Duplex Housing Project Approved For Ocean Pines

SNOW HILL – Plans for a duplex development at the south end of Ocean Pines are expected to move forward following approval from county officials this week.

On Tuesday, the Worcester County Commissioners approved the establishment of a Residential Planned Community (RPC) on a 92-acre site between Gum Point Road and the end of King Richard Road. Developer Marvin Steen has plans to build a 60-unit duplex community that will become part of Ocean Pines.

“It’s always been looked at as a logical extension of the Ocean Pines community,” said Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting.

Though Steen originally planned to build 60 single family homes on one acre lots at the site, as the economy shifted he decided to build 30 duplexes. Roughly half of the 92-acre property will remain open space.

Engineer Steve Soule explained the duplex community, known as Triple Crown Estates, would be accessed not by Route 589 but by King Richard Road in Ocean Pines. The only access to Route 589 will be a gravel service road that will be used during construction. When the homes are complete, the service road will be secured with a gate and will only be used in case of emergency.

Ocean Pines Association officials endorsed the project this spring. Pat Renaud, president of the association’s board of directors, said the board didn’t believe the addition of duplexes to the community would have a detrimental effect.

“I’d like to see more growth and we don’t have much space left,” Renaud said.

Renaud said officials weren’t worried about the increase in traffic King Richard Road would experience but they had had concerns about how construction vehicles would access the site. When Steen assured them construction trucks and equipment would travel to the property via the service road, board members agreed to support the project.

Renaud praised the fact duplexes were being constructed instead of single-family homes. He said it would add to the variety of housing options in the Pines.

Steen, who has more than four decades of construction experience, has already developed a number of projects in Ocean Pines, including Wood Duck Isle, Salt Grass Cove and Harbor Village. He is expected to begin work on Triple Crown Estates in the near future.

“He intends to proceed as quickly as he can get the necessary approvals,” said Mark Cropper, Steen’s attorney.