Proposed Berlin Fire Station Gets Site Plan Approval

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Planning Commission approved a site plan for a new Berlin Fire Company building on Route 50 last week.

Though there’s no timeline for construction yet, the fire company now has site plan approval for its new 10,409-square-foot building planned for property just east of the Friendship Road and Route 50 intersection.

“We’re still in the planning process,” said Dave Fitzgerald, president of the Berlin Fire Company. “The next step is to see what we’re actually going to do on the inside and put it out to bid and see if we can afford to do it.”

Tim Metzner of Davis Bowen and Friedel told the commission the new building would serve as a substation for the fire company, which has headquarters on Main Street in Berlin. He said the Route 50 property would feature a single building, designed to hold three fire vehicles, which would be accessed by a gravel driveway. The site will feature 18 parking spaces accessed by entrances from both Route 50 and Gray’s Corner Road. Both will have to meet State Highway Administration (SHA) standards.

“We’re in the process of that review,” Metzner said.

Though a color hasn’t been decided on yet, the substation will feature a decorative block base and metal sides and has been designed with an “agrarian look.” Members of the commission said they liked the building in red and Fitzgerald said that would be taken into account.

“Our membership has not made a final decision,” he said. “We wanted your input.”

The commission agreed to waive some requirements, such as community space and seating, for the project because the building will not be for the general public’s use.

“It’ll be strictly used by firefighters,” Fitzgerald said.

Some commissioners expressed concern about traffic safety when the substation’s fire engines were responding to calls. Fitzgerald said that SHA would install cautionary signs in the area. He pointed out that the firefighters would also have control of the traffic lights at the Route 50 and Friendship Road intersection.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the substation’s site plan.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.