Commercial Development Committee
November 24 2015
Rev. Albert Merritt
Zoning Review – Brent Flickinger
A lot has changed with zoning since the last update in the mid 1970’s.
Zoning R was residential
M was industrial with some limited office.
B was business office or residential but not flexible.
New zones will be more open handed
Some zones will exist that will encompass the direction (not the specifics) it could go instead of a fixed specific use as the neighborhood may not know yet what type will occupy the area be it residents or businesses. i.e. residential dentist office
Counsel is passing the new code in a few months. Once this happens the mapping will be final. Some zoned spaces will be grandfathered in. If the space has not been in use for one year the zoning will be lost and will need to be applied for prior to occupying the space.
C1 is now for residential C2 zone is residential and can include retail stores.
Zones C3 is for shopping center, C4 for heavy commercial traffic and C5 downtown.
Business must be listed to be included in a zone. New codes has several levels like B1, B2 and B3.
I1 will allow businesses to do anything they need as long as their operation is enclosed.
IMU zone will fit the Baltimore corridor zone or similar areas and include light commercial and office as well as residential which will allows for living near your work opportunities.
Currently spot zoning is needed to zone specific occupation. Spot zoning requires the approval of local representative.
Retail will be classified as general good with or without liquor store. All undesirable businesses like check cashing and carry outs have been pulled out. Specific zoning will be needed for those types of business.
If one block is residential and is zoned RA, a neighborhood petition could request that an occupant be zoned as a store and be designated as limited commercial in the middle of a residential zoning.
Row house mix use will be acceptable and zone RA could be selected to add this row house to limited mix use, first floor uses can be acceptable.
Review proposed zoning tables and their occupancy rules:
P is permitted
Blank means it cannot be done
C is conditional and need several approvals.
Review SWP area proposed mapping:
R8 are staying R8 on the map and some R9 zones have become R8 since the zoning definition is based on density.
R9 has more density.
R10 has the highest density and is reserved for apartment buildings.
Some iconic buildings are on Baltimore and they may be changed to mix industrial buildings. To do so Brent advised that the map be reviewed and request for rezoning be provided as soon as possible. A full detail up to date document is located in rewriteBaltimore.com. The requested change needs to be sent before Dec 15 at 6pm. Any requests after that date might not be considered or could require more effort for acknowledgement and approval. It would be advisable to meet with the neighborhood president to discuss the requested change. It is advisable to send the information before the meeting. Also it would be good to contact the representative to alert him that we are reviewing the mapping. Michael Seipp to take the lead on this effort.
Question: Primo Chicken is currently non-conforming. The owner and the neighborhood want to keep the store and want neighborhood designation. They will be grandfathered and will ask that they be zoned. At this time it is not advisable to ask that it be zoned C1 as the C1 retail stores are allowed to be opened to do business 24 hours. Thought this is not the case with Primo Chicken it could become an issue when if and when a new business moves into this space. It should be noted that zoning is associated with the location and not the business.
Development and Main Street Updates – Michael Seip
W Baltimore Street as Main Street. Application was submitted last time BDC open the opportunity about 8 years ago it was not granted. Michael has spoken to a few people and what is now talked about is to propose to have a Main Street, SWP Main Street. If BDC accepts, this Main Street would have 2 boards of directors: one to focus on Pigtown and one on Baltimore Street. Ben is fine with this idea. Michael is proposing that if this proposal does not work then the business committee could speak to Ben and see how to come up with a solution. The Commercial Development Committee would need to find 3 people from this committee to work on this effort as well as write the proposal and present it. Stacy stated that the group should include a resident, a commercial owner and a property owner. BDC Main Street program is not the source of funding for Main Street and other sources will have to be found.
Is using Main Street model and staying independent from Main Street Pigtown not a better idea since the main issue is funding and BDC is not funding? The focus is what can be done to start as fast possible and the idea is to have a proposal and get everyone to buy-in in order to create a structure that helps things move forward. Brent suggested that we use the document previously presented to BDC.
