Berlin Approves Deed Agreement With Developer; Road Paving Part Of Land Conveyance

BERLIN – Town officials agreed to deed a small section of property to a developer in exchange for road paving and sidewalk installation on Maple Avenue.

On Monday, the town council voted 4-0 to approve an agreement with the developer of the Willows at Berlin, the apartment project planned at the end of Maple Avenue. The town will convey a small piece of property to the developer in exchange for paving Maple Avenue and extending its sidewalk.

“In fairness we’re looking at about $33,000 worth of work for a $10,000 piece of property,” Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said.

Developers have been working for roughly the last two years on plans to renovate the Wolf Terrace apartments on Maple Avenue and expand the project to include 34 new units. A recent title search, however, revealed that a portion of what was thought to be the apartment complex’s property actually belonged to the town.

Officials agreed last month to work with the developer to allow the project to proceed. Rather than selling the land outright, officials proposed a barter. The developer agreed to pave Maple Avenue, extend its sidewalk and ensure an easement to a nearby property was protected in exchange for the town deeding over the 11,000-square-foot piece of land.

“They need this cleared up before they go ahead and complete their sale,” Planning Director Dave Engelhart said.

Though the council initially agreed upon a motion to convey the land “upon satisfactory completion of these items,” the developer reached out during the meeting to express concern, as the land needed to be deeded before closing.

Councilman Troy Purnell pointed out that there would be a bond on the improvements.

“That’s going to be your assurance even after you’ve deeded the property over to him,” he said.

The council voted to approve the agreement as initially proposed but without the language that mandated satisfactory completion of the improvements prior to conveyance.

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.