ULI Baltimore Regionalism Speaker Event


2022-06-10T08:30:00 - 2022-06-10T10:00:00

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    McHenry Row Conference Center 1215 E Fort Ave Baltimore, MD 21230-5276 UNITED STATES

    Baltimore County and the City of Baltimore are composing their Comprehensive Master Plans at the same time. Join the ULI Baltimore Regionalism Committee in hearing from the Planning Directors: what is their overlap and strategy for the prioritization of healthy, sustainable communities through growth, development, and conservation for the next 10 years and beyond.

    A conversation will be held around subjects like climate change, smart growth, transportation networks, green space, food access, energy conservation, and attainable housing.

    Hearing the Overlap in the priorities between the Baltimore County and City of Baltimore Planning Departments with the Regionalism Committee’s Mission: healthy, sustainable communities.

    Chris Ryer, Baltimore City Planning Director
    Stephen Lafferty, Baltimore County Planning Director 



    Chris Ryer

    Director, Department of Planning, Department of Planning

    Chris Ryer began working in community development over 30 years ago in the Schaeffer administration as an intern at the Baltimore Planning Department. After ten years as a community planner, he moved to the non-profit sector where he worked for the Trust for Public Lands and a community based organization in southwest Baltimore. In 2002 he returned to the Baltimore Planning Department during the O’Malley administration where he served as Chief of Comprehensive Planning and Deputy Director until 2006. After a short period at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, he served as the Director of the Southeast Community Development Corporation before returning to the Planning Department as Director in 2019. Since then he has overseen an already strong department that added capacity to the community planning and revitalization division while the City of Baltimore has undergone several Mayoral changes, a severe ransomware attack and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the Department has maintained a timely but virtual development review process, stood up a major food security effort during the pandemic and played a leading role in the development of the City’s equity strategy. He hopes to implement a vigorous community development strategy, resolve many of the long standing capital budget issues, and develop the next ten-year Comprehensive Plan.


    Stephen Lafferty

    Director, Baltimore County Department of Planning

    Steve Lafferty has been the Director of Planning for Baltimore County since January 2021. The agency staff are in Community Planning, Development Review, Historic Preservation, Land and Agricultural Preservation and Research, Analysis and Design. He joined the administration of County Executive John Olszewski in September 2019 as the Chief Sustainability Officer where he led the efforts to create a County Government Climate Action Plan, and worked on the conversion of the fleet, the installation of solar, addressing solid waste and recycling and working to integrate sustainability throughout county operations. Prior to joining the Olszewski Administration, he was a member of the House of Delegates from the 42nd District in Baltimore County for thirteen years where he served on the Environment and Transportation Committee and held various leadership positions. He received numerous awards for his work on the environment, consumer rights and community development. He previously was the Deputy Director and, subsequently, Director of Special Projects, in the Howard County Department of Planning, worked for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and in the Baltimore County Office of Community Conservation. He has a BA from the University of Maryland and an MA from Bowling Green State University in American Studies and received a J.D. from the University Of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in the Towson area with his wife Betsy.


    Aaron Keel

    ULI Baltimore Regionalism Chair, Enviroprojects

    Aaron Keel, AICP, is an environmental planner/scientist with over 35 years of professional technical expertise in a diverse array of ecological study, regulatory permitting and environmental compliance issues for private development and public infrastructure throughout the mid-Atlantic region. In 2009 Aaron founded the environmental consulting firm EnviroProjects, LLC and serves as the Company’s leader. He is a Certified Planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Randolph Macon College in 1987, a Certificate in Environmental Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 1994, and Masters Degree in Environmental Planning and Geography from Towson University in 1999. Aaron has been a member of the Urban Land Institute since 2007 and currently serves as Chair of the Baltimore District Regionalism Committee.