SNOW HILL – A property on Route 589 is moving closer to development following a vote by the Worcester County Planning Commission.
The commission last week voted 6-0 to reclassify the water and sewer planning area for a property on Route 589 north of Gum Point Road. The parcel, which had no planned service, is now designated for service within two years. The Worcester County Commissioners will soon be tasked with determining if the parcel should be added to the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area.
“The county commissioners will hold a public hearing and take action on the proposal,” said Jerry Barbierri, chair of the commission.
Attorney Hugh Cropper told the commission he was seeking the change in sewer designation and would also be pursuing an amendment to the county’s water and sewer plan that would move the property to the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area. He said there was adequate capacity in Ocean Pines to serve the property and that the land around was already in the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area.
“It’s really a left-out piece in a puzzle as you can see, all around it is in,” Cropper said.
He added that the property was already commercially zoned.
“This is a developable piece of property,” he said.
Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs, said the project appeared to be consistent with existing zoning and the county’s comprehensive plan.
“This proposal, while expanding the original service area, does not require an expansion of water sewer treatment facilities,” he said.
Commission member Ken Church brought up the issue of allowing similar adjustments in other service areas, such as in West Ocean City. Mitchell said that wouldn’t be possible because there weren’t many EDUs (equivalent dwelling units) left in those areas.
“How much extra do you think you have (in Ocean Pines)?” Church said. “Obviously that corridor is pretty populated.”
Mitchell said there were more than 100 EDUs available in the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area.
“Ocean Pines plant, the average flow is under a million gallons a day,” Mitchell said. “They have a 2.5 million gallon per day plant so they have adequate capacity.”
According to Mitchell the proposed commercial development on the 11.5-acre site will consist of a restaurant, a car wash, office, retail and contractor shops.