Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - May 2019

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  May 2019

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director

Chris Ryer

This month, the Department of Planning had to nimbly adjust operations after the ransomware attack. We have set up alternative e-mail addresses for all staff, which are publicly available on our website via this link.

Phone numbers for staff have not changed - except for CHAP staff - their temporary new phone numbers are available via their webpage. You may also call our front desk and be redirected to the staff member you need at (410) 396-7526.

While many City Services have been affected, Planning Staff are still available to answer development questions and meetings has continued as scheduled. Our digital communications (including this newsletter and informational e-blasts) have not been affected, nor have our social media pages. We are using these communication tools to stay in touch with you and keep you informed of what's going on in Planning.

Yours Truly,

Chris Ryer, Director

Second Cohort of Planning Academy Closes; Recruitment for Fall 2019 to Begin in June

Class pic

The second cohort of Planning Academy concluded on May 22. Twenty five residents from neighborhoods all across Baltimore City including Chinquapin Park, Hillsdale Heights, Druid Heights, Rosemont and many others participated.

Over the course of six sessions, the cohort members worked with Department of Planning staff, learning how to navigate the City's zoning code and understand the development process.

The participants are encouraged to bring this knowledge back to their neighborhood and community - to share what they've learned and apply it to their own community based work. 

The next Planning Academy cohort begins in September. Applications will be accepted between June 24 and July 24 this summer. To apply and for more information, visit

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'Lots to Love' Pilot Launches

Baltimore City Department of Planning and the Office of Sustainability’s Baltimore Green Network have launched the Lots to Love initiative.

The “Lots to Love”’ is modeled on Philadelphia’s successful Land Care program. As part of the Baltimore Green Network’s strategic approach to neighborhood redevelopment, Baltimore City will work with nonprofit workforce development organizations to transform vacant lots along the Pennsylvania Avenue and Frederick Avenue corridors into neighborhood assets.

The ‘Lots to Love’ program will strategically target 47 vacant lots in the Upton, Boyd-Booth, Shipley Hill and Carrollton Ridge neighborhoods. The program will work with local workforce development organizations to train, hire and employ local residents to care for the lots twice per month between April and October.

For more information on this program, contact Kim Knox at the Department of Planning at

Billion Dollar Party at the Fox Building Celebrates Historic Tax Credit Investment in Baltimore

Fox Building party

On May 14, Baltimore's historic preservation planning team hosted a Billion Dollar Party to celebrate exceeding the $1 billion mark for investment in properties qualified to receive preservation tax credits since the local program began in 1997.

The event was held at the Fox Building in Hampden. The building, along Falls Cliff Road, was built in 1926 by the Noxema Chemical company to manufacture the "Miracle Cream of Baltimore".

Using tax credits, the Fox Building has been converted into rental apartments and artist studio space. In Baltimore overall, more than 4,000 rehab or restoration projects throughout the city have been completed under the tax credit program, which is administered jointly by the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and the city’s Department of Finance. 

For more information on the local historic tax credit program, please see

Food Matters Award Recipients Announced at Parkway Theater Event on May 28

Food Matters

On Earth Day 2019, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed the Baltimore Sustainability Plan committing the city to reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030. 

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability is a leading partner in this effort, and has working with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) to launch Food Matters Baltimore funding providing up to $10,000 in funding per applicant for food waste reduction, food rescue and food scrap recycling activities in the Baltimore City.

On Tuesday, May 28, the winners of this funding were announced at the Parkway Theater, as part of a free screening of the documentary film "Wasted". The grant recipients are:

  • Coppin State University
  • Countered Fresh Food Market
  • Food Rescue Baltimore
  • Fort Worthington Elementary and Middle School
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • South Baltimore Community Land Trust
  • Strength to Love II Farm
  • The 6th Branch
  • The Be. Organization
  • United Workers Association/Baltimore Compost Collective
  • Whitelock Community Farm

For more information on these organizations and their work around food waste, please visit this website:

Middle Branch Design Competition: Public Comment Now Open

Middle Branch

Three leading landscape architecture firms (James Corner Field Operations, Hargreaves Jones, and West 8) have assembled teams of local and international experts to compete for the chance to design Baltimore’s next great recreational and natural waterfront on the Middle Branch.

