Master plans are typically required for proposed Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), institutions with proposed development opportunities, and large scale redevelopment sites. They set the stage for individual buildings or phased components of larger planned development. All proposed Master Plans in Baltimore City must have a Pre-Development meeting with Department of Planning staff. This meeting is mandatory prior to commencing design review. At the pre-development meeting, staff will provide preliminary comments related to the design and determine if additional staff design review is required. If the project requires Planning Commission approval or is otherwise considered significant, further design review by UDAAP may be required. UDAAP scheduling generally occurs 6-8 weeks prior to the anticipated review date.
The UDAAP process for master plans is similar to the aforementioned process with the exception that there is just one UDAAP phase (which could consist of multiple review sessions) after department staff design review.
The significant components of a Master Plan that are considered by the Department and the Panel are as follows:
- What are the existing conditions of the site? What important context pieces should remain and/or inform the redevelopment?
- Does the proposed development reinforce the urban grid and context? In what ways does it deviate from pattern and make for a stronger public realm?
- Is the pedestrian and vehicular circulation pattern clear and well connected?
- Does the massing concept make sense within the existing and adjacent context? How does it reinforce the overall diagram?
- Does the proposed landscape plan relate to this specific site and its location within the context? Does it support the major pedestrian and vehicular axis? How does it support the urban and community context?
Master Plans require an approval by the Director of Planning and Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) before proceeding further through any required approval process at Planning Commission or City Council. More than one presentation of proposed Master Plans is typically required to ensure that Panel comments are responded to adequately.