The Baltimore City Council is expected to vote on a zoning ordinance in just a matter of weeks. The change to the city's 45-year-old zoning plan may affect certain businesses housed in a residential zone.
Businesses to be affected include liquor stores, bail bondsmen and check cashing outlets. The new zoning rules could allow for a more walkable city, while limiting businesses that officials see as "negative" for neighborhoods.
The overhaul is aimed at giving communities more job opportunities, living options and entertainment.
Under the new rules, liquor stores, check-chasing businesses, sororities, fraternities and bail bondsmen would have to get City Council approval before opening in most parts of the city. Currently, they only need approval from the liquor or zoning board.
Baltimore's current zoning bill was approved in 1971. The city's planning department began working on a rewrite of the law eight years ago, and the City Council has worked on it for more than four years.
There was a third reading of the zoning plan at Monday's City Council meeting. Members expect it to pass next month.