Between May 29 and June 12, 2019, you can view and comment on competition designs at exhibits held on or near the waterfront or at your convenience from any computer or hand-held device.

See and comment on designs online:

Visit an exhibit:
City Garage, 101 W. Dickman Street, Suite 1000, Baltimore 21230
Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Enoch Pratt Free Library – Cherry Hill Branch, 606 Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore 21225
Mon & Thurs: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tues & Wed: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Fri & Sat · 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Celebrate Brooklyn and Curtis Bay with a Week of Fun Activity: June 20-26

June 20th kicks off an entire week of activities dedicated to Brooklyn and Curtis Bay! 

Th, 6/20: Bay Brook INSPIRE presentation to the Planning Commission @ DOP (Benton Building, Floor 8)

Next January, Bay Brook E/MS will start the term in its new 21st Century school building. The INSPIRE plan uses that as a leverage point for other community development and investment in the area. The plan, developed with help from the community, will be presented for adoption. Learn more

Fr, 6/21: The Well Funfest 2019 (5 PM - 7 PM @ 4710 Pennington Avenue)

The Well, an organization committed to transforming women’s lives, will host a block party to celebrate the beginning of summer. Find out more.

Fr, 6/21: Greater Baybrook Alliance Annual Celebration (6 PM - 9 PM @ Chesapeake Arts Center - 194 Hammonds Lane)

GBA, a community development organization working in Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Brooklyn Park, is celebrating its first anniversary.  RSVP.

Sa, 6/22 - We, 6/26: Operation Charm City Charge

Through “OC3,” The Mission Continues mobilizes veterans from across the country alongside local partners and volunteers in a single city over the course of a week. Volunteer for one or all of the projects taking place in Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Harlem Park. Volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, and experiences are welcome. Find out more about each project and register as a volunteer to help!

EVERY SUNDAY: Compost your food scraps at the Farmers Market!


All Baltimore residents are welcomed to bring their food scraps to the Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar under the JFX for FREE every Sunday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Baltimore's Office of Sustainability will continue to coordinate the collection of food scraps/compost every Sunday through December 2019. The compost drop-off tent is near the Hollywood Dinner at Holiday Street. You can bring your food scraps, plants trimmings, coffee grounds/tea bags, and paper products. We will not be accepting meats, dairy, fish, eggs, liquids, coated paper products, glass, metals, plastics and rubber.


SEEKING INPUT: Solid Waste Management Master Plan

Less Waste Better Baltimore

Progress on the “Less Waste, Better Baltimore” master plan process continues, as we seek to identify options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal.

The public is invited to attend one of the Less Waste, Better Baltimore community meetings coming early next month to learn about this progress and ask any questions you might have. Meetings will be held:

Tuesday, June 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, 3500 Hillen Road

Saturday, June 15, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at the Southeast Anchor Branch of the Pratt Free Library, 3601 Eastern Avenue

For more information, download the fact sheet or visit us at If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Funding Opportunities.

Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge Grant due by November 2019, rolling application process.

The Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge is a grant program for student-led sustainability projects in Baltimore City Public Schools. Students must be a part of an organized green team that meets to complete their project. Teams just starting to develop sustainability initiatives can apply for up to $1,000.

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

5/30 & 6/20 - 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.

6/6 & 6/27 - 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.

6/11 - 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.

6/19 - Sustainability Commission

Please join commissioners and staff for our monthly Commission on Sustainability meeting. Meetings are open to the public. We welcome all who are interested to attend!

The Commission on Sustainability is made up of volunteer members representing environmental groups, community organizations, labor unions, public health and environmental justice interests, and private industry.

Information is available on the Sustainability calendar.

city of baltimore

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Chris Ryer, Director