Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - March 2023

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Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter   

March 2023

Our Baltimore Header

A Message from the Director


Ryer Headshot

Welcome to March!

We’ve been working on a couple new initiatives in the Planning Department that I want to share.  Below you will see a brief description of our Clean Corps initiative, a program to assist over a dozen neighborhoods with Recovery Funds to hire underemployed residents to clean and mow neighborhoods that have been impacted by declining population and increased demolition during the pandemic.

We also launched, with our partners at DHCD, Healthy Neighborhoods and Live Baltimore, an ARPA funded initiative to address population loss in a new group of “Middle Neighborhoods”.  We will be reporting on that in a future newsletter. Finally, our team at Planning worked to prepare recommendations for the City’s capital budget as well as the budget for the Pimlico Impact Aid area of northwest Baltimore. 

To continue this great work, we are recruiting for four open positions – community planners for the Southwestern and Western districts, a planner to administer our Forest Conservation regulations, and a planner to coordinate our equity and engagement work.  All are listed on our web page, but please note the City’s new application process, one must apply to each position separately! 

Finally, I’d like to welcome Valarie Rupp to the Office of Sustainability team. Valerie has had a long career in “effective advocacy” in Baltimore, and we are happy to welcome her to our team.

Chris Ryer, Director

Mayor Kicks Off Clean Corps

Mayor Kicks Off Clean Corps

Mayor Brandon Scott, Kathy Christian of Midway CDC and Dr. Doris Minor Terrell of Broadway East CDC

In February, Mayor Brandon Scott kicked off Clean Corps, a Mayoral Initiative that is being led by the Baltimore Department of Planning's Baltimore Green Network Initiative in partnership with DPW, MOED, and HCD.

Funded by ARPA funds, six Baltimore-based nonprofits are working with sixteen underinvested neighborhoods to hire Baltimore un- and under-employed residents to clean community-selected alleys on a weekly basis, clean and mow community-selected vacant lots on a biweekly basis, and clean public trash cans daily in the targeted neighborhoods.   The neighborhoods are: Arlington, Boyd-Booth/Penrose-Fayette Street, Broadway East, Carrollton Ridge, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Darley Park, Druid Heights, East Baltimore Midway, Four by Four, Franklin Square, Greenspring, Harlem Park, Penn North, Sandtown-Winchester, Upton and Westport.

Coming Soon:  Revised Neighborhood Statistical Area Map

The Department of Planning is updating the Neighborhood Statistical Areas (NSA) map, in conjunction with the decennial census. This map does not reflect community associations or their boundaries.  It is a tool for collecting and displaying data. This map is based on census block geography and needs to stay relatively consistent in order to compare data over the decades. 

Following each decennial census, we make limited updates to the map.  Over the last year, we compiled community input through multiple surveys and spent the past few months conducting an internal review.  In the next few weeks, we will publish a new Neighborhood Statistical Area map and an online map.  If you’d like a new printed map, please contact

Baltimore City Climate Action Plan Logo

Join us! In March, the Office of Sustainability will host three virtual workshops to discuss community visions for moving climate action forward in Baltimore as part of the city's Climate Action Plan Update. Each of the 3 virtual workshops will be in the same format with discussions around the same topics, so please sign up for just the one workshop that is most convenient for you. Workshop #1 is currently full but the other 2 have plenty of space available:

Please click a registration link above and sign up to reserve your space. All workshop attendees can choose to be compensated for their time at a rate of $25/hour. To ensure we have the necessary information to process your payment, please follow these steps:

  1. Register for a date and time above;
  2. Fill out, sign, and send in a W-9 to with the subject line “W-9 Workshop #1, 2, or 3” before the workshop and; 
  3. Actively participate in the virtual workshop you signed up for. 

Checks will be mailed to the address provided on the W-9 in the weeks following the event you attend. If you need assistance filling out your W-9, please email and we can work with you.

We will also be hosting an upcoming in-person workshop in April that will build off of the virtual workshops so stay tuned for more information. We appreciate your time and look forward to your engagement with us! Your participation will help us create a plan that reflects your community priorities and lived experiences.

Call for Sustainability Commission Applications

The Baltimore Commission on Sustainability oversees the implementation of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan. The Commission is made up of members representing environmental groups, community organizations, labor unions, public health and environmental justice interests, and private industry. The Baltimore Commission on Sustainability currently has vacancies to be filled. Those interested in serving on the Commission may apply at this link to be considered for appointment by the Mayor. Interested residents who are part of demographic groups that have been historically excluded from or unacknowledged for their role in advancing sustainability in Baltimore are encouraged to apply, particularly those engaged in work related to local business, organized labor, nature, or transportation. Please send any questions to Amy Gilder-Busatti, Sustainability Manager, at

Green Network Pilot Project: Cab Calloway Legends Park

Former street at the 2200 Block of Etting in the middle of the Cab Calloway Legends Park

Green Network Pilot Project: Cab Calloway Legends Park

One of the Baltimore Green Network's pilot projects, Cab Calloway Legends Park reached an important milestone last month.  All of the 14,000 square feet of alleys and street within the footprint of Cab Calloway Legends Park was removed to create a green space for the park. 

Thanks to a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake and Coastal Bay grant and a grant from the Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development's Community Legacy program, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation removed all of the pavement from the park's footprint.

The Baltimore Green Network is an initiative of the Baltimore City Department of Planning to work with neighborhoods to transform vacant lots into community amenities as well as create a multi-use trail around the city of Baltimore

Tracking American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding and Performance

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $641 million to the City of Baltimore through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. The Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs has created a dashboard to share details regarding proposals submitted for funding, funded projects, and project performance.


More than $10m to Improve Food Access and Equity

The Department of Planning’s Food Policy team was awarded $11.07 million  ARPA funding for “Improving Nutritional Security, Food Access, and Food Equity in Baltimore City during and after COVID-19.”  For more information, check out a summary of the Food Policy team’s work in 2022.  Thank you to all our partners, community organizations, and stakeholders that helped the food policy and planning team achieve all these accomplishments!

Baltimore Urban Agriculture Convening

On February 6, 2023, Food Policy and Planning and the Office of Sustainability hosted the Baltimore Urban Agriculture Convening. The event’s goals were to share updates between city government and local farmers, gather feedback on urban agriculture and land use policies for the City’s comprehensive plan, and determine future pathways for collaboration and networking. The convening was held at the War Memorial and attended by over 60 farmers and organizations across the City and State that support our farmers. Thank you to all who attended and supported the convening and provided valuable feedback.

Baltimore Urban Agriculture Convening

Research about Dollar Stores

Johns Hopkins is studying the role and impact of dollar stores in Baltimore City communities in order to recommend policy changes to improve healthy food access. The research team is seeking interviews with community members, food retail and dollar store staff. Interviewees are eligible to receive $20 in compensation for their time. To participate, contact Samantha at

Dollar Store Fact Sheet

Helping Victims of SNAP Fraud

In September of 2022, The Baltimore Banner featured an article, which was later featured on the podcast This American Life, demonstrating the impact of SNAP fraud and its connection to a nation-wide EBT cloning scheme. In Maryland, over 800,000 residents receive SNAP benefits, with roughly 140,052 participants living in Baltimore City. As of May 2022, DHS has received 240 reports of fraud totaling $163,000 of SNAP benefits. In December 2022, Congress passed a law which requires states to reissue stolen food benefits. Maryland was the first state to apply and have reimbursement for SNAP fraud improved. Subsequently, Governor Wes Moore recently announced he will allocate $11.3 million dollars in state and federal funds to reimburse victims of SNAP fraud. These funds will play an integral role in repairing the damage done to victims of SNAP fraud living in Maryland.

Upcoming Commission Meetings & Events

March 9, 2023- (VIRTUAL MEETING ONLY) 5:00 PM

Dept. of Planning Listening Session - CCB #22-0285 - Abundant Housing Act

For the purpose of amending certain provisions of the Baltimore City Zoning Code to promote increased development of low-density multi-family dwellings in certain residential districts; establishing standards for the conversion of single-family dwellings into low-density multi-family dwellings; establishing opportunities to increase density if a low-density multi-family dwelling is a certain distance from certain City amenities; amending certain permitted and conditional uses; amending certain bulk and yard standards; eliminating certain required off-street parking requirements; and defining certain terms.

JOIN Listening Session  HERE

March 14, 2023- 1:00 PM

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 are available HERE

March 15, 2023- (VIRTUAL MEETING ONLY) 4:00 PM -  6:00 PM

Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability

The March meeting will focus on continuing discussions from the February meeting about the status of implementation of the 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan and setting the sustainability agenda for 2023 and beyond.

SIGN UP for meeting HERE

March 16, 2023 - IN PERSON 1:00 PM                                               

Planning Commission

This meeting will include a vote on the FY24-29 Capital Improvement Program as well as other agenda items. 

March 23, 2023 


Check here for the agenda.

city of baltimore

Brandon M. Scott,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Chris Ryer,