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


Worcester commissioners delay naming of road in South Point area

The Worcester County Commissioners have delayed a decision on naming a private, currently unnamed, road in South Point in an effort to get more information.

South Point lane-graphic

A map shows the parameters of an unnamed lane off of South Point Road that Worcester County officials are trying to name for safety and access and purposes.
Photo courtesy Worcester County Government

By Charlene Sharpe, Associate Editor

The Worcester County Commissioners have delayed a decision on naming a private road in South Point in an effort to get more information. 

While staff presented potential names for the roughly 1,000-foot-long road at a meeting March 27, the commissioners said they understood residents’ desire not to change their addresses. They asked staff to review potential alternatives.

“Let’s not make a decision today so that we can accommodate what the property owners would like as well,” Commissioner Chip Bertino said.

Staff members said an unnamed private lane in South Point was brought to their attention last fall following a fire at one of the nine residences. Fire crews had trouble locating the house, as it is currently addressed off South Point Road even though it’s on a private lane. While staff presented a few potential road names, three residents of the lane approached the commissioners to say they objected to the change. 

“This lane has been there since 1971,” resident Giovanni David said.

He said the fire department had trouble finding the house that had the fire because its mailbox didn’t have proper numbering. He said if the homes on the lane had clearly visible numbers on their mailboxes the county wouldn’t need to name the lane. 

Commissioner Jim Bunting said the lane should have been named properly years ago but acknowledged the hardship the residents would face in changing their addresses. Commissioners Eric Fiori and Joe Mitrecic agreed they didn’t want to make the residents change their addresses. 

When asked for his input, Fire Marshal Matt Owens said he felt the addition of clear numbering at each house would help during an emergency situation. While Fiori made a motion to leave the lane unnamed and have the residents number their houses, staff pointed out the county’s code requires private lanes with more than three houses to be named. 

“This doesn’t seem any different than any other private lane that would get a name,” said Roscoe Leslie, the county attorney. 

Bertino said he was uncomfortable approving something that didn’t meet county code but acknowledged the commissioners’ desire to work with residents. At his suggestion, Fiori agreed to table his motion to give staff time to review the situation.

“We have opportunity to vet other options to accommodate what the commissioners would like to do, what the property owners would like to do, and still meet county code, even if it means adjusting county code if in fact we decide to go that way,” Bertino said. 

This story appears in the April 11, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.