Berlin Approves EDUs For Project’s Second Phase

BERLIN – Town officials approved a request for water and sewer capacity that will allow the next phase of Oceans East to go forward.

The Berlin Town Council agreed to sell 48 EDUs (equivalent dwelling units) to Oceans East II last week. With the allocation, the next phase of the development is expected to move ahead.

“If you’ve driven by you see the construction entrance is already constructed,” said Dave Engelhart, the town’s planning director. “They are doing site work — you’ll see silt fence out there — and they’re doing earthwork in preparation for the permits.”

Engelhart said Oceans East II had asked to purchase 48 EDUs (at a cost of $800,928) in order to move forward with construction of the second phase of the apartment complex on Seahawk Road. The first phase of the project included 180 units and a clubhouse and pool. Developer Blair Rinnier said the second phase would include five apartment buildings and a couple of town home units for a total of 153 units.

Councilmember Jay Knerr questioned the language of the allocation agreement, which included references to future subdivision. Town staff explained that the language was standard in all of the town’s allocation agreements.

“If that’s something you want to look at taking out in the future, that’s something you can discuss,” said Kelsey Jenson, the town’s administrative manager.

The council voted unanimously to approve the EDU request. Councilman Jack Orris went on to ask for a report regarding available EDUs, as eventually capacity at the town’s wastewater treatment plant will have to be expanded.

Mayor Zack Tyndall said he had already asked staff to put together a report regarding treatment plant capacity and future steps the town would need to take for expansion. He said that when the plant reached 80% capacity, the town was required to begin considering expansion. Once the plant reaches 90% capacity, the municipality needs to have expansion plans underway.

“So we’ll take that a step further and try to forecast what that looks like in the form of dollars so the council has something to evaluate,” Tyndall said.

Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said the plant was not at 80% capacity yet.

“We’re getting close,” he said.

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.