By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(July 2, 2020) The Berlin Planning Commission unanimously approved the site plan for the redevelopment of the i.g. Burton Chevrolet dealership on Old Ocean City Boulevard on June 24, with just one addition: a tree on the southwest corner of the lot.
The meeting was a continuation from a June 10 session, when the planning commission tabled the site plan because it lacked details about landscaping, lighting and dimensions and sign placement.
Charles Burton, Lisa Divincenzo and MJ Lofland of i.g. Burton, and Tim Metzner of Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc. presented the revised site plan to the planning commission.
The nearly 25,000-square-foot building will be made with materials such as corrugated metal above masonry, aluminum composite metal and a stone facade on the front.
MJ Lofland said the showroom will display four vehicles.
The front, facing Old Ocean City Boulevard, will have three garage doors, two for service drive and one for new vehicle delivery drive.
The east side of the building facing the Berlin Shopping Center will feature five full-sized garage doors and one smaller garage door for the express lane.
“All our HVAC units will be located on the roof of the building,” Lofland added.
The plan also involves enhancing the landscaping with shrubs and river birch trees.
Councilmember Ron Cascio asked for a tree of substantial size southwest corner of the property to provide shade and to round out the design.
“The more openness that we can have to display our merchandise, the better off we are,” Lofland said.
Lofland said a tree in that location would impede business with sapling and bird droppings and falling branches on the display vehicles.
“The building looks great, but a building looks greater when it is meshed into the environment,” Cascio said.
The commission and the presenters ultimately agreed to place an additional tree on the southwest corner near the boulevard to mirror the opposite corner.
Currently, six light poles are on site. Lofland said 12 more will be installed.
As requested by the commission at the previous meeting, a location for the cul de sac was determined on Barrett Road.
Metzner said water and sewer are to connect to existing services on Old Ocean City Boulevard.
There is also a 17-foot easement for future sidewalk connection along the front of the building.
The existing 38-foot Chevy sign at the entrance of Barrett Road will be repaneled in its current location.
Another 26-foot existing sign on the used car lot will be repaneled as well.
“We’re asking for a variance on our signage. According to our knowledge, the permitted amount is 280 square feet, and what we’re requesting is, to be factory compliant, is going to put us around 500 square feet,” Lofland said.
In the approval, the commission agreed to have Planning Director Dave Engelhart determine if a variance is needed for the aggregated square footage of the signs on site.