Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - August 2022

Having troubles viewing this email? View as a webpage.

the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - August 2022

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


It’s been an exciting, but challenging summer at the Planning Department.  First, the bittersweet - Cheryl Casciani retired after leading the Community Planning & Revitalization (CP&R) team through a tumultuous period – during the COVID-19 emergency, elections and the post COVID-19 period.  She will be succeeded by Chad Hayes, a beloved Western District planner and former Main Street manager for Belair Edison. 

Cheryl wore a number of hats in her career, as Executive Director of CPHA, the founding Chair of the Baltimore Sustainability Commission, the Baltimore Community Foundation and ultimately as Chair of the Baltimore School Board.  Her last major endeavor was the development of the Clean Corps proposal (see below), to be funded by Recovery Funds, to provide fifteen neighborhoods with high numbers of vacant property with funding to self-administer their “clean and green” projects.  This project, originally developed by Kim Knox, our Green Network coordinator, has obtained the services of Ashley Cannon, a FUSE Fellow, who has the perfect combination of experience to manage this ambitious project. 

In other news, our team is continuing to adjust to the evolving landscape of hybrid work. All of our planners are still working virtually, and I urge you to contact them by phone or e-mail if you wish to schedule an in-person appointment. This month, we are also beginning to share space with BMZA - both in terms of office space and our hearing room. The BMZA will now meet in the eighth floor of the Benton Building instead of the second floor of City Hall.  We are excited about this, and hope this means that BMZA staff (and their wealth of knowledge on zoning issues) will become more familiar to the public.

There are several other significant hiring opportunities below.  Please keep your eye on individual commission hearing announcements.  The Planning Commission and CHAP, like the BMZA, are meeting in-person at the Benton Building, but the Sustainability Commission is still meeting virtually.  Our goal is to be able to offer both virtual and in-person hearings for each commission, but supply chain issues have delayed that implementation.

Stay cool Baltimore!

Chris Ryer, Director

Our Baltimore: August Updates

The Listening Phase of engagement is wrapping up!

Our Community Engagement Leadership team (CELT) is leading engagement this summer! A small sampling of what each organization has worked on:

  • The Greater Baybrook Alliance one-on-one conversations with residents of Baltimore, to learn more about their views on public transportation, economic development, green space, and public health and safety.

  • Outcast Food Network engaged 500+ residents of Baltimore through their food distribution work. They focused their engagement work on issues related to food access, as well as broader neighborhood issues of vacancy and uses for public spaces in the neighborhood.

  • The SW Partnership took a pop up approach, by engaging residents during community events - primarily festivals and resource fairs. At each event, organizers had one-on-one and small group conversations with residents to identify issues that mattered most to them.

Coming up this fall!

  • City staff are working on policy briefs for each high priority topic. These briefs will be released in September-October.
  • Our team is also working to develop a schedule of public engagement events for the fall (October-November) - these dates will be announced in September. The goal for these events will be to generate realistic recommendations for the plan document. (Writing the plan will happen in 2023).

Planners Visit Enoch Pratt library for Summer Programming


Planners visited the Enoch Pratt library for summer programming this August

Continuing our efforts to engage youth in Baltimore, several planners visited the Enoch Pratt library to facilitate a "Design Your City" workshop as part of the "Design Your Life" summer programming at the library. 

During the session, planners engaged youth by asking them to reflect on public spaces for teens. The team asked the young people to consider elements of urban design - how should a space feel and what elements are needed? 

What We Heard

Youth told us that they were looking for public spaces where they could enjoy quiet and calm. They were looking for spaces that felt welcoming, fun and safe.

In terms of urban design, they wanted clean bathrooms, natural lighting, plants/flowers/vegetation, colorful local art, comfy seating (like bean bag chairs), and fun food vendors selling snacks.

To read more about urban design with teenagers in mind, check out this article:

Clean Corps Launches

On August 2, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new initiative to address dirty alleys, unmaintained vacant lots and public trash cans as part of his Clean Corps initiative. Under this initiative, the City of Baltimore is investing $14.7 million of 2021 American Rescue Plan Act funding to partner with community and citywide organizations to hire Baltimore residents to clean dirty alleys, public trash cans, and overgrown and trash filled vacant lots in up to 15 selected neighborhoods.


Grantees will work with neighborhoods with the highest number of service request calls for boarding,  trash, and high grass and weeds; highest decrease in population; highest number of privately-owned vacant lots; and other factors.

Please see left for eligible neighborhoods.

The program combines workforce development, equity and empowering community-led efforts.  A Request for Applications will go out from the Baltimore Civic Fund approximately August 15 to community-based and citywide organizations to partner with neighborhoods to hire Baltimore residents at $15 per hour. 


This map illustrates the neighborhoods eligible for Clean Corps

The Baltimore Department of Planning’s Baltimore Green Network staff will be the point of contact for the city with this initiative. They will be working in close cooperation with the Baltimore Department of Public Works, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Baltimore Civic Fund.

For more information, contact Kimberley M. Knox, at or 410-396-5902.

Here's a link to the official press release.

And here's a link to news coverage from CBS.

Work with the City!

Baltimore's Office of Sustainability is hiring a City Planner Supervisor.

In this role, the City Planner Supervisor will lead the team's implementation of the City's Sustainability Plan. 

Please check out the posting and apply by Aug 26!

DPW is hiring for a Zero Waste manager. 

The Zero Waste Manager will advocate for, develop, and direct the implementation of zero waste policies and programs across Baltimore City. The person in this role will create incentives and collaborate on outreach with other Bureau of Solid Waste teams, city departments, and a wide range of organizations and people to expand and increase the city’s zero waste efforts. 
Help lead on this important issue!

Now Hiring: A Food Policy Fellow and a Food Policy Data Fellow

The Food Policy and Planning (FPP) Division of the Department of Planning seeks a Baltimore Corps Food Policy and Data fellow to assist in implementing a comprehensive 5-pillared response, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), to improve nutritional security, food access, and food equity during and after COVID-19. For more information please visit this site.


Engage with the City!

DPW is seeking to engage community members to identify our next round of potential quality improvement projects in high-priority areas. Communities are prioritized by considering equity, environmental health factors that could be improved through these projects, and physical constraints affecting the feasibility of these projects.   

DPW needs your input on pavement removal, rain gardens, tree planting, soil restoration (tilling the soil so it infiltrates better), and rainwater harvesting.   

Many opportunities to get involved with DPW:

  • If would like to take 3 minutes to share ideas now and sign up for future events,  please take our 3 minute Sign Up & Survey here  
  • If just want to sign up for future events/in-depth focus groups, please sign up here Sign Up Only. 
  • If you would like to collaborate (especially organizations that work in one of these high-priority areas), please let DPW engagement staff know by replying to  

Upcoming Commission Meetings.

8/9/22 and 9/13/22 - 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.

8/25/22 - 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.

8/11/22 and 9/1/22  - 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


Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning