BERLIN – The Berlin Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation to a zoning change that will allow for more commercial development near the intersection of routes 818 and 50.
On Wednesday, the commission voted unanimously to support a request to reclassify 26 acres of industrially zoned property on the north side of Route 50 as B-2. Chris Carbaugh of Atlantic Group and Associates said the change would allow for consolidation of several parcels in that area which would lead to a more cohesive project.
“They’d basically be more of a commercial center out there on Route 50, a great opportunity for people to stop near Berlin, hopefully come in downtown,” he said.
Carbaugh told the commission the rezoning was being sought since the property owner considered the industrial zoning a mistake. Carbaugh referenced the commission’s 2014 rezoning of adjacent industrially zoned land owned by Phillip Houck. At that time that property was reclassified as B-2.
Since then, Carbaugh said Houck had been working to relocate a tax ditch to allow for future development.
“We were finally able to get that accomplished,” he said. “Believe it or not that was just a few months ago. That process took quite some time. At the end of that process Mr. Houck was communicating with neighboring properties owned by Mr. Matyiko about relocating some easements and there was discussion for a desire to consolidate the properties to allow for a larger commercial project. There is an interested group looking at the property to do some commercial development and this allows for a better development.”
He said that if the rezoning was approved the future development would likely include six commercial parcels ranging in size from 3.5 acres to 6.5 acres.
When asked if that meant big box stores would be coming to the property, he said it did not.
“You’re looking at possibly retail, general commercial stores,” he said. “Look for a hotel site. Those kind of uses are I think what everybody’s envisioning.”
With little discussion, the commission agreed to give the rezoning request a favorable recommendation. It will now move on to the town council for consideration.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the planning commission also approved a site plan for Willows at Berlin. The Maple Avenue project will involve the renovation of the existing Wolfe Terrace apartments as well as the addition of 34 new units at the complex.