Berlin planning director begins new job this week
BERLIN—The new Town Planning Director hit the ground running on Aug. 26.
David H. Engelhart acclimated to his new office where he and Permit Coordinator Carolyn Duffy spent the day catching up with permit applications for fence and utility sheds and talking with other department officials who needed to sign off on the various applications.
Engelhart said he was trying to catch up on paperwork by time the town’s new administrator, Laura Allen, starts when officials return after Labor Day.
Mayor Gee Williams announced Engelhart’s hiring on a July 23. The planning director was a real estate appraiser for Accomack County, Va.’s Department of Assessment and zoning administrator for the Town of Onley, Va.
Engelhart will also serve as the staff contact for Berlin’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Historic District Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, reporting regularly to the Town Administrator on the status of these boards.
He is preparing for his first meeting with the HDC on Sept. 4., when the commission is scheduled to discuss an application to extend a breakfast nook and adding a garage to a residence on South Main Street, and to review signage for the upcoming nautical-themed boutique Sea-La-Vie, slated to open at 111 Artisans Way in September. The location is the site of the former Whimsical Cottage of Berlin.
During a public hearing in July, the council voted unanimously to approve specifications for wooden sandwich board signs that directed that their maximum size be two feet wide by three feet high and that when extended, the hinged a-signs cannot expand beyond two feet at their base.
The ordinance also clarified that businesses would be allowed one sign, but gave business owners the flexibility to design the signs as they deem appropriate. It designated the Berlin Planning Director as the official to review requests for proposed signs.
The Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to meet Sept. 11 to review a proposal to construct a demolish the existing warehouse for South Moon Under and construct a new one on Franklin Avenue, a proposal to subdivide the property on 122 Branch Street into two parcels , and a proposed boundary line adjustment between a residence at 523 South Main St. and a commercial building at 525 South Main St., where the Boomer’s Restaurant used be located.