Golf Course Redevelopment Process Slowed At Berlin Mayor’s Request

Golf Course Redevelopment Process Slowed At Berlin Mayor’s Request
Anti Bay Club sign on Libertytown Road 2

BERLIN – Plans for the redevelopment of the Bay Club as a campground will not move forward this month, as the request for a special exception for the property set to be considered by a county board has been postponed.

Though the Bay Club was expected to seek a special exception for a campground at next week’s Worcester County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, attorney Hugh Cropper said Tuesday he would not be making the request this month.

“It was postponed because Mayor Gee Williams asked me if I’d postpone it,” attorney Hugh Cropper said. “I don’t know what the next step is.”

Williams confirmed that he’d approached Cropper and his client, the Carl M. Freeman Companies, and said it was his preference that they postpone the request.

“I expressed that I was disappointed that they’d schedule the hearing before we’d had a chance to follow-up,” Williams said.

Cropper made a presentation to Williams and other Berlin officials regarding the proposed campground in late 2016.

Williams said the town’s department heads still had questions regarding the project’s impact on the town.

“We don’t want to do anything to artificially hold up the process but I do think making sure we have a clear understanding of its impact would be the proper and prudent thing to do,” he said.

Williams stressed that the process thus far had featured no “contentiousness” but that Berlin was an interested neighbor and officials were simply being diligent.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure we understand how this could impact the town before it begins the process,” he said. “I don’t think we’re talking months here.”

He said one of the town’s concerns — the primary one voiced by citizens concerned about the campground proposal — was the traffic that would be associated with a campground. He’s hoping some “good old-fashioned” sit downs with the connections of the Bay Club will occur before any county hearing.

“We’re being open and candid about the fact that this is a potential development we have a high degree of interest in,” Williams said. “I think we need to find some common ground here.”

Cropper says he remains convinced that the golf course would make a great campground. He referenced the fact that the property could purchase water and sewer capacity from the Town of Berlin, had potential as a spray irrigation site and wouldn’t even be used during the winter.

“I think it’s a great project,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing for the town.”

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.