Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - January 2019

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  January 2019

A Message from Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director


Many of you may have already heard our big announcement this month: Chris Ryer, Executive Director of Southeast CDC, is joining the Department of Planning next month as our next Director of Planning! Chris brings a wealth of experience in the field of planning - including four years as Deputy Director of our Department between 2002 and 2006. So, in many ways, this will be a homecoming. We at the Department of Planning are looking forward to welcoming Chris and learning more about his vision for our Agency.

In the meantime, read on below about the other big news coming out of our office this month - the Sustainability Plan is finally here. A team at Planning, led by Anne Draddy, have been reviewing your comments and feedback and finalizing language over the last few months. And now the Plan is ready for its' public debut. On the 16th of January, the Sustainability Commission celebrated the completion of the new Plan and it will be presented to Planning Commission at the end of this month. I encourage you to take a look at the actions proposed, and get involved in the implementation over the coming year!


Laurie Feinberg, Acting Director

Big News from the Office of Sustainability:

The 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan is here!

Thanks to each of you who took the time to participate in the Sustainability Plan process by providing your expertise, visions and hopes for a more equitable, sustainable, regenerative and resilient Baltimore.

Sustainability Plan

The 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan was adopted by the Sustainability Commission on Wednesday January 16t(see image at left).

Next, the plan will be presented to the Planning Commission on Thursday January 31st at 1:30 PM and introduced into City Council on February 4th



Engagement Process

The public engagement process touched 1,000’s of residents. Ideas were gathered and analyzed, best practices were studied, and aspirations and actions were developed. The plan uses a racial equity lens to heighten awareness of disparities and remind us of the need for justice in everything we do.

There are 5 core themes in the Sustainability Plan and 23 topic areas along with 70 strategies, 244 actions and 78 measures of success:

Sustainablity Frame

Sustainability Commission

The 21-member Commission on Sustainability is charged with guiding the implementation of the Sustainability Plan. They represent environmental and workforce groups, private industry, community organizations, labor unions, public health and environmental justice interests.

Annual Reports

The Office of Sustainability will produce annual reports documenting progress and host an annual Open House to seek feedback on how we are doing. The reports and meetings serve as a “check-in”, to renew our commitment, and celebrate our successes together as a city.


Download the full 2019 plan on the Sustainability webpage.

Visit the Commission on Sustainability homepage for more information and stay informed.

Links to the PDF’s of Annual Reports for the Sustainability Plan can be accessed on the Annual Reports page.

Baltimore History: Here & Now

Eric Holcomb, our Executive Director of Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), provides an overview of resources available to local history buffs:


Have you ever wondered what Baltimore looked like a hundred years ago? Two hundred years ago?  For the curious, there are several websites that open the past to viewers. For example, the Library of Congress has more than a thousand photos, prints and drawings from a variety of collections. 

My favorite is the map collection. More than 64 maps illustrate Baltimore as far back as the  1790's. For example, look at the E. Sachse, & Co.’s Bird’s Eye View of the City of Baltimore (above, left). Hand drawn, this image captures every building in Baltimore in 1869 (or so it seems). With a point and click you can zoom into any area on the map and count the windows. 

Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries has also put hundreds of maps on-line. A keyword search will present you with 1671 maps, atlases and documents to review. My Favorite are the 1876 G.M. Hopkins Atlas of Baltimore City and Environs, the 1894 and 1923 Baltimore City topographical maps, and the 1898 Bromley Atlas of Baltimore County.

The most detailed available maps are the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps which you can access through the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The Sanborn maps track the changes to buildings for insurance purposes. You can zero in on a single building. These maps date to four time periods 1890, 1901, 1914, and 1928-52.  By looking at all four, you can trace the development of buildings, blocks and neighborhoods. 

Design Planner Is Featured AIA Member

Renata newsletter

Did you know that AIA Baltimore is the third oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and has over 1,100 members? This month, the AIA featured our own planner, Renata Southard.

What does Renata do at Planning?

Renata Southard is a design planner for the Baltimore City Department of Planning, where she provides visioning and urban design for communities in Baltimore. 

Outside of work, she is also involved with her neighborhood organization as a voting member of the Zoning and Land Use Committee (ZLUC); volunteers regularly with Neighborhood Design Center; and is the co-chair for AIA Baltimore's Urban Design committee.

Why does this matter to Baltimore?

Renata's job is to translate ideas in visual language. Many of Baltimore's communities have funded their own master plans or have developed plans with the Department of Planning. Renata is working to develop architectural renderings to visualize what places in these communities may look like 3-, 5-, and 10- years in the future. 

A link to Renata's profile from AIA is available here.

INSPIRE Planning: What to Expect in 2019

Bay Brook

The INSPIRE program has released the Bay Brook Elementary/Middle School INSPIRE Recommendation Report. If you live or work in the Brooklyn or Curtis Bay neighborhoods, we hope you’ll take a look and participate in upcoming events to provide feedback and to help identify a community project that the Department of Planning will fund.

Event dates coming soon (TBD).

The report can be found here:

Contact Jennifer Leonard or Brent Flickinger with questions. 

What Planners Are Reading:

G3 Grant Webinar Scheduled for January 29 

The Chesapeake Bay Trust has posted a grant called “Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns” (G3) grant and the Baltimore Office of Sustainability has given $49,000 for a portion of this grant for projects to green vacant lots in Baltimore in the Baltimore Green Network’s focus areas (Shipley Hill, Carrollton Ridge, Boyd-Booth, Druid Heights, Upton, Sandtown-Winchester, Harlem Park, Broadway East and South Clifton Lake) and the Violence Reduction Areas.

This webinar will include all of the necessary information for the Baltimore Vacant Lots portion of the G3 grant.

The workshop will be streamed on January 29 at 10 AM at

Contact Kim Knox with any questions at 410-396-5902


LINCS Meeting Scheduled for Greenmount West on February 2

Join members of the Barclay community to get updates about work in progress and future plans for the Greenmount corridor, from Eager Street to 29th Street. Don't miss this opportunity to get involved and be heard!

The meeting will be held at St. New Life Matthews Church @ 416 E. 23rd Street from 10 AM - 2 PM.

For more information, contact Eric Lee at


Upcoming Planning Events

1/31 and 2/21 - 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.

2/12 - 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.

2/14 - 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.

2/20 - Sustainability Commission

The next Commission on Sustainability meeting will be held on February 20th, 4:00-6:00 PM. This meeting is open to all interested residents and will be held at the Department of Planning's office.

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