BERLIN – Officials approved a site plan revision last week for Oceans East.
The Berlin Planning Commission voted unanimously last week to approve a change to the plan for Oceans East, the apartment complex on Seahawk Road. The revision allows for the enlargement of the development’s lake.
“This lake is going to be the focal point of all of Oceans East,” said Brock Parker, the project’s engineer.
While several apartment buildings at the site are already occupied, Oceans East is a multi-phase project that is expected to feature close to 700 units upon completion. Parker told the commission last Wednesday that the project’s developer, the Rinnier Development Company, wanted to adjust the plan for phase two to make the lake featured at the community more of a focal point.
“The main goal of this is to provide symmetry in the design of the project,” Parker said. “They’re going to bulkhead that and provide that as a central amenity for the project moving forward.”
To do that, he said the site plan would have to be adjusted slightly. Rather than the one 36-unit building and 22 townhouses initially approved near the lake, he said the developer now wanted to do two, 24-unit apartment buildings and 18 townhouses. Parker said the apartments would be oriented toward the lake and the townhouses would be sitting on a faux canal coming off the lake.
“We’re just seeking to reorient the units and change the number of units just slightly from 58 total to 66 total…,” he said. “The Rinniers just feel aesthetically this is a better design.”
When asked about the depth of the canal, Parker said it would be three to four feet deep but would fluctuate, as it was tied to stormwater management. As for the actual change in unit numbers, Parker said there would be an increase of eight units but that the site plan would feature four fewer townhouses than initially proposed.
“They really want to come in with a top-notch project,” Parker said.
While some commission members questioned the overall size of the project, Parker said at this point the developer only had approval for phases one and two.
“We’re going to return with three and four as the development proceeds,” he said.
Commission member Newt Chandler expressed no concern with the proposed revision.
“I don’t see as it makes a lot of difference,” he said.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the change.