BERLIN – A local developer appears to have abandoned plans to turn The Bay Club into a campground.
Though the Carl M. Freeman Companies’ proposal to turn The Bay Club into a campground has been a hot topic recently, an email sent to course members says the concept is no longer being considered. The Aug. 2 communication is from Dave Levitsky, senior vice president and CFO of the Carl M. Freeman Companies.
“After researching the opportunity further, we have decided not to pursue it at this time,” Levitsky wrote. “We have ceased seeking any revision to our current zoning. We will continue to operate The Bay Club to the same high level of expectations that we set for our members’ experience and assess opportunities that arise to make the best use of our undeveloped property to serve the greater community and enrich lives for generations to come!”
In December 2016, attorney Hugh Cropper approached the Berlin Town Council to share the developer’s plan to turn the 36-hole golf course on Libertytown Road into a 434-site rental campground. While he said plans were preliminary, and would be dependent on the project receiving approval for a special exception from the county’s planning commission, Berlin residents were quick to object to the idea. Many expressed concerns regarding the increase in traffic a campground would bring to Berlin.
When the issue came up at a May town council meeting, Mayor Gee Williams assured citizens that they would be kept informed as the project progressed. On Friday, Williams said he had not heard anything about the project since spring. He said that if the Carl M. Freeman Companies had dropped the campground plans, many residents would be relieved.
“If it’s true it certainly alleviates a lot of apprehension for a lot of people who live in Berlin,” he said, adding that it wasn’t the project itself citizens were worried about but rather the impact on traffic and the town’s streets. “If they’ve decided not to pursue it it takes one thing off our list of potential concerns.”
Berlin resident Ron Cascio, a member of the town’s planning commission, said he was pleased to learn the project was no longer being pursued.
“It’s good news,” he said.
While not averse to the idea of a campground, he said he had been worried about the potential annexation and traffic associated with the project. Cascio said he understood the developer’s interest in maximizing the use of the property but hoped it could be done in a way that wouldn’t negatively impact the town. He praised the company for its efforts thus far.
“I don’t think we could ask for better neighbors than the Freeman Companies,” he said.