Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - December 2019

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  December 2019

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director

Chris Ryer

This has been a busy end of the year at the Planning Department: our Food Policy team launched a pilot project with Lyft to make it easier for residents without a car to buy groceries; we hosted a ribbon cutting at the Racheal Michelle Wilson Memorial in SW Baltimore; and our staff supported a design charette process in Cherry Hill.  I also got a great tour from Gary Rodwell and his team of the emerging Hebrew Orphanage project, which, alongside Walbrook Lumber, is under construction in Coppin Heights.

This month, we invite you to join us on December 16 at the Pimlico racetrack to hear about the exciting plans for the racetrack. I’d also like to congratulate our community partners on their recent Maryland DHCD awards, which can be viewed here and more importantly, thank our State partners for their support.

And remember, the Census is getting close!  We will go into “full-court” press in January. This month, consider inviting our staff to join you at a neighborhood meeting to discuss the importance of the 2020 Census and changes to the way in which the survey will be implemented. You can sign up to have a speaker join you via this link.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the retirement of a college, friend and mentor, and a former Planning Commission Chair, Ken Strong.  Beginning as a community outreach staffer for Attorney General Kurt Schmoke, he opened the City’s first recycling office, modernized the Department of Transportation’s Safety Division, and took DHCD’s Homeownership office to new levels.  Most recently, he has committed himself to the betterment of our public housing properties.  The City is a better place because of him.

Chris Ryer, Director

Census 2020 Monthly Update: Sign Up to Bring a Census Presentation to Your Community

Everyone Count

As 2020 nears, so does the Decennial Census. 

It will take a team comprised of city officials, community agencies, and  YOU, the passionate residents of our beloved Baltimore to make sure #BmoreCounts in 2020. 

Do you want to bring a presentation about the Census to your community? Please sign up here!

December 16: Pimlico Race Course Public Meeting

Pimlico Dec 16

This fall, a tentative agreement was reached to keep the Preakness Stakes at the historic track in Northwest Baltimore and result in a $199.5M upgrade. This agreement requires state legislative support to move forward.

To learn more about the Pimlico Race Course Plan, please join Mayor Young on December 16 at 6:30pm at the Pimlico Race Course (5201 Park Heights Avenue, Club House-Sports Palace, 3rd Floor). Flyer available here.

Cherry Hill Neighbors Contribute to Visioning at November Design Charrette

Cherry Hill

The Cherry Hill Development Corporation hired Urban Design Associates (UDA) from Pittsburgh to gain input from residents about the future of Cherry Hill.  During the two-week process, four workshops were held and stakeholders were interviewed by UDA.  Over 250 people participated in the process.  A plan will be created during the next six months, culminating in adoption of the plan by the Planning Commission.

For more information please contact Malika Jones, Community Organizer for the Cherry Hill Development Corporation at

Learn more about the Department of Planning's Neighborhood Plans policy here.

John Ruhrah Draft INSPIRE Recommendation Report Released: Comments Due December 30th


As students and faculty get ready to move into the newly-renovated John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School building in Greektown, the school and neighborhood community members are also reviewing the recommendations for the John Ruhrah E/MS INSPIRE plan. Many of these stakeholders helped inform the recommendations, which were presented last month to the Greater Greektown Neighborhood Association and the John Ruhrah school PTO.

The Department of Planning (DOP) is accepting feedback on the draft until December 30th. DOP will use the feedback to prepare the final plan, which will be presented to the Planning Commission for adoption in winter/spring 2020.

Review the draft and provide comments here.

Three 21st Century Schools to Celebrate Modernized Buildings

Ribbon Cutting

On Saturday, January 4, the 21st Century School Buildings Program will host a combined Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Bay-Brook Elementary/Middle, Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary/Middle, and John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle. The event will include guest speakers, including principals and students from each of the schools, ribbon cutting photo opportunities, and tours.

Visit the 21st Century website for details, soon.

Save the Date: CIP Hearings in January


Each year, the Planning Commission makes recommendations regarding the City’s capital budget. The process begins with agencies making requests for capital improvements for the next fiscal year and the five following fiscal years.  

In January, each of the agencies that requests capital funds will make a presentation to the Planning Commission detailing their capital needs, requests, and priorities to make a case for their projects. 

We invite you to attend these presentations, as the first of several opportunities to participate in the capital budget process.

OSI Invites Community Residents to Complete Blueprint for Baltimore Survey

OSI Training

A new survey invites Baltimore City residents to identify their priorities around a variety of issues: public safety, housing and education. 

The data collected will be community-owned and used to create a public report that will be the basis for a series of mayoral and City Council candidate forums in the spring of 2020.

The survey is available online at

Equity in Planning Updates: Planning with Youth

Our Equity Lens

In our office, we are currently researching models of engaging youth - exploring developing a "Planning Academy" for young people. Models we've seen include Hip Hop Architecture camp; the Y-Plan Resilient by Design Youth Challenge; and Creative Reaction Lab's Design to Better (our Communities) program.

Do you have ideas for a planning-focused youth program? --> Write to us at

ICYMI: Planning & Development in the News

Jobs: Food System Planner *Now Recruiting*

The City of Baltimore Department of Planning is in search of a Food System Planner within the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative. This Food System Planner will function as the lead on community food planning and land use within the Food Policy Division. This is an exciting opportunity to use land use and community planning skills to collaboratively work toward an equitable urban food system. You may apply via this link Applications close December 19, 2019.

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

12/10 & 1/14 - Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP)

Since 1964, CHAP has enhanced and promoted the culture and economy of Baltimore through the preservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods. CHAP meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

Meetings are held in the Front Boardroom of the Department of Planning, 8th floor of the Benton Municipal building, 417 East Fayette Street. 

For more information on the upcoming meeting agenda, visit this site.

12/12 & 1/9  - Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is responsible for maintaining land use plans for the City and reviewing all amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Commission meets on Thursdays throughout the year.

Meetings are held in the Front Boardroom of the Department of Planning, 8th floor of the Benton Municipal building, 417 East Fayette Street. 

The schedule, agenda and staff reports are available on this website.

12/16 - Pimlico Race Track Planning Meeting

Join Mayor Young on December 16 at the Pimlico Race Course (5201 Park Heights Avenue, Club House-Sports Palace, 3rd Floor) to learn more about the Pimlico Race Course Plan. This meeting will begin at 6:30 PM.

12/17 - MDE Draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan Meeting

Join the Office of Sustainability for a public meeting to review the State's draft greenhouse gas reduction plan. This meeting will be held at MDE's headquarters (1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230) from 1-4 PM.

12/18 - Sustainability Commission 

The Commission on Sustainability is a 21-member body, overseeing the implementation of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan.

Meetings are held monthly and open to the public. The location varies, but all meetings are held at 4 PM.

Information about the schedule is available on the Sustainability calendar.

12/19 - 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.

Meetings are held in the Front Boardroom of the Department of Planning, 8th floor of the Benton Municipal building, 417 East Fayette Street. 

Dates, agendas and staff reports can be found here.


city of baltimore

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Chris Ryer, Director