Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - September 2022

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  - September 2022

A Message from Chris Ryer, Director


We are moving into the second phase of Our Baltimore, the City's Comprehensive Plan update. 

During phase 1, we heard from residents across town through our Community Engagement Leadership Team, Storytelling Ambassadors, Open Houses, and survey.

From this feedback, we've identified 20 priority topics, including workforce development, food security/access, and affordable housing. These topics will be discussed at a series of workshops across Baltimore in October and November. Please join us at the one closest to you, or the workshop that focuses on the topic of most interest to you.

We can’t plan alone. Connect with your neighbors. Re-connect with your friends across town who you haven’t seen since 2019! We need everyone at the table to generate ideas and a vision for urban planning in Baltimore.

Chris Ryer, Director

Our Baltimore: Fall Public Meetings Scheduled

Join us to generate ideas and recommendations during the "Shape Your City" Workshops!

All are invited to join our “Shape Your City” workshops, co-hosted by the Department of Planning and members of our Community Engagement Leadership team (CELT). At the workshops, residents are invited to generate implementable and tangible recommendations.

We are hosting a series of nine workshops across the city so that there will be an opportunity for everyone to attend a workshop that is convenient to them.  Each workshop will focus on ONE priority topic, allowing time for the public to dive deep into generating recommendations. Two additional topics will be highlighted for "lightening round discussions” and materials will be available for input on all of the topics.

You can also share your ideas online via our Konveio platform over coming months. A centralized conference covering all topics is planned for December.

Click below to view the schedule PDF for fall workshops!


Background Briefs on Priority Topics for Our Baltimore Preparing for Release

Drawing from the American Planning Association's report Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans, staff identified four overarching themes to guide this plan:

  • Livable Places
  • Inclusive Economy
  • Harmony with Nature
  • Healthy Communities

Working with our Community Engagement Leadership team and residents through a series of Open House meetings, priority topics were identified under each theme. These topics were determined via public input and will evolve with additional feedback.

Livable Places: 

Affordable Housing, Community Development, Vacant Housing, Public Spaces, Transit Oriented Development, Equitable Development, Historic Resources, Public Transit, Freight Movement

Inclusive Economy:  

Workforce Development, Baltimore’s Competitive Industry Growth sectors, Small business ecosystem & entrepreneurship, Neighborhood retail, Broadband and Digital Equity

Harmony with Nature:

Tree Canopy, Environmental Justice, Neighborhood Cleanliness

Healthy Communities:

Public Health Disparities, Food Access and Security, Public Safety (Urban Design), Access to Green Spaces/Parks

First up, we have background briefs up on the topics of equitable development and workforce development:

What We Heard So Far and How Input Was Used

Phase 1 of Our Baltimore focused on listening to the public – through our Community Engagement Leadership Team (CELT) and Open House events, we heard about the issues that matter most to Baltimore residents.

  • Public feedback from our CELT team resulted in two additional topics added to our initial list. The new topics will cover public space and cleanliness, and we are determining how to 
  • The summary of input from the open houses is still online! This input provided our team with initial direction in terms of highest priority topics. You can read what we heard here.

  • Please check out the maps and data package here for background information - where we are as a city now in 2020. This planning process aims to generate strategies and recommendations for the next decade.

A full report on engagement thus far will be released in October and available on

2023 Grants for Historic Properties Redevelopment Programs

Grants for Historic Properties Redevelopment Programs (Revolving Funds) Announced

The 1772 Foundation has announced that grant funding will be made available for historic properties redevelopment programs (see definition below) throughout the United States.

Organizations that wish to be considered should send a one-page letter of inquiry to:

Letters of inquiry will be accepted until October 14, 2022.

Please read the announcement for details.

A historic properties redevelopment program (revolving fund) is an active real estate-based program for protecting endangered properties using techniques such as: options, purchase/resale, easements and tax credits. These historic structures ultimately are returned to the private sector with deed restrictions in place. Any proceeds realized from transactions are “recycled” to sustain the proactive preservation efforts of the program. The goal of these programs is community redevelopment using historic preservation as a tool.

Engage with the City!

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 September 14 at 6pm (TONIGHT), 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 and tell the Planning Commission about your priorities for physical improvements. 

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

Fun fact: The City Dept. of Transportation manages over 2,000 miles of roadways and 4,500 miles of sidewalks. Attend our CIP Info & Listening Session on September 14 at 6 pm to learn more about how the City funds improvements to this and other infrastructure!



Upcoming Commission Meetings.

9/13 and 10/11 - 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.

9/15 and 10/6 - 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.

9/21/22  - Sustainability Commission 

The Baltimore Commission on Sustainability, a 21-member body with 20 appointed by the Mayor and one city council representative appointed by the City Council President. The Commission oversees the implementation of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan, monitoring and reporting progress annually. 

Meeting URL:

Meeting ID: 179 867 0534

Password: Livegreen

9/22/22  - 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