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


Decision on Dollar General postponed by Berlin planning

(March 5, 2015) The slow process towards bringing a Dollar General store to Berlin on Old Ocean City Road opposite the Barrett building hit yet another snag on Feb. 25, when the town’s planning commission voted to postpone a decision on the final site plan.
The proceedings began in the summer, but stalled when developer Oxford Chase was told the site plan would not meet town code.  
“They first came and talked about the concept last summer in July or August, and they needed 49 parking spaces according to our code,” Planning Director Dave Englehart said. “You can’t put that size building with that lot if don’t have enough space for the required parking. When you get told no by the zoning code, then your appeal is to the board of zoning appeals.”
The zoning board granted the developer a variance for 41 parking spaces in September. Then, Englehart said, the town did not hear about the project for the remainder of the year.
“They didn’t come back with any plans,” he said. “The first time they went to the planning commission was January.”
Englehart admitted the wait was unusually long, and went on to describe the current obstacle as “access to the adjoining parcels.”
“If you give them an entrance there – the parcels across and adjacent – would another road cut in be given to them? That’s the issue,” Englehart said. “You’re landlocking adjoining parcels and making them useless.”
Englehart said the planning commission had “some input from a couple different people and the public about access to their parcels and traffic issues,” and went into closed session.
“We need to have a little more information,” he said. “We went into executive session to discuss it and they postponed it. They never did see any of the final site approval.”
A decision is expected during the next regular meeting on March 11.