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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Poli tackles wheelchair ramp and downtown shop windows

Downtown Berlin, Maryland

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 10, 2019) With only one item on the agenda last Wednesday, