Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - January 2020

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  January 2020

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director

Chris Ryer

Happy New Year!

We need your help!  Historically, Baltimore has had one of the LOWEST “return rates” of major cities to the U.S. Census. Groups with the lowest return rates are seniors, families with children under 5, returning citizens, people with English as a second language, and persons experiencing homelessness.

Census Day is April 1st.  Where will you be on that day??  That is where you should be countedGo to our website to get more information on Census 2020.

On another note, I am happy to announce that we will be bringing Cheryl Casciani into our management team.  Ms. Casciani is a former Executive Director of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, a founder and former chair of the Sustainability Commission, and the immediate past Chair of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. As Director of Community Planning and Revitalization, her wealth of experience and knowledge of Baltimore will provide crucial support to our talented group of community planners, and significantly increase our ability to serve the neighborhoods of Baltimore.

Finally, I would like to invite my fellow citizens to tune into the annual cycle of the capital budgeting process on our website.  This is a tough year for the capital budget, which makes the deliberations all that much more important and difficult. 

2020 is the beginning of a new decade, new leadership in the General Assembly, important discussions about public education, and an update to the Framework for Community Development, all of which are building Baltimore a BETTER toolbox for the revitalization of our neighborhoods. 

Go Ravens!

Chris Ryer, Director

4 Reasons the Census Matters to Baltimore

  1. Financial Resources - the Census brings $900 million dollars annually to Baltimore thru federal programs

  2. Planning and Policy - population data is used by almost every single City Agency in order to set priorities for Baltimore

  3. Social and Racial Equity - Baltimore must ensure that the most vulnerable residents are counted, so that programs that support these communities are fully funded

  4. Updating Legislative Boundaries - the Census ensures fair and equal representation for Baltimore City residents at the local, state and national level

Want to learn more and help support our City's effort to get the word out? Sign up to be a community ambassador and partner with us - we need your help to get the word out!

Capital Budget Discussed at Planning Commission this Winter

CIP graphic

This week, the Planning Commission began to hear from city agencies about their capital needs, project requests and priorities. All meetings and presentations are live-streamed. A detailed schedule is available here. 

The capital budget process starts with agencies requesting funding for specific projects. Those requests are now posted here. While the total amount requested exceeds the amount available for capital projects, the requests give an indication of specific needs and priorities for the City’s capital budget agencies.

Please don’t hesitate to email with any questions about the capital budget.

Commission Meeting Agendas This Month

  • CHAP meets on January 14. The Agenda can be found here.

  • The Sustainability Commission is meeting on January 15, and the topic of discussion will be the intersection of land use and transportation.

  • The next Planning Commission is meeting on January 16. The agenda and links to proposed subdivision plans can be found here.

Sustainability Meeting

2020 Kicks-off with Three 21st Century Schools Reopening

Less than one week into the new year, children and adults from Baltimore and around the state celebrated the reopening of three 21st Century School buildings: Bay Brook Elementary/Middle, Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary/Middle, and John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle. An event with elected officials, program partners, principals, and students was held at Bay Brook was held on January 4th, and open houses took place at all of the schools. 

Jan 2020 INSPIRE

Howard Street Storefront Competition This Month!

Howard Row

The Market Center Merchants Association, Poverni Sheikh Group, and Charles Street Development is seeking tenants for Howard Row, a development at 407-415 N. Howard Street in Market Center and the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District. 

The competition is seeking to support small scale "makers" and creative businesses. Locally owned, minority/women led, and immigrant owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

Selected small businesses will receive one year of free rent, though they will need to contribute financially to tenant improvements, put down a security deposit, and pay insurance and utilities. 

Interested entrepreneurs should apply by January 31. 

More information about this competition is available here.

Equity in Planning: Transit Systems

Equity Lens

You may have heard that Kansas City voted to make public transit free at the end of 2019. This was a priority for recently  Mayor Quinton Lucas, as part of an effort to push for transit equity in the region.

This move was widely discussed, lauded and analyzed by a number of publications - from CityLab to Streetsblog

In Baltimore, the bus transit system is managed by the Maryland transit administration.

More interesting discussion of this and other Baltimore-relevant transit issues on Facebook here:

Finally, consider attending the Sustainability Commission's meeting on January 15th - very timely topic of the month will focus on transit systems.

ICYMI: Planning & Development in the News

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

1/14/20 - 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.

1/15/20 - 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.

1/16/20  - 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.

1/23/20 - 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