Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - March 2020 Census Alert!

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - March 2020

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director

Chris Ryer

March is a critical month for our Census effort - the invitations to complete the Census will be landing in your mailbox starting on March 12th. However, you can go to TODAY and fill it out now!

We are excited to announce that 37 community groups have been awarded grants for outreach activities in our hardest-to-count communities across the City over the next month. Funded groups include the John Ruhrah PTO; Immigrant Outreach Service Center; barbers of the people, and multiple other organizations and individuals throughout town.

Over the next month, we will be sharing information on social media about #Census2020 events by our grantees and other partners - please amplify this information and get the word out about how easy it is to fill out the Census online.

Finally, every day, more news emerges about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are receiving briefings and updates from the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Health -- more information about any relevant cancellations will be released as they are available.

Chris Ryer, Director

Census 2020: Critical Dates and Timeline


#Census2020 time is here.

Remember: the Census is EASY, SAFE and IMPORTANT.


You will receive a postcard invitation this month by mail! This will include a code unique to your address that can be used to respond online -- or you can respond by mail or phone if that works better for you. It will take no more than 10 minutes.


The U.S. Census Bureau can not share information with anyone by law - the Census will NOT share responses with ICE, DHS, FBI or police. The Census will NOT share information with Landlords.

The US Census will not ask for social security, bank information, or anything related to any political party.


For every person NOT counted, Baltimore will lose $18,000 in federal funds over ten years. These dollars go to support critical programming, from WIC to Head Start to community health care to transportation. 

Development Teams Announced for Historic Properties in West Baltimore

In February 2020, DHCD announced the development teams for TWO two significant historic city-owned properties in the Upton neighborhood: PS 103 – The Henry Highland Garnet School and the Upton Mansion. Both buildings are designated Baltimore City Landmarks, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Planning and CHAP staff served on the Request for Proposals (RFP) review committees for both development projects. The redevelopment of these properties will be transformative for the properties, but more importantly, for the community as a whole. 


PS 103 has been awarded to Beloved Community Services Corp., a non-profit community development organization headed by Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway Sr., senior pastor of Union Baptist Church. 

PS 103 was designed by prominent architect George Frederick in 1877. In 1911, it became a school for African American children, and it played an important role in the education of thousands of children in West Baltimore, including Thurgood Marshall. Learn more about its history via this link.

The former school will soon house the offices of Beloved Community Development Services Corp., have space for legal advocacy offices, job training, community meeting space, and exhibits about Thurgood Marshall and other prominent Baltimore leaders.

Read more about the project in this Baltimore Sun article. 


Upton Mansion has been awarded to the AFRO newspaper, the country’s oldest family-run African American newspaper in the country, which was started in the Upton neighborhood in 1892. 

Upton Mansion is the only surviving Greek Revival country house in Baltimore City, built around 1838. After serving as a private home, it became the headquarters for WCAO radio station, then housed the Baltimore Institute of Musical Arts - the only music school accredited for African Americans south of New York City - and later served as a Baltimore City Public School. 

Learn more about its history here. The property will house the AFRO’s offices, its expansive archives, as well as space for other organizations and institutions.

Read more about the project here

UDAAP Meeting Highlights: 2/27/20


At the UDAAP meeting on 2/27, a number of designs for major projects across Baltimore were presented, including the schematic design for the Park Heights redevelopment area and the latest design for the Perkins redevelopment.

The image above is a rendering of a proposed multi-family structure which is part of the larger redevelopment of Perkins homes, a six block public housing development in East Baltimore. In total, 629 public housing units are projected to be replaced with 788 new units of affordable housing - both apartments and townhomes, as well as market rate units. In addition, a new school, parks and recreational amenities are planned.

As always, you can see the agenda, presentations and minutes (forthcoming) for the 2/27 meeting via this link.

For each UDAAP meeting, this information is posted online on our UDAAP Agenda webpage (under the Commissions & Review Panels tab on the left of our website).

Save the Date: Sustainability Open House on April 23

Sustainability OH

Come join us this year on April 23 for the Sustainability Open House

Where: Shake and Bank Family Fun Center @ 1601 Pennsylvania Avenue from 6-8 PM.

Each year, the Office of Sustainability brings together 30+ partners and hundreds of community residents for a FUN and INFORMATIVE Open House. Pictured here, last year, Baltimore neighbors met staff from organizations working towards a more sustainable Baltimore.

INSPIRE @ Montebello ES/MS

21st Century School

On February 26 the 21st Century School Buildings Program partners presented the concept design for Montebello Elementary/Middle School to the principal, faculty, parents, students, and community residents. Reaching this stage confirms that 28 school buildings will be modernized in the first phase of the program. Visit the 21st Century website to view the presentation.

If you’re part of the Montebello community (the school or surrounding area) and would like to get involved in the INSPIRE process, contact Jennifer Leonard  

Get Funded! Grant Opportunities

OSI Baltimore

It’s been nearly five years since Freddie Gray died of injuries sustained in police custody, sparking an emerging movement of activists looking to address the systemic racism and disinvestment that shaped the life of Freddie Gray and thousands of Baltimore residents.

Open Society Institute-Baltimore (OSI) is seeking proposals for community-based events and/or projects intended to commemorate, recognize, and/or reflect on the fifth anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising, its underlying causes, and/or its impact on the city and the region.

OSI will make grants of $500 to $5,000 to support selected efforts. The deadline for proposals is March 20, 2020 at 5pm EST.

More information and apply via this link.

Fair Housing Report Now Available, Public Meeting Scheduled for March 23


The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has just released the 2020 Baltimore Region Fair Housing Analysis for public comment.

The analysis looks at disparities in access to opportunity across the region, as well as housing needs and barriers to housing choice.

The public comment period will be open until Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Comments should be submitted to

A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, March 23 at 6 PM at Baltimore Metropolitan @ 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore MD 21230.

Equity in Planning: Housing Trust Fund

Equity Lens

DHCD has made public a plan for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This plan is the result of work with leadership from the
Fair Development Roundtable and with other stakeholders to reach a consensus on how to best allocate the available Trust funds. It outlines spending priorities for FY20-22.

The Trust Fund dollars will go towards supporting community land trusts, CHOICE neighborhood program, a rent supplement program and more. Details are available via DHCD's website and this link.

ICYMI: Planning & Development in the News

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

3/10/20 - 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.

3/18/20 - 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.

3/19/20 - 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.

3/26/20  - 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.


city of baltimore

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Chris Ryer, Director