BDC offers to present to all what Main Street is about and what should be looked at when setting up for this national program. It was started to fight against big box stores and help single businesses to regain share and continue to remain in neighborhoods. This model has been successful. BDC took it up about 15 years ago. The funding is max 10K to 15K per year. Last time it was open for Main Street was 8 years ago. Following the model and finding the right person to run is key to success. Hampden outgrew the program while Main Street Brooklyn was a failure. Federal Hill is still part of the program. Michael will send document to Stacy and Catherine in 1 week.
Strategic Plan for Funding – Stacy Smith
In depth conversation about funding will take place at a later meeting.
Funding is being discussed at this time and could be coming from the mayor’s anchor strategies. This source of funding could help BDC become interested in helping with the approved plan.
Updates from the sub-committees
Crime and Grime –Daniel
Carey Street was cleaned up by Park and People and has become more walking friendly. The bridge fix up is going to be very expensive. B&O is part of the conversation. Decision on implementation and funding are ongoing. The car repair shop near the bridge on the Southside is now gone.
DPW is looking at the grime and funding might come to improve clean up. Crime is not changing much. Also some additional funding might be coming the support could amount to $2.5M.
Could prayer walks take place in this neighborhood. Currently the Pastor is having gang talks with the city. Lt Colonel Russel has been given the management of the community officers The officers roll up to him and is focus if to create good relationship. Some faith people are also involved. Stacy pointed out that we really need to focus on this issue and ask if the city task force was really working on this. Walks are taking place in Sandtown. Some walks could be organized on Baltimore Street. Should we ask the district meeting to put this on the agenda.
City cameras are actually ineffective. Do residents want to band together to buy solar power cameras that can be helping the police? if those cameras are set up in houses and connected to Wi-Fi they could be connected to the police department and help complement the city cameras.
Wide spread theft and assault by teens could be reduced by restricting the bus cards provided to students that gives bus access to the entire city all the time.
Resource/Development – John
John Brady John Reiner.
John Brady is now leading the committee. Stacy will be working with John.
Code Enforcement – Darren
No updates now
Southwest Partnership Updates
The Preservation and Promotion Committee is now The Preservation committee. He had asked that signage should be created for each neighborhood and includes few words with the name of the neighborhood. The Southwest Partnership’s Promotions Consultants are going to develop this branding and will start with postcards for each 7 neighborhood.
Branding plan will be presented at the annual meeting in January.
Commercial Development attendees did not oppose the signage requested by the upcoming gym in the shopping center located in Pigtown footprint. Brent said the signage proposal will be sent to Pigtown for their information.
Live Baltimore and police and cadets met and visited some of the neighborhoods. The new police commissioner said based on a new program the new recruits will receive $2.5K as an incentive for live and work in Baltimore. The commissioner is also a proponent of foot patrol and will make all effort to insure that this happens in the SWP neighborhoods.
- Annual meeting should be in a different format. Instead of a meeting during the week day it could be a dinner on a Saturday night or a cocktail and dance at the Pigtown ballroom and have cocktail and dance.
- Dec 4 at 6 pm – Korean day will make it for full resource day. Richard Parker and Jane Shaab will attend the meeting. Dinner will be served. Michael will ask the consultants under contract to find the right media communication to promote this effort. Noted: One should ask if this is something fine with the Korean community to alert the media. Stacy will check to ensure this is fine. As for translation, the university has a group of people who speak up to 48 languages.
- December 6 – Jingle Jam in Hollins market on.
- December 13 from 12 to 5 – Cookie Tour in December.
- December 15 at 4 pm – Bio park holiday party on all active members of the committees are invited.
- December 23 – Community Christmas party.
December meeting is cancelled as per vote by committee attendees.
Happy holidays and see you all again in January!
Meeting ended at 9:12 pm