Back to square one
In applying for a renewal of its “Sustainable Community” status with the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the Town of Berlin wrote in 2019 that it was forming a committee to explore possible uses for the 68-acre parcel known as Heron Park.
Now, four years later, town officials seem committed to forming another committee to explore possible uses for … etc.
In addition, officials want new appraisals of parts of the property, because of what skeptics believe is a low-ball bid of $1.7 million by Palmer and Sandy Gillis of Coastal Ventures LLC for roughly 20 acres of ground.
Going unacknowledged, however, are three huge obstacles to any kind of progress: 1. Appraised value means nothing if no one is willing to pay the price. 2. The price a buyer is willing to pay is tied to how a property can be used. 3. The possible uses to be allowed on these parcels remains undetermined.
No rational developer is going to agree to buy anything without knowing what exactly they’re paying for and what kind of return they can expect on their investment.
Until these points are addressed, and judging from the tenor of the discussion at Town Hall this week of the park’s future, it appears that the town and its plans for Heron Park haven’t moved much beyond square one.
The statement issued this week by the Ocean Pines Elections Committee regarding a slight delay in mailing the ballots for this summer’s board of directors election is intriguing for what it doesn’t say.
In attempt to notify association members of the late mailing, the committee said only that the hold-up was not the fault of the U.S. Postal Service.
Why it felt compelled to point that out without offering some additional explanation is a mystery, when all it does is encourage the public to ask questions that the committee apparently doesn’t want to answer.