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


OPA gives Steen project thumbs up

(May 7, 2015) The OPA Board of Directors voted unanimously last Thursday to back a new construction project by developer Marvin Steen that could add several dozen duplexes in the area between King Richard Drive and Gum Point Road.
Steen sent a letter to the board on April 1 asking for its support as he attempts to get the Worcester County Planning Commission to change the zoning along that stretch from R-1 rural residential to R-3 multifamily residential.
“With everyone still attempting to recover from the recession, the current real estate market strongly favors multifamily duplexes over single-family residences,” Steen said in the letter. “The wastewater distribution system has already been installed and King Richard Road has been rebuilt. Moreover, OPA will receive $6,500 for each unit built, as well as the normal annual OPA assessments because the property becomes part of OPA.”
Steen already owns the property, which is undeveloped, and said he would build “no more than 30” 2,400-square foot duplexes, for a total of 60 units.
The $6,500 per-unit cost would pay the water and sewer expenses for each property, Steen said during the meeting, adding that the county previously approved the property for 60 single-family homes.
OPA Board President Dave Stevens clarified that the directors were not voting to approve construction, but were instead voting to approve a letter of endorsement to the county.
“I have to go to the county and go back through to get this done, but I know one thing, when Ocean Pines says ‘approve’ it’s approved,” Steen said.
Steen said the project would take three-to-four years to complete.
“I want to do right. I want to be a part of Ocean Pines,” he said.
Stevens called the move a win for Ocean Pines.
“I don’t know if it’s a win, but it sure isn’t a loss,” Board Vice President Marty Clarke said.