Berlin Planners Postpone Dollar General Vote; Neighboring Properties Raise Public Safety Concerns

BERLIN – Citing public safety concerns, the Berlin Planning Commission voted Wednesday to postpone consideration of plans for a new Dollar General.

After a brief executive session to discuss legal matters on Wednesday, members of the planning commission told representatives from Oxford Chase Development that their site plan for a Dollar General at the intersection of Route 113 and Route 346 would be considered at the commission’s March 11 meeting.

“It’s a public safety issue,” said Chris Denny, chairman of the commission. “We need to postpone the meeting.”

Denny said the commission had learned of concerns about the project from two neighboring property owners. One of them, Atlantic General Hospital, even expressed interest in conducting its own traffic study of the area.

Commission member Pete Cosby said the board had a 45-day period to review submitted site plans, which meant the Dollar General project could be considered at the March 11 meeting.

“Two requests have been made by two very much affected property owners, and I think it’s in the best interest of everybody to continue this,” he said. “Hopefully, you guys can have some conversations with the stakeholders and get this going in the right direction.”

John Camp, vice president of Oxford Chase Development, said planning commission members had been aware of the project since September. He pointed out that last month the commission had given it preliminary site plan approval.

“We’re now at the midnight hour and we’re hearing objections,” he said.

Commission members stressed the importance of considering safety issues that arose regarding potential development.

“Until final site plan approval, every issue is on the table,” Cosby said.

Camp’s attempts to further discussion ended when commission members voted unanimously to reschedule consideration of the plans. When contacted Thursday, Camp said that in spite of the fact that Berlin’s comprehensive plan called for development along Route 346, his company hadn’t even been given the opportunity to make a presentation at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We don’t understand how they expect a company to come and do business in Berlin when we were treated the way we were,” he said.

He said Oxford Chase Development had already had a traffic study of the area conducted and that commission members could have shared their concerns sooner.

“Why at the last minute are we being deferred?” he said.

Camp said his company would present the Dollar General plans at the March 11 meeting but declined to comment on what an unfavorable decision then would mean for the project.

Patricia Dufendach, a member of Berlin’s pedestrian safety committee and one of several citizens in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, said the intersection was a busy one for cars and people.

“I just want to make sure pedestrian safety is addressed,” she said.

She pointed out that the west side of the intersection, where entrances to several different businesses are jumbled together within feet of the stoplight, was already a traffic mess and said she hoped the same wouldn’t happen on the other side.


Ocean Pines Hears Three Golf Management Presentations; Decision Expected On Friday

BERLIN – Following a meeting with three management companies, the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors is expected to make a decision regarding the golf course’s future this week. The board is scheduled to meet Feb. 20 to choose a company to manage the golf course. Potential management firms include Billy Casper Golf, the company that’s been managing the course … Continue reading

Worcester Board Approves New Liquor Licenses For Businesses

BERLIN — The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners approved liquor license requests for three new Ocean City area businesses this week. The Annapolis-based Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs received liquor license approval from the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC), along with the Full Moon Saloon and Sello’s Oven and Bar. Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs, which will be located … Continue reading

Murder Suspect Extradited From Worcester To Del.

SNOW HILL — Accused murderer Matthew Burton, held in Worcester County for over two years, has been sent back to Delaware after exhausting his attempts to avoid extradition. The Maryland Court of Appeals late last month denied Burton’s writ of certiorari, which, if approved, would have allowed the state’s highest court to rule on the accused killer’s claims his rights … Continue reading

Ocean City Eyes Transportation Campus Project

OCEAN CITY – A seven-year Transportation Campus Plan has gone into “hyper speed” with the Public Works Complex looking at a revamping in the upcoming years. Public Works Director Hal Adkins reported the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) hired the KFH Group to conduct a needs assessment of the Public Works Complex on 65th Street behind the Public Safety Building, which … Continue reading

Worcester Program Recognizes Teachers’ Innovation

NEWARK – Worcester County teachers are being recognized for their efforts with a new program designed to celebrate innovative ideas in the classroom. Worcester County school system officials named 13 teachers as recipients of the new “Celebrating Innovation” awards. The recently implemented program honors school employees for creating practices that increase student achievement. “What we see exhibited in these projects … Continue reading

OC Okays Boardwalk Parade To Kick Off Bikefest, New Beach Volleyball Event

OCEAN CITY – The City Council gave its blessing to a Boardwalk motorcycle parade to kick off OC Bikefest in September as well as a new beach volleyball tournament for late May. The private event request for the 2015 OC Bikefest came before the Mayor and Council on Tuesday afternoon. New this year, event organizers requested permission to conduct a … Continue reading

Bill Proposes Craft Distillery License In Md.

OCEAN CITY — A bill introduced in the General Assembly would, if approved, establish a Class 9 craft distillery license in Worcester, allowing eligible license holders to produce their own distilled spirits on their premises in the county and conduct guided tours and tastings, for example. Senate Bill 523, sponsored by Senator Jim Mathias, would create a Class 9 craft … Continue reading

Salisbury Considers Occupancy Enforcement Policy

SALISBURY – The City of Salisbury Department of Neighborhood Services has proposed an Occupancy Enforcement Policy due to an increase in over-occupancy violations. The ordinance before the council on Monday evening stated, “The Department of Neighborhood Service and Code Compliance is experiencing a rise in over-occupancy violations, and due to this rise in over occupancy, there is a need to … Continue reading