and cultural impact for Baltimore. In 2017, it was determined that The Baltimore National Heritage Area has a direct and indirect annual impact of more than $534 million, supports more than 6,000 jobs, and generates more than $38 million in state and local tax revenue.

Learn more about CHAP here and about BNHA here.

Public Comment Period Open for Watershed Assessments! 

These assessments cover the Baltimore Harbor Watershed and the Lower North Branch Patapsco Watershed


The Department of Public Works (DPW) has posted two watershed assessments for public comment covering the Baltimore Harbor Watershed and the Lower North Branch Patapsco Watershed. These are the remaining two assessments that need to be completed for our current MS4 Permit. The purpose of the assessments is to create a framework for the development of future Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs). Specifically, the assessments include:

  • Watershed characterization, which is an inventory of current watershed physical and social conditions;
  • Identification and ranking of water quality problems, including a description of the total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for the watershed;
  • Suitability analysis and identification of priority areas for improving water quality, as well as maximizing other potential benefits associated with restoration strategies;
  • Prioritization of structural and non-structural practices, with a recommendation of projects, programs, and partnerships to address the water quality issues.

The draft reports, “Baltimore Harbor Watershed Assessment” and “Lower North Branch Patapsco” are available online at this website.

The deadline for public comment is December 19, 2018, at 5:00 pm. 

Planning Academy Fall Session Concludes


The Fall session of Planning Academy concluded on October 17 with a celebration as well as a brainstorming session. During the brainstorming session, participants worked in groups to develop and refine ideas for neighborhood projects. Our goal is for all Planning Academy graduates to pursue making their projects a reality in the coming years.

The Fall cohort consisted of 30 Baltimore City residents from all different corners of the City and walks of life. Our group included both life long Baltimore residents and those newer to town. Participants included educators, entrepreneurs, artists, civic leaders, housing advocates, and non-profit professionals. 

Planning Academy workshops covered a broad range of topics, including several that were included based on the input and interests of participants. The entire program opened with a frank discussion of systemic racism in Baltimore and its impact on the physical structure of our city.

From there, we dived into several sessions that focused on planning topics - developing a neighborhood plan, zoning regulations, navigating the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals, and the budget process. The fifth session of Planning Academy invited a number of external speakers to cover topics outside of Planning but with relevance to our earlier discussions - these topics included community land trusts and transportation.

Didn't get a chance to participate this time? We had an overwhelming number of applications, and the class size was kept intentionally small to encourage discussion. However, if you were unable to participate this time around - all materials are available for download and viewing on our website HERE.

We plan to continue to host the Academy twice annually moving forward. The next open application period will be over the summer of 2019. 

Do you have questions or suggestions for the program? Please contact us via email with your ideas.

Arlington INSPIRE Plan adopted in October

Arlington ES

The Planning Commission adopted the Arlington INSPIRE plan on October 18th. The meeting was attended by residents and stakeholders including Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, Councilman "Yitzy" Schleifer, Jimmy Mitchell (Arlington's Community School Coordinator), Pastor Troy Randall (President, CHHB Neighborhood Association), Izzy Patoka (Sinai Lifebridge), Marcus Pollock (Executive Director, Park Heights Renaissance) and various community members from Park Heights. See the final plan on the INSPIRE web page. Implementation of recommendations is already taking place, in advance of the school re-opening next year.

We are currently in the planning process for John Ruhrah, Bay Brook, Fairmount Harford, Harford Heights, and Govans.

Please contact the listed District Planner if you’re interested in INSPIRE planning around the 21st Century school in your neighborhood.

Governing Magazine Covers Baltimore

Baltimore was featured in the November 2018 issue of Governing Magazine, in an article that discusses the city's approach to dealing with vacancy and blight.

The article provides an overview of Vacants to Value, a program designed to get people into some of the houses that have been standing empty. It also discusses the history of the Dollar House program -- highlighting some of the reasons for that program's demise.

The article also discusses how Vacants to Value differs from earlier attempts to address the issue of vacants: the homes offered for sale are strategically located in places that seem to have at least some chance for a comeback. And buyers must have full financing to rehabilitate a home before taking possession. 

Finally, the article highlights local nonprofits, Details Deconstruction and Brick+Board. These groups work with the city to salvage building materials from homes slated for demolition. They hire and train individuals who have difficulty finding employment for these tasks.

