Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - September 2019

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  September 2019

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director

Chris Ryer

On September 3, the Department of Planning released an updated data analysis of the Capital Improvement program, building on an earlier analysis done internally. Planning engaged the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance to complete this project, and the report uses an equity lens championed by the Department of Planning's Equity in Planning committee to assess the distribution of capital investments in recent years. 

This report remains a work in progress - it provides a baseline for us to work from and a methodology for analyzing investments. The hard work of building a more equitable budget continues, and we invite you to be a part of it. There is an informational session about the CIP coming up at Harbor Hospital @ 6 PM on September 24. Please join us in conversation.

The CIP report, an interactive map and a two-page overview of highlights is available on our website.

Finally, please take note of the dates below for Census 2020 Grant Informational Sessions - also happening around town later on this month.

Chris Ryer, Director

Planning in the News: Progress Made in SW Baltimore

Rachael Wilson Park

In August, progress was made in Southwest Baltimore's Boyd-Booth community towards the completion of Racheal Wilson Memorial Park. The park honors fallen fire fighter Racheal Wilson, and it will feature a mural dedicated to Ms. Wilson's memory.

A lot adjacent to the park is currently part of the Lots to Love pilot initiative. This pilot, modeled on the Philadelphia Land Care initiative, provides monthly care to vacant lots across the City of Baltimore. Both efforts -- the Memorial Park and the care for the vacant lot -- have been championed by neighborhood leaders, who are also organizing a a movie night this Fall for neighborhood children in the lot.

Picture above: Ms.Boyd (pictured above in Baltimore Matters shirt) and Ms. Nixon (pictured above in white top) are community leaders in SW Baltimore. Kim Knox is the coordinator for the Lots to Love program (in blue). Keep your eye out for additional coverage of this story from WYPR - soon!

More Planning in the News:

ICYMI: H.L. Mencken House Restoration Updates

H.L. Mencken

The home of famed Baltimore writer and reporter H.L. Mencken, located near Hollins Market, is undergoing extensive renovations, as covered in the Baltimore Sun on August 31.

The Department of Planning worked to develop an agreement between the City and Baltimore National Heritage Area, allowing the group to manage the restoration of the home. According to Eric Holcomb, Director for the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, the home is "creative reuse of historic landmarks at its best".

For more information on this project, visit the Baltimore National Heritage Area webpage.

Ribbon Cuttings at 21st Century Schools


The REACH! Partnership School, on Harford Road and operated by Civic Works, had a ribbon cutting on August 29, 2019. Thank you to everyone who came out to help us celebrate! 

The planning process for the REACH! Partnership High School + Harford Heights INSPIRE plan is underway. Find out more about either on the INSPIRE Plans web page.

It's National Preparedness Month! Learn about Baltimore's Work Around Resiliency and Flood Preparedness

resiliency hub

September is National Preparedness Month, and we would like to provide a brief update on work happening now in Baltimore to prepare for emergencies, such as major flooding. Resilience is a key component of the Office of Sustainability's Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3), a collaborative approach to protecting Baltimore’s people, infrastructure, assets and environment. More about the plan is available here.

This summer, as pictured above, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability facilitated an Asset Mapping workshop with community partners. The partners are working with the Office of Sustainability to pilot Resiliency Hubs (see below), a component of DP3.

A Resiliency Hub is building or set of buildings and neighboring outdoor space that is a gathering place for residents during times of weather-related or major local emergencies. A Resiliency Hub is intended to provide residents with a trusted location run by neighborhood leaders that double as a community critical facility (hub) in the event of an emergency. 

Contact Aubrey Germ about the Resiliency Hub initiative, and Victor Ukpolo with questions about flood preparedness in Baltimore.

EVERY SUNDAY: Compost 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.


Equity in Planning Updates

Our Equity Lens

This month, we are thinking about creative ways other cities have channeled new investments and funds to areas experiencing long-term disinvestment.

A new mortgage product, called Gateway, in St. Louis is designed to address the "appraisal gap" in low income communities - when the cost of rehabbing a property is more than its' appraised value. Can such loans begin to reverse the inherited system of disparate outcomes in cities like St. Louis, Detroit, and Baltimore?

This new model is covered extensively in an article from Next City from August.


Funding Opportunities.

Green Healthy Schools

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.

Census 2020 Community Grant Info Sessions are happening over the next several weeks. Come and learn how you can receive funds to raise Census awareness and connect community members to technology needed to participate in the first online Census survey.  Together, let’s make sure #BmoreCounts!

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

9/10 - 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.

9/12 - 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.

9/17 - West Baltimore Census 2020 Grant Info Session

This session will be held from 6:30-8 PM at the No Boundaries Coalition Office (1808 Pennsylvania Avenue).

9/18 - 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.

9/19 - East Baltimore Census 2020 Grant Info Session

This session will be held from 6:30-8 PM at Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson School.

9/19 - 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.

9/24 - North Baltimore Census 2020 Grant Info Session

This session will be held from 6:30-8 PM at the Waverly Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library System (400 E 33rd St).

9/24 - CIP Informational Session

The Department of Planning is hosting an informational session for community residents interested in diving into the Capital Investment Program (CIP) process. The session will be held at Harbor Hospital - Baum Auditorium at 6 PM. More info can be found here.

9/26 - SE Baltimore Census 2020 Grant Info Session

This session will be held from 6:30-8 PM at the Enoch Pratt Library - SE Anchor (3601 Eastern Avenue).

10/1 - South Baltimore Census 2020 Grant Info Session

This session will be held from 6:30-8 PM at Harborview, Department of Social Services.

city of baltimore

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Chris Ryer, Director