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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin Planning Commission approves development revision

Body also gives OK to new Hebron Savings Bank to go in vacant lot off Route 50

By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer

(Jan. 26, 2023) The Berlin Planning Commission heard the following cases during its meeting on Jan. 17:

The new design for the West View townhomes by Purnell Crossing in Berlin no longer feature single-car garages. The revamped look plays into the “affordable housing” aspect that the developers say they intended for the project. PHOTO COURTESY TOWN OF BERLIN

West View

The commission approved a requested revision to the development plans for West View, a 28-unit townhome community by Purnell Crossing on Old Ocean City Boulevard.

Attorney Mark Cropper and representatives from developer D.R. Horton were only requesting that the single-car garages in the initial proposal be struck in favor of a recessed door front entrance.

“The density doesn’t change. The layout of the project doesn’t change. The road network doesn’t change. Setbacks don’t change,” Cropper said. “It’s merely the design of the structure on site and the elimination of the garage and therefore the elevations would not show a garage door on the front.”

A D.R. Horton representative said that the change helps with their “affordable home” scope.

“It’s just that it’s a better product for the area,” he said. “It’s got great curb appeal and it’s worked on many of our sites along the … Eastern Shore and Delaware.”

Commission member Pete Cosby took issue with the recessed door, saying that it’s neither aesthetically pleasing nor sensible, as it takes away living space.

The developers said that they would need to determine the cost and obtain the authority for such a change, but if it is feasible they will bring their findings back to the commission.

Hebron Bank

The commission approved plans for a new branch of the Hebron Savings Bank to go on the empty lot at the intersection of Routes 818 and 50.

The lot has sat empty for years following its life as the site of a gas station.

The 1,800-square-foot will sit on 1.5 acres and include three drive-thru lanes and 32 parking spaces. A representative from developer Atlantic Group said the intention is to preserve 54 percent of the land for open space.

Chris Carbaugh of the Atlantic Group responded to an inquiry about connecting the property to the properties next to it that those owners were not interested “in granting us entry.”

But, Carbaugh argued, with the advent of mobile banking, less traffic at the site itself means that there won’t be as much congestion as may have been the case in years past.