Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - October 2021

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - October 2021

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


Every fall, the planning directors of the nation’s largest cities gather for a peer learning opportunity at the Big City Planning Directors Institute. This past fall, my colleague Eleanor Sharpe from the Philadelphia Planning Commission proposed developing a joint statement on racial equity as a group. 

From a workgroup of 5 cities to a larger group of 20 Directors of Planning, including the City of Baltimore, a statement has now been co-signed and released. We hope that additional cities, large and small, from across the United States will join us.

The statement first acknowledges the contributions of city planners to segregation and systemic racism. More precisely, in Baltimore, urban planning initiatives and policies have contributed to the very structures that perpetuate the disparities that exist to this day. 

Looking forward, the statement commits planning directors and our teams to advocate for change from within our profession. In our agency, this work began in 2015 as planners reckoned with the role of planning within Baltimore's history. Over the past year we have made progress adding equity criteria to our CIP investment strategy and piloting an equity analysis in our staff reports to Planning Commission. Next, we are developing an engagement strategy that prioritizes equity for the Comprehensive Plan - we will welcome your ideas to shape this effort over the coming months.

Chris Ryer, Director

City's Plastic Bag Ban Has Begun!


The city’s ban on plastic bags, postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic first in January and then July, took effect on Friday, October 1. 

Plastic bags are now banned at the point of sale, and businesses will be charging 5 cents for bags given to you by cashiers. 

Eight U.S. states and hundreds of municipalities like Baltimore have chosen to ban single-use plastic bags because they are an enormous part of our pollution problem, both at home and world-wide. Did you know that:

  • Plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes each, but can take up to 500 years to degrade
  • The three trash interceptors in the Baltimore harbor, aka the Mr. Trash Wheel family, have collected over 700,000 plastic bags, with an uncountable number still in the harbor
  • Lightweight plastic bags are the type of debris most likely to be carried by the wind away from trashcans and landfills, ending up in trees, storm drains, streams, and eventually the ocean
  • Plastic bags cannot be accepted in Baltimore City’s recycling system (or at most other recycling centers), and in fact can gum up sorting machines and cause them to break down
  • Plastics are made from petroleum and are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, which fuel climate change
  • Plastic bags and other types of plastic pollution are clogging the ocean and killing marine wildlife, including the fish and other species we rely on to eat

Learn more —

For Retailers: details on the text of the new law, how it applies to you, how to alert your customers, and what you need to do

For Residents: details on why the law is changing, how this will impact you, and what the city is doing

Planning Academy Alumni Making an Impact: Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo

Since 2018, 150+ Baltimore City residents have joined the Planning Academy, a small, cohort based civic engagement program which aims to demystify zoning and development review in Baltimore. 

In this new Compass series, we are sharing some of the accomplishments from alumni of the Planning Academy to showcase the breadth of skills and contributions each participant brings to the City of Baltimore.


Women’s Home Preservation, founded by Planning Academy alumna Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo, is spearheading a $1.8M redevelopment project on W Baltimore St.

Redlining and structural disinvestment have kept long stretches of commercial corridors in Baltimore City vacant. Such is the case for West Baltimore Street, a once vibrant corridor that has been struggling to regain its former significance.

On West Baltimore Street, the Women’s Home Preservation, founded by Planning Academy alumna Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo, is spearheading the redevelopment of 1401-1403 W Baltimore St. The mixed-use project will feature apartments and an Afrocentric café. This redevelopment is named Madikizela in homage to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to symbolize the resilience, intellect, grace and elegance of the Black woman.


The redevelopment will transform a once blighted corner of Baltimore City into apartments for single parent households and healthcare workers of the surrounding medical institutions. The Afrocentric café will introduce Baltimoreans to African organic beverages and African literature.

Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo built a coalition of partners who are committed to seeing positive change. She retained architecture firm Gensler to design the concept and oversee the construction. Various business leaders and staff at the Department of Planning and DHCD continue to lend their expertise.

The community will see its own imprint in the new building, having participated in every design session with Gensler. Many of the amenities chosen came out of this close collaboration with the residents of Union Square and Franklin Square. For example, parents highlighted the need for a safe space for their teens and this led the project team to carve out a teen-friendly makerspace to be equipped with a 3D printer.

For more information please visit:

Nadine Group

Edith Gilliard Canty - President of the Franklin Square Community Association Kurt Sommer - Executive Director of the West Baltimore Renaissance Foundation Will Brockman - Owner and developer of 4 S Calhoun St Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo - Developer of 1401-1403 W Baltimore St Paige Single - Owner and developer of 1400 Hollins St Biffort Browning - President of the Union Square Association

Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo (third from left in image above) founded the Women’s Home Preservation.

The Women’s Home Preservation is a mission-driven real estate development firm focused on creating housing for women who are heads of households. This mission was born out of Nadine Ngouabe Dlodlo’s own lived experience as a single mother. 

Prior to this, she worked in global finance and infrastructure development with multinational financial institutions including the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group). Last year, she was awarded the Secretary's Citation by Secretary Robert S. McCord of the Maryland Department of Planning in recognition of her community work.

New Staff Join CHAP and Sustainability

New DOP staff are joining our team this Fall. In each newsletter, we will introduce you to them.


Anthony Stewart is a Project Designer working for the City of Baltimore as a City Planner for the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.