The November article can be accessed on via this link.

Latest Staff Joining the Planning Team


Renata  Southard joins the Urban Design team at Planning

Ren has a Master of Architecture and a Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Maryland. Before working for the Department of Planning, Ren worked as an architectural designer and project manager. She is looking forward to working with our staff and the Department of Housing and Community Development to generate architectural concepts for our neighborhoods.


Anika Richter is the new coordinator for the Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge Grant Program.

Anika recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy and Cultural Anthropology. Anika is now excited to be to be back in Baltimore working to promote environmental education and environmental justice in her hometown through her work with the Office of Sustainability, Civic Works, and Baltimore City Public Schools.

The Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge (GHSC) is a grant available to Baltimore City Public Schools for implementing student-led sustainability and environmental projects in schools. The grant is meant to promote sustainable practices, environmental education, and student leadership opportunities, as well as encourage schools to become certified Maryland Green Schools.

Nia Jones

Nia Jones is the new Youth Sustainability Coordinator

After a 7-year career in HR, Nia joined the team as a part of a career change and dedication to youth development in Baltimore. Nia is a graduate of Baltimore City College and Morgan State University. As supervisor, Nia hopes to lead by example and empower the group to meet their goals individually and collectively in order to shift the narrative regarding youth in Baltimore.

Read on below for more on our Youth Environmental Internship team.

Meet New Youth Environmental Interns Joining for 2018-2019

The Baltimore Community Foundation, in partnership with Baltimore Beyond Plastic and the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, hires, trains and leads a team of Youth Environmental Interns. 

The Youth Environmental Interns learn and apply skills around organizing and advocacy. This year, they have decided to continue to focus on Baltimore Beyond Plastic, which members of the intern team created two years ago, including supporting implementation of the Baltimore City Foam Ban; continuing to advocate for a statewide foam ban; and advocating for other measures to reduce plastic pollution in our area.


Jacques Thompson, Bard High School Early College

Jacques joined our team as a prestigious MERIT Brancati Fellow. His main focus is on policy and public health. He is President of Bard's Student Government Association.


Mariah McKenzie, Baltimore City College

Mariah joined our team as a prestigious MERIT Brancati Fellow. Her main focus is on composting within schools and reducing our global footprint. She is an active member of City College's environmental club and dance team. She hopes to acquire legislation experience and also see Maryland change to be more sustainable with impact across the nation!


Maddie Jaffe, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

During this internship with the Office of Sustainability, Maddie hopes to learn more about activism and law-making processes in order to carry out successful projects in the future. She wants to learn how to become a more efficient activist, especially about topics like climate change and protecting our waters.


Rashaad Adams, Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts

Rashaad has joined our team this year. His main focus is learning how to educate people and youth on how they can contribute to helping the environment. He was the president of Augusta’s environmental club.


Nick Kophengnavong, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Nicholas has been an active advocate since middle school (see his video here!). His major focus this year is on small business and community outreach.

2020 Census Jobs Coming to Baltimore

Census Jobs

 In advance of the 2020 Census, hiring has started for a wide range of roles including:

Recruiting assistants travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.

Office operations supervisors assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

Clerks perform various administrative and clerical tasks to support various functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

Census field supervisors conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers and/or to follow-up in situations where census takers have confronted issues, such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.

Census takers work in the field. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home, such as in the evening and on weekends.

Applicants will be placed in an applicant pool for 2020 Census field positions for positions they qualify for and will be contacted as work becomes available in their area. For more information, contact 1-855-JOB-2020 or visit this website.

20 New American Leaders Graduate from MIMA's Institute

This fall, MIMA (the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs) organized a multi-week course for new Americans, introducing them to local government functions, including our own Planning Agency.

The Fall 2018 group graduated this past month, and a video of their experiences is now available via this link! At Planning, we look forward to collaborating with this initiative in future months.


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

11/29 and 12/20 - 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.

12/11 - 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.

11/28 and 12/19 - Sustainability Commission

The next Commission on Sustainability meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 28th followed by Wednesday, December 19th from 4:00-6:30 PM. This meeting is open to all interested residents.

More information available via the Office of Sustainability webpage.

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