Berlin Planning Meeting Briefs

BERLIN — The Berlin Planning Commission heard and approved three cases this month, including the construction of a new warehouse on Franklin Avenue, the subdivision of land on Branch Street and a boundary line adjustment.
The first case was a request for the demolition of an existing, and subsequent construction of a new, warehouse located at 619 Franklin Avenue.
“It’s zoned business D-3 and is currently used industrial and serves as the corporate headquarters to South Moon Under,” Steven Turner, of the Atlantic Group, told the commission last Wednesday. “It’s about 4.92 acres.”
The warehouse is being demolished in favor of building a larger structure, Turner explained, growing from 12,575 to 15,775 square feet.
“And we plan on doing some minor improvements with the parking, mainly around the offices, for better flow and more parking spaces,” he added. “And it should be centralized for the employees more.”
The commission had a few questions regarding traffic and the amount of impervious surface.
“What kinds of trucks are you looking to have come in here? Are we talking semis or vans?” asked Commissioner Pete Cosby.
Turner confirmed that it would mostly be mid-sized vehicles visiting the warehouse with some smaller tractor trailers. The commission voted unanimously to give the plan preliminary site approval.
The second case of the day was presented by Woody Bunting on behalf of M&G Rentals, LLC and Ernest Gerardi. Bunting requested the subdivision of land at 122 Branch Street to divide a 1.76-acre parcel into two lots.
“We’re attempting to create a second lot, since it is such a large tract of land, to be used as a single-family residence,” he said. “Mr. Gerardi, again, he doesn’t sell these lots, he uses them for rentals.”
The subdivision would split the original parcel into Lot B1 and B2, with B1 at about a half-acre in size and B2 about 1.25-acres.
“It’s an R-2 lot so we’ve met all of the setbacks that would be required of an R-2. It’s certainly a large track of land,” said Bunting.
Commissioner Barb Stack asked if the subdivision might impact nearby properties.
“Is there any requirement to ask the adjacent property owners how they feel about this?” she asked.
The commission did not believe there was and unanimous approval was granted contingent on written approval from Worcester County.
The final case was presented by Russell Edmund on behalf of Dan and Heidi Butler and was a proposed boundary line adjustment for 523 and 525 South Main Street. Boomer’s Restaurant currently sits on most of that property, though there is also a single-family lot and garage.
“As it stands, Boomer’s is actually made up of three lots: Lots 1, 2 and part of Lot 3,” said Edmund. “The Butlers are desirous of changing the property lines, in other words, making the single-family lot a little bigger. We’re not going to be decreasing the use area of Boomer’s at all.”
The adjustment will “make the property make sense,” according to Heidi Butler. It will slightly decrease the size of Boomer’s parking lot but not the overall area of the property and will improve access for the residence. Cosby expressed concern that the alteration could harm the restaurant end of the property in favor of the single-family lot.
“I don’t think I’m in a position to say no to this but I’m just, wow, I hate to see the possibility that we’re going to lose the unitary nature of this really cool piece of property,” he said.
Heidi Butler said the boundary line adjustment would help in trying to sell the property. The commission voted 5-1 with Cosby opposed to approve the adjustment.