Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - May 2021

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - May 2021

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


I want to remind folks that all our public hearings are accessible from our web site. The Planning Commission, the Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation, and the Sustainability Commission are all being held virtually now and are accessible from your computer or mobile device. In addition, you can observe the reviews by the Urban Design and Architectural Advisory Panel and see some of the exciting projects coming up in Baltimore.

In the post-pandemic world, we are striving to maintain the virtual access to the hearings that many have come to depend on while adding back the ability to participate in person. All our staff are still working virtually, as are approximately one-third of the City work force, and we do not have a re-open date for the Benton building, but the light at the end of the tunnel is visible!

Finally, I’d also like to welcome our new Deputy Mayor for Economic and Community Development, Ted Carter, from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Previous to his service in Ohio, Mr. Carter served as Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development in Jacksonville, Florida and the CEO of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Executive Managing Director for the global real estate company CBRE. He has extensive experience in Washington DC, having been appointed Deputy-Assistant Secretary for Management Operations by the Clinton Administration and the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Officer for the U.S. Department of Treasury. In his volunteer time, he has also chaired the Board of Jubilee Housing, a highly regarded non-profit affordable housing developer in Washington DC.

Chris Ryer, Director

Park Heights Redevelopment Plans Presented to UDAAP Panel

park heights

The NHP Foundation and The Henson Development Company are the joint developers of two multi-family buildings planned for Phase I of the Major Redevelopment Area in Park Heights. The development team presented to the Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP) on May 6th. Phase I of the 17.3-acre site will include the multi-family buildings - one for families and one for seniors - and 17 new single-family detached homes, which will be developed by another partner, Marenberg Enterprises, Inc.

park heights

Local Historian John McGrain Jr. Passes Away 

On Sunday May 2, 2021, Baltimore lost one of its giants in local history, John McGrain Jr.   He was considered a “historian’s historian.”  For more than four decades, the staff at the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation leaned heavily on John McGrain as we researched the history of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, buildings, bridges, mill sites and all things Baltimore.  He was the most gracious man who openly shared his extraordinarily comprehensive research with staff.  A call or email from staff to John would produce many tidbits of history.  We would receive first by snail mail and then email, newspaper accounts, deed searches, quotes from books, and photographs from his seemingly endless reservoir of history. His research bore fruit in many locally published books: From Pig-iron to Cotton Duck: A History of Manufacturing Villages in Baltimore County [and City], Dickensian Baltimore: Survivals of a City’s Infrastructure Photographed of 65 Years, Jones Falls: Powering Industry that Propelled Baltimore, to name just a few. He was always available to help, to share, and to deepen our understanding of Baltimore. 

Thank you John for all your help.  You will be sorely missed.

INSPIRE News: REACH Partnership and Hartford Heights 

REACH! Partnership Recommendation Report

reach report

REACH! Partnership Recommendation Report cover

The Department of Planning has released the REACH! Partnership at Lake Clifton Park + Harford Heights Building Draft INSPIRE Recommendation Report. Staff will be working with community associations, the schools, and others to seek further input on the recommendations to finalize the INSPIRE plan. DOP is grateful to all the stakeholders’ participation and input to date and welcomes their feedback. The Recommendation Report can be found on the DOP web site.

Partnerships Build a Path in Clifton Park 

REACH path

Clifton Park Path

Over the last six months the City’s departments of Recreation and Parks and Transportation worked together, along with BGE, to construct a new path and install lighting between the REACH! Partnership building in Clifton Park and St. Lo Drive. The path improves access between the school, the surrounding neighborhoods, and amenities such as the Rita Church Community Center and a future football field in the park that is tentatively scheduled to open in 2023.


National Park Service Special Resource Study for PS103, 1315 Division Street

The National Park Service is studying whether to create a new National Park unit in Baltimore, and wants to hear from you! 

As directed by Congress in 2019, the National Park Service is preparing a special resource study of Public School 103 (P.S. 103), the elementary school of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, located at 1315 Division Street, Baltimore, Maryland, and any other resources in the neighborhood surrounding P.S. 103 that relate to the early life of Thurgood Marshall to evaluate their potential for inclusion within the National Park Service system. This property is a designated Baltimore City Landmark.

The public comment period is from April 1 - June 1, 2021, so time is running out! You can submit your comments on this project via the project website, by mail, or by phone. You can learn more about the study, watch videos of public presentations about the project, and provide your comments at this site:

New MyCoast Maryland App Ready for Use!


MyCoast Maryland app logo

The MyCoast Maryland app is ready for use! Please use the app to report flooding that you see across the city. The data collected will be used by the State and City of Baltimore to understand and address flooding.

News Alert! Baltimore Sun Reports on NPS resource study 

The Baltimore Sun has published an article on the National Park Service's Special Resource Study for PS103 in which CHAP Historic Preservation Planner Lauren Schiszik is quoted. The article can be found at this link

big truck day

Register for the DPW's Big Truck Day via phone (41-396-3310) or online (

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events.

06/03/2021  - 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. 

Agenda and WebEx information is available via this link.

If you are unable to participate, you may submit written testimony to

05/19/2021 - Sustainability Commission

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

Meetings are held monthly, currently via WebEx, and open to the public.

WebEx link for the May 19th meeting. 

06/01/2021 - 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.

The agenda, meeting notes, and presentations for UDAAP meetings are made available here.

06/08/2021 - 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. 

Information and an agenda for the meeting will be available here.


Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning