Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - August 2021

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - August 2021

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


This month, we are launching a new Community Association Directory - a long awaited update. The directory offers a number of improved features for residents, making it easier to navigate and offering more information about our neighborhood associations across the city.

Check out the Directory via this link, and join us for training sessions to learn more over the months ahead. See below for the dates.

In addition, a note of thanks! Each year, we have great interns join our team.

This past year, we had Lauryn Countess join both the Office of Sustainability and Department of Planning. She supported communications initiatives across the board, including the production and coordination of this monthly newsletter. Lauryn will be heading back to school to complete her studies at Oberlin College.

We anticipate more opportunities to intern with our Department in the coming year - especially with the Comprehensive Plan coming up. We will be seeking out local students to join us, so please keep an eye on this newsletter and our internship page for more information.

Chris Ryer, Director

Baltimore’s Community Resiliency Hub Program Receives $1 Million to Install Solar and Battery Storage Systems for Three Community-Based Organizations 

A section of City of Refuge's rooftop that will soon be hosting solar panels! Picture c/o Brad Boston of SunCatch Energy.

A section of City of Refuge's rooftop that will soon be hosting solar panels! Picture c/o Brad Boston of SunCatch Energy.

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has awarded Baltimore City’s Community Resiliency Hub Program $1,000,000 in grant funding to install solar and battery storage systems for three Community Resiliency Hub partner organizations.

The three partner organizations are: City of Refuge in South Baltimore, Empowerment Temple in NW Baltimore, and Miracle City Church in SW Baltimore.

These installations will serve to reduce utility costs for the organizations and enable critical community services to continue when the power grid goes down. The team includes Groundswell, Inc, A.F. Mensah, SunCatch Energy, and SunLight General Capital.

The Community Resiliency Hub Program is community-centered initiative that increases community capacity to respond to emergency situations. The goal of this program is to better connect frontline community organizations with resources so that, in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, there is improved coordination and recovery services to under-resourced neighborhoods and their most vulnerable residents.

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Office of Emergency Management, and Department of Health work in partnership with the Resiliency Hubs to enable them to serve as a space where vulnerable neighbors can gather in times of emergency; access reliable power for their essential devices; receive supplies, food, and drinking water; access emergency heating and cooling; and store medications sensitive to temperature, among other things. 

Thanks to this award, there will now be 7 Community Resiliency Hub partner organizations in low to moderate income communities with solar and battery back-up systems! More information on this program is available via this link.

Now Hiring: COVID-19 Food Insecurity Fellow!

Equity Fellow

For more information, please visit the Baltimore Corps webpage.

Restaurant Day in Broadway East a Success!

Restaurant Day

The interior of the Pumphouse project will be soon ready for more community events in a post-pandemic world

With more than 75 residents and community partners, Broadway East celebrated the success of its first annual Restaurant Day this August.

The Baltimore Pumphouse hosted a complimentary Restaurant Day for the neighboring community, with partnering local vendors: Granny’s, The Crab King, and Pitango. 

Ella Durant, President of the Collington Square Community Association co-hosted the event and provided community updates, highlighting the work of Collington Club youth to paint vibrant, traffic-calming crosswalks.

Neighbors also saw construction starting on a new event hall run by Xquisite Catering. and reviewed renderings of a $500,000 artistic light installation to be built under the Amtrak bridge in Fall 2021. Finally, they heard about a NEW legacy family retention program designed to keep residents living in their community.

The Baltimore Pumphouse was featured during the Baltimore Planning Academy program in 2020 when the Department of Planning collaborated with American Communities Trust to host a site visit. To learn more about the history and future of this project, visit

Green Network Updates: New Grant Funds Stage; Movie Nights Scheduled

Artistic Rendering Legends Park

Artistic Rendering - Legends Park

New Grant Funds Stage at Legends Park

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority has awarded a grant of up to $70,000 to Legends Park for the construction of a stage, sign, and kiosk/storage container.  The amenities are part of the Druid Heights community's vision for the park, which is one of the Baltimore Green Network's pilot project sites.

Movie Night at Racheal Wilson Memorial Park Scheduled for 9/10

Movie Night at Racheal Wilson Memorial Park with a series of cartoons for children will be shown on Friday, Sept. 10 at Racheal Wilson Memorial Park's annex at 50 S. Pulaski.  Admission is free but guests are encouraged to bring a chair.

Movie Night for Cab Calloway Legends Park Scheduled for 9/24

Movie Night at Cab Calloway Legends Park where "Stormy Weather" featuring Cab Calloway and his band along with Lena Horne, Bill Robinson and Nicholas Brothers, will be shown near Cab Calloway Legends Park's playground at 2216 Etting on Friday, Sept. 24, starting at 7 p.m.  Admission is free but guests are encouraged to bring a chair.

New Effective Date for the City's Plastic Bag Ban: October 1, 2021

Bag Ban

The Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act was signed into law in January 2020, banning single-use plastic bags at the point of sale. The enforcement date changed due to the Pandemic, but now, beginning on October 1st, 2021, businesses will charge a minimum of $0.05 for each alternative bag distributed to customers at checkout. In order to reduce waste and avoid the bag fee, we're encouraging Baltimore residents to 'Plan for the Ban' and remember to Bring Your Bag when shopping! Check out the full press release here and visit the Baltimore Office of Sustainability's website to learn more. 

New Community Association Directory Launches

Over the past year, a team at the the Department of Planning took on updating the format of the Community Association Directory (CAD) for the first time in twenty years, and the new directory is now available in its new format at this link:

Join us to learn about the functionality of the new directory and its features via upcoming webinars. Save the date for two webinars - a link to join virtually will be provided soon!

  • August 25, 5:30 PM
  • September 22, 5:30 PM

An overview of the Directory and how to register is available online via this link. In addition, there is a Frequently Asked Questions document available for here.

21st Century Schools

Youth Reveal the Together Govans Mural

Mural Art

Together Govans celebrates love and community.

There may be road construction. We may be wearing masks. But nothing could dampen the energy at York Road and 43rd Street, where youth working with BOPA’s Art @ Work program unveiled a new mural celebrating the Govans neighborhood (see image above).

Over the last 6 weeks the youth canvassed neighborhood residents, and then worked with professional artists (lead: Iandry Randriamandroso, intern: Desire Thaniel) on this project. York Road Initiative/Loyola University Maryland was the community partner.

“Together Govans” celebrates love and community. According to the team it represents togetherness and care for each other. It is the 10th Art@Work mural installation supported by the Department of Planning's INSPIRE program. The project was supported to align with the rebuilding of the Walter P. Carter Building.

Youth apprentices included Kiyan Reid, Antoine Padonou, Jamya Edwards, Sherrill Richardson, Ameila Henry, Nukieah Brooks, and Kashae White

Want to see more? 

CIP Information & Listening Session on August 25 from 7-8:30pm

We want to hear from you about your priorities for the capital budget! The capital budget is how the City funds improvements to our physical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, sidewalks, bike lanes, libraries, parks, recreation centers, senior centers, and more. 

On August 25 at 7pm, the Planning Commission will hold an online Capital Improvement Program Listening & Information Session. This will be a chance to learn about the capital budget process, hear about potential new evaluation criteria for capital projects, and express your priorities to the Planning Commission. 

The event will be held virtually on the Webex platform. More information and a link to the meeting is available on our website

With questions, contact

August 2021 Baltimore Commission on Sustainability Monthly Meeting - 8/18/21

Join the Commission on Sustainability each month to learn about initiative, projects and programs intended to make the city more sustainable. Each month we will explore strategies and action items outlined in the 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan, highlighting local partners supporting these efforts. Meetings will also include important updates from the staff at the Office of Sustainability on topics ranging from urban agriculture to waste reduction to transportation.

The August 2021 meeting will focus on the circular economy, featuring wood waste work across Baltimore City. Trees have a cycle of life – from seedling to sapling to mature tree, and then breaking down into soil to nurture the next generation of trees. Baltimore is building an economic cycle of life for trees: trees that must be cut down are used for wood, with the proceeds funding more tree planting and jobs. Learn about this circular economy with the Commission on Sustainability during our next meeting.

New *Online* Payment System for CHAP Tax Credit Available!

CHAP is excited to announce the deployment of an online payment system for the Historic (CHAP) Tax Credit. When submitting a tax credit application, applicants will be directed to an online payment window to pay the application fee. The fee can be paid by check or credit card through the online system.  It will take at least 24 hours for the payment to reflect on your application. Applicants will no longer be able to mail in paper checks for their applications. 

The Baltimore City Office of Sustainability (BOS) and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) want to hear from you! 

We are seeking community input to support the development of a community preparedness training program. 

Your survey responses will directly inform the scope and structure of the program to help build resilience within Baltimore communities. The survey should take less than 10 minutes and all responses will be used for data collection purposes only. The survey will remain open until Monday, August 16th

If you have questions or comments, please contact Shelly Smith, Preparedness Section Chief with OEM, at Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness.

Upcoming Commission Meetings.

08/12/2021 - 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.

08/26/2021  - 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

9/14/21 - 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