Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - February 2022

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - February 2022

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


This month, we welcome an Assistant Director to our team! Nichole Stewart joins us and brings a wealth of background related to data analysis and research to our team. 

We also hosted a very well attended informational session as part of the "soft launch" for Our Baltimore - the Comprehensive Plan. Our team fielded many questions and comments about our Engagement Leadership team - as well as the broader planning effort. The planning process for Our Baltimore will begin in April 2022.

We are recruiting organizational partners now! Through Friday, February 18th, please submit your engagement proposal to be a part of our engagement team. This team will lead engagement, with special care to reach Baltimore residents who would not ordinarily participate in the public process. We want to make engaging with the planning process accessible, fun and meaningful. To do this, we are turning to community based organizations to lead and design the process for their community. 

Chris Ryer, Director

Our Baltimore Updates

The Department of Planning is starting work on a Comprehensive Plan, Our Baltimore, with a public launch planned for April. 

Baltimore’s next Comprehensive Plan will guide equitable neighborhood development over the next 10 years and beyond.  

The Comprehensive Plan asks, how can we make Baltimore an inviting place for residents so that our residents: 

  • Want to stay 
  • Benefit from staying 
  • Invite and encourage their family and friends to live in Baltimore 

Engagement Team: Apply by 2/18/22

In advance of our public launch, we are looking for engagement partner organizations to join a leadership team. This team will design and implement engagement opportunities for the community they serve. We anticipate selecting 15-20 organizations, and compensation will range from $5k-10k.

On February 2, 2022, we hosted an information session for all interested groups. After the session, we posted video of it, slides and Q&A to our website. We have also made available a rubric that explains how we evaluate the proposals for engagement. Please read the links below for more information. Proposals from organizations can be submitted here by Friday, Feb 18.

  • Info Sheet available here - this covers general FAQ  
    • Office hours available to talk through your application. Please seek link on last page of info sheet.

Community Design Fellows: Apply by 2/25/22

Community Design Fellows:

Community Design Fellows will support the overall Comprehensive Plan process, with a special focus on engagement, particularly engaging the youth voice.

This is a part time, temporary opportunity (~10 hours, weekly at $25, hour. It is an opportunity for community members with Baltimore roots to explore an urban planning career pathway. No specific experience is necessary; we are looking for residents who have shown an interest in urban planning through the work, academic or civic experience.

A job description is available via this link. Applicants can find more info and apply on our webpage:

Apply by Feb 25 for the Next Planning Academy

Planning Academy ad

Seeking Residents for the Spring Baltimore Planning Academy! 

The Planning Academy is now recruiting for our next cohort!  

The Baltimore Planning Academy is a FREE, six-week course that aims to build community leadership around urban planning, policy and development issues through a Baltimore lens. 

Workshops will be held on Wednesday evenings for six weeks beginning April 20, 2022. Workshops will be held primarily virtually, with some in-person outdoor sessions. 

No experience is necessary; we are seeking community members that are curious and enthusiastic about the topics and Baltimore City! Please invite your friends and neighbors to apply. 

Applications open on February 14, 2022 and will remain open thru February 25, 2022. Visit for more information and to apply. 

New Assistant Director Joins Planning Team

More new staff have joined the Department of Planning. In each newsletter, we will introduce you to them.


Nichole Stewart has joined as a new Assistant Director for the Department of Planning.

Nichole Stewart is a new Assistant Director for the Department of Planning. Previously, Nichole served as the Executive Director of Facilities for the Baltimore City Public Schools System where she regularly worked with DoP’s capital team. In that role, she managed City Schools' real estate office and analyzed enrollment, city demographic and housing trends to inform school closures, rezoning decisions, and the prioritization of long-term facility capital needs. Nichole is experienced in building staff capacity, facilitating department organization, and collaborative cross-functional decision-making. Her interests are in urban planning, housing, intersecting neighborhood data and indicators, and spatial analysis techniques using GIS. Nichole received her BS in Economics from Morgan State University, MCP in Community Planning from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


New water billing discount program launched by DPW


What We're Reading (& Watching)

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

  • A story from Philadelphia public radio covers historic preservation in Baltimore. What's special about Baltimore? First, the state of Maryland offers a rehabilitation tax credit for owner-occupied historic properties. And in Baltimore, the local preservation tax credit is the city’s most important building-saver, especially after the decline of the state-level credit. Created in 1996, it has incentivized the rehabilitation and reuse of over 3,500 older buildings.
    • The Baltimore tax credit program gives a total 10-year tax break on the value of any rehabilitation on a historic property. That means if a $100,000 house gets $200,000 worth of work done on it, the owner still only pays taxes on its original pre-rehab value.
    • Learn more about the tax credit offered by CHAP in Baltimore:
  • Soup and Stories organized at a Park Heights local school. The effort to bring community together was part of Reclaim Baltimore, an initiative of Baltimore Ceasefire.
  • The SNF Parkway Theatre and the Enoch Pratt Library have launched “Baltimore Living Archives,” a collective place keeping project that builds community and civic engagement.
  • A detailed profile of Troy Staton, who leads More than a Shop, a network of barbershops, beauty salons, and nail salons that brings resources to the community. 

Events and Opportunities

The Maryland Historical Trust's FY2022 Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program round is now open!

The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program promotes the acquisition, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic properties in Maryland. Eligible properties are limited to those listed in or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. A total of $600,000 is available for grants each year. Only online applications are accepted. 

To apply or view grant documents, or for more information, visit our website.

The deadline to apply is March 15, 2022 at 11:59pm EST.

Artist Recovery

Applications are now open for the Baltimore City Artist Recovery Grant Award (ARG), administered by Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) on behalf of the city, to support Individual Artists impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. To apply CLICK HERE.

Engagement Opportunities

Capital Improvement Program - Next Steps

On March 3 and March 17, the Planning Commission will review and vote on recommendations for the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which will determine which capital projects are recommended for funded in the upcoming fiscal year. The full schedule for the CIP process is available on our website.

New DOT Traffic Calming Policy

The Department of Transportation has a new policy about how they prioritize where traffic calming will go.

The proposed Traffic Calming regulations define certain terms, updates the applicant petitioning process, provides a simple request process through the Baltimore City 311 System, replaces the petitioning process with an opt-out post card system, and incorporates a new data collection and prioritization system.

Here is the link for details and to make comments - please submit by March 7, 2022

Learn more about the Our Baltimore upcoming process!

Our Baltimore

Upcoming Commission Meetings.

2/16/22 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. The January meeting covered the Climate Action Plan update - more info here!

2/24/22 - 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.

3/3 and 3/17/22  - 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

3/8/22 - 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