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Planning / Divisions / Land Use and Urban Design

The Land Use and Urban Design Division ensures that development proposals are in line with the Comprehensive Master Plan, aesthetically pleasing, within the character of the respective neighborhood,and fiscally beneficial to the City of Baltimore. The Division serves as the first stop for development in the City of Baltimore. Working in conjunction with the Comprehensive Planning Division, the division leads all zoning and land use studies for the City.

Planners within this section have a keen understanding of the City's zoning and building codes, neighborhood character and history, and architecture and design principles. This division works closely with the Planning Commission to carry out its responsibilities effectively and meet City Charter and State development mandates. Planners in the Division review all new construction and some major renovation projects to ensure that they meet high development standards and are appropriate to their surroundings. These projects range from individual buildings to large subdivisions.

In addition, the Division also coordinates the work of the Design Advisory Panel, which brings together architects, planners, landscape architects, and architectural historians to review all major new projects downtown and in the neighborhoods from a design perspective. In addition, upon request, the Division provides design advice to community organizations. The Division also is involved with:

  • Evaluating regulatory policy on land uses and individual development projects requiring City Council legislation;
  • Reviewing and making recommendations on all subdivision proposals;
  • Making revisions to the Baltimore City Zoning Code
  • Making recommendations to the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals on all conditional uses and conversions of buildings;
  • Coordinating the interagency Site Plan Review Committee;
  • Coordinating the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP)


Department of Planning
Thomas J. Stosur, Director
417 E. Fayette Street
8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-7526 (PLAN)
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Other Contacts

Wolde Ararsa, Division Chief
(410) 396-4488

Subdivision Plans
(410) 396-8358

Site Plan Review Committee
(410) 396-8358

Floodplain Management
(410) 396-9508

Urban Design & Architecture Review
(410) 396-4107