Prior to joining the CHAP team, Anthony worked as a Project designer for several local Architecture firms specializing in residential housing, senior living and commercial buildings.

Anthony graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communications with a concentration in Architecture from North Carolina A&T. He then went on to get his Master of Architecture degree from Morgan State University (Go Aggies & Bears!) In Anthony’s spare time he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his wife and their puppy.


Tyriq Charleus joins the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation as a City Planner. Tyriq earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture & Environmental Design from Morgan State University. Originally from the Washington DC area, Tyriq loves working in the Historic Preservation field because of all the uncovered knowledge that can be discovered daily. He fell in love with Baltimore City as he matriculated through Morgan State University and wanted to become an agent of change for communities. It is a goal for Tyriq to be a steward of knowledge for the next generations to come.


Kas Tebbetts joins us as a Climate Community Engagement Fellow at Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability. She is excited to build community around sustainability in Baltimore and inspire equitable climate action for the city.

In the past, she has worked with local history museums, urban farmers, community activists, architecture firms, real estate developers, and financial institutions in her ongoing endeavor to understand community development from every perspective. Kas originally hails from East Texas, holds a B.A. in Architecture and Urban Studies from Yale University, and spends all her time with her two wonderful and slightly-crazy Kuwaiti rescue dogs.  


West North Avenue Development Authority launched

As announced on September 30th at Coppin State University, Senate Bill 783 established a West North Avenue Development Authority to work in coordination with residents to create a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy for the area and its buffer zone. This plan will be targeted at benefiting the residents, housing, neighborhoods, economic development, and the transportation of both pedestrians and vehicles.

Census Week is Coming Up!

During the week of October 25, the Department of Planning will roll out a series of new material on the results of the 2020 Census.

  • Background information on the 2020 Census and archival materials such as our Census outreach plan is still available at
  • Our data and demographics page has been updated to include links to Council District and Neighborhood-level mapping tools to analyze data, and additional resources from other sources and partner organizations

Additional information will be added to our webpages and social media accounts as we continue to go through the data available.

A public webinar is scheduled for October 26 at 6 for anyone interested in how to navigate all the new data.

Join the webinar via the link below:

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only):

+1 667-228-6519,,420037143#   

What We're Reading (& Watching)

Quick links to interesting reports, articles and opportunities that are on our radar.

  • A Transit Equity report was released in September. This is a collaborative project between Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition, and Baltimore community members; it aims to better understand the relationship between the public transit system, social vulnerability, air pollution, and health impacts in the Baltimore region.
  • An interesting analysis of Census data finds that there has been an increase of high income Black earners in Baltimore. Check out the anaysis from Donte Kirby at
  • The Made in Baltimore initiative and its new Home Run Accelerator program is highlighted in Next City Magazine, as part of a model to build more economic opportunity.
  • Baltimore Architecture Foundation and Baltimore Heritage kick off Doors Open Baltimore with Dr. Lawrence Brown, author of The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America.

    If you missed it, you can watch the program via this link:

  • Next month, The Guardians project will open as an exhibit at the Carroll Mansion, in partnership with the Peale. This project is a photo documentary and storytelling effort that includes photo portraits, large scale banners, and digital archives that celebrate unrecognized Black female leaders across Baltimore City neighborhoods. The exhibit opens on November 6 - RSVP here. And, read more about the project via this link.
Sister Israel

Yeshiyah Israel, of Pimlico/Park Heights, is one of the female leaders highlighted by the Guardians project - Ms. Israel is also an alumna of the Planning Academy.

Historic Preservation Funding Opportunities

The 1772 Foundation has announced that grant funding will be made available for historic properties redevelopment, including feasibility studies.

  • Organizations that wish to be considered should send a one-page letter of inquiry to:
  • Letters of inquiry will be accepted until November 12, 2021.

Please read the announcement for details.

The Miller History Fund is a competitive granting program administered by the Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC). Annually, $200,000 in state funding is redistributed to heritage organizations throughout Maryland towards capacity-building projects that build the resiliiency and impact of our stewards and interpreters of history. 

  • Interested applicants can attend a virtual seminar on 10/28, and apply by 12/10
  • More information is available via this link.

Fall Engagement Opportunities

Zoning: The Department of Planning will host a virtual evening public meeting to garner feedback and input on City Council Bill #21-0113/ Zoning Code Modifications. 

Date and Time:  October 19, 2021; 6-8 PM

Log In Information:

Event number: 2348 758 3110
Event password: Planning

Sustainability Commission Meeting - 4-6pm 10/20

The October 2021 Commission meeting will feature Eric Jackson, Servant Director of Black Yield Institute, and Mariya Stauss, Executive Director of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore. Eric and Mariya will address reparatory policy recommendations outlined in the 2021 report entitled Community Control of Land: The People's Demand for Land Reparations in Baltimore City

Click here to read the full report.

DHCD is seeking input on Baltimore City's Inclusionary Housing requirements. An interim report from a consultant team is available for review and comment thru 10/26/21.

Visit this website to view and provide input.

Upcoming Commission Meetings.

10/7/2021 & 10/28/21  - 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

10/12/2021 - 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.

10/16/2021 Sphinx Club Celebration at Legends Park

Legends Park in West Baltimore is hosting a public celebration to honor the Black history of the Sphinx Club on Saturday, 10/16 from 1-3.

10/20/2021 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. Meeting agendas can be found here.  

10/21/2021 - 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.


Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


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