Development Guidebook

This guidebook covers basic topics in planning, gives an overview of the development process, and provides supplemental materials on how to evaluate a specific project. It is designed to be most useful to beginners in planning and to those looking for a practical guide to development.

The Department of Planning

The Department of Planning is the City agency entrusted with the role of guiding the harmonious development of the City of Baltimore. Our mission is centered on achieving one overarching goal: To make Baltimore the most livable, dynamic, sustainable and attractive city it can be, now and in the future. It has several divisions:

Land Use & Urban Design is the Department body tasked with ensuring 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. However, many other branches of the Department of Planning are involved in the development process. Further, the Department of Planning does not oversee all development-related review processes. Other involved review bodies include: