More Trees Eyed For Route 346 In Berlin

BERLIN – Interparcel connectors and trees were on the Berlin Planning Commission’s mind at its June meeting.

The commission has been attempting to set standards for development along the road, which continues to undergo widespread redevelopment. Three of the four projects before the commission at the meeting were located on Route 346, or Old Ocean City Boulevard.

Interparcel connectors between properties would reduce traffic on Route 346 and possibly reduce the number of driveways, according to Berlin Planning Commission Chair Pete Cosby.

Cosby said that a series of interparcel connectors on the north side of the street could run all the way to Atlantic General Hospital.

Commission member Newt Chandler said that the commission needs to get an overview of the properties along the street to determine where easements for future connectors would be needed.

“It’s a big picture thing,” said Commission Vice Chair Dave Rovansek.

The commission will study aerial photographs of the properties along the road to come up with a plan.

Interconnecting roads had not been a priority for the commission until now, but at the June commission meeting, Cosby asked the developers of medical offices at the east end of the road to consider an easement to connect to the Barrett automobile dealership.

“We have to think about that,” said project planner Bob Simpkins.

The commission also asked the project’s developers to consider different trees.

“My feeling is that boulevard should have a consistent major tree,” said Cosby.

Cosby said he would like to stick with the trees that are already planted there, all along the street.

“People did some real nice beautification work 50 to 60 years ago,” Cosby said.

However, no one appears to be sure exactly which species they are.

The Planning Commission also disagreed over requiring a single species of tree.

Rovansek said that requiring a single species could lead to problems if a tree disease hit the area.

Five of the seven commission members agreed that different species, of the same mature size, would be acceptable.

Only Cosby and commission member Phyllis Purnell spoke in favor of a single, uniform tree species.

“I want the same tree that’s historically there,” he said.

“The consensus is we need uniform size, not uniform species,” Rovansek said.