Baltimore City Planning Director

City of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
United States
Professional Areas: 
Civil Engineering
Economic Development
Landscape Architecture
Public/Nonprofit Administration
Regional Planning
Zoning Administration
Experience Level: 
AICP Certification: 

Non-Civil Service 

(Salary shall be set in the Ordinance of Estimates) 

The City of Baltimore is seeking a highly qualified professional to lead the City’s short and long range planning initiatives. The Director of Planning works closely with the City Administration, elected officials, community organizations, businesses, as well as institutional and non-profit stakeholders to fulfill our mission to “build Baltimore as a diverse, sustainable and thriving city of neighborhoods and as the economic and cultural driver for the region.” 


Baltimore is not only looking for a leader who can oversee a critically important agency comprised of talented professionals, but also for someone who can provide support for three Mayoral-appointed Commissions: 

  • Planning Commission 
  • Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation 
  • Sustainability Commission 

The Director of Planning oversees a staff of 50 professional planners organized in 6 divisions (Land Use and Urban Design, Historical and Architectural Preservation, Comprehensive Planning, Office of Sustainability, Research and Strategic Planning, and the Office of the Director) with an approved FY19 Annual Operating budget of $5.5M. The Planning Director serves in the Mayor’s Cabinet and reports to the Mayor’s Chief Operations Officer. The Department’s authority is largely derived from the City of Baltimore Charter, Municipal Code and Maryland State Law. 

Land Use and Urban Design (LUUD) 

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. In addition, the Division also coordinates the work of the Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP), 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 LUUD staff is comprised of 8 Full-Time Employees (FTEs). 

Comprehensive Planning 

The Comprehensive Planning Division divides planners into geographic areas (planning districts) who work closely with other City agencies, private citizens, neighborhood and Page | 2 

community based organizations, and non-profits to ensure that sound planning principles are the basis for neighborhood planning efforts. Comprehensive Planning staff also manages Baltimore’s Capital Improvement Program. To guide the City in making necessary physical improvements, the City Charter requires the Planning Commission to annually recommend a six-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to the Board of Estimates. Each year, the Planning Department works with the various City agencies to prepare and present a new six-year program. The Comprehensive Planning Division has 11 FTEs. 

Historical and Architectural Preservation 

The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) was established in 1964, and is currently governed by Article Six of the Baltimore City Code. Today CHAP oversees 36 local historic districts, over 200 landmarks, and manages a local historic preservation tax credit program. CHAP helps preserve and revitalize neighborhoods, celebrates City history, and promotes historic preservation as a proven economic driver for Baltimore City. The mayoral appointed Commission and its staff are located within the Department of Planning. The CHAP staff is comprised of 6 FTEs. 

Office of Sustainability 

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability develops and advocates for programs, policies, and actions by government, citizens, businesses, and institutions that improve the long-term environmental, social, and economic viability of Baltimore City. In addition to overseeing and tracking the implementation of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan, the Office integrates sustainability into City government operations and collaborates with other individuals and organizations working to advance community health and vibrancy. The Office of Sustainability has 12 FTEs. 

Research and Strategic Planning 

The Research & Strategic Planning Division provides information, research, analysis and evaluation of planning practices to inform the Department’s policy-making and neighborhood revitalization activities. The Division also provides City agencies and the Mayor’s Office with data analysis, best practice research and grant opportunities for the various fields of planning. The Research and Strategic Planning Division has two FTEs. 

To learn more about our overall work program, please visit: 


  • Oversee the work programs of each division, consistent with the goals of the City Administration, the provisions of the City Charter and the Department’s mission. 
  • Serve as Executive Secretary to the Planning Commission. 
  • Oversee the review of all land use and development proposals, including site plans, subdivisions, PUDs, requested zoning changes and all land-use related City Council legislation. 
  • Oversee development of the City’s annual Capital Improvement Program. 
  • Lead the City’s Comprehensive Planning efforts, and oversee development of area master plans for Planning Commission acceptance or adoption. 
  • Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the City’s zoning code, and propose updates and revisions as needed. 
  • Direct and oversee the City’s preparations to ensure a complete population count for the April 2020 Census. 
  • Approve and direct the execution of departmental policies, procedures and short- and long-term goals and plans; develop best practices to achieve departmental goals and fulfill all City Charter and statutory requirements. 
  • Represent the City and the Department by serving on various boards, commissions and work groups. 
  • Advise the Mayor and City Council of the department’s programs, activities, problems, needs, and strategic planning; speak before commissions, panels, boards, and the media; meet with state and federal agencies, city stakeholders, and neighborhood and community groups on departmental initiatives and plans. 
  • Oversee the departmental fiscal, human resources and administrative activities including formulating the department’s budget; directing the preparation of fiscal service proposals; developing performance measures and ensuring they are met or adjusted; and directing the execution of cost-reduction initiatives. 


  • Master’s Degree in urban or regional planning, landscape architecture, business, public administration, or a related field. Ten to fifteen years of recent professional experience in local planning, zoning administration, and/or economic development programs and five years of supervisory and management experience. 
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification is highly desirable. 
  • The ability to effectively delegate authority and responsibility while maintaining appropriate levels of accountability and operational control; 
  • Commitment to collaboration and engagement among employees, customers and community; 
  • Outstanding written, oral and presentation communication skills; 
  • The tenacity to work through complex, long-term and often difficult issues and projects. 
  • Personal and professional integrity of the highest order, demonstrated in both the candidate’s public and private life; 
  • The ability to work with and communicate effectively with all levels of the organization and the community on a straightforward and equitable basis; 
  • Models professionalism and expects professional behavior from staff, yet also has a sense of humor; 
  • Is committed to transparency through disclosure, clarity, and accuracy in communications with stakeholders; 
  • Fosters and promotes a collaborative, positive, team-oriented work environment – both internally with employees and other departments; and externally with partners and community stakeholders; 
  • Takes a proactive approach in bringing people together and thinking about the well-being of the community and staff; 
  • Builds community consensus, communicates clear direction and sets the tone with a compelling vision for the future to build on success and continuously improve the community; 
  • Makes effective and persuasive presentations on controversial or complex topics to city council, management and public groups. 
  • Knowledge of best practices in a large-city planning environment. 
  • Ability to prioritize ongoing and new projects. 
  • Ability to facilitate team building and employee relations. 
  • Ability to network and interact, as well as support effective partnerships with key groups and individuals. 
  • Knowledge of management practices and methods. 
  • Strong strategic and analytical skills. 


Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland, and the 30th-most populous city in the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is an independent city that is not part of any county. With a population of 611,648 in 2017, Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States. As of 2016, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just shy of 2.8 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area, the fourth largest CSA in the nation with a calculated 2016 population of 9,665,892. 

Baltimore has a “strong mayor” form of government where the Mayor serves as Chief Executive. The City Council consists of 14 members representing individual districts, and a City Council President elected at-large. 


Qualified individuals must email a cover letter and a resume specifically addressing qualifications relevant to this position to Please specify “Planning Director” in the subject line of your email. 

Contact: Nordia Malcolm 

Baltimore City Department of Planning 

417 E. Fayette Street 8th floor 

Baltimore, MD 21202 

Tel: (410) 396-2998 

OPEN DATE: August 13, 2018 

CLOSING DATE: September 21, 2018 Page | 5 

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT: Finalists must successfully pass drug and alcohol screening, a criminal background investigation, and education verification. 

Baltimore City offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurances; 11 paid holidays; retirement plan; and paid leave. 


Non-civil service positions are not bound by the Civil Service Commission or the Civil Service Rules. Non-civil service positions are considered “at will”. An “at will” employee, without the protections of the Civil Service Commission, may be discharged from their employment by the Appointing Authority, at any time, for cause or without cause. 

The Baltimore City Ordinance 18-111, Section 1(B) requires that all agency heads who report directly to the Mayor and any At-Will supervisory employees who report directly to the Mayor or to the Head of an Agency must be a resident and registered voter of the City of Baltimore throughout their term of office. Section (B)(1) allows candidate(s) prior to appointment, the opportunity to sign a Declaration of Intent to become a city resident and registered voter within (6) months of the effective date of their appointment. 

Published on:
August 7, 2018 - 3:15pm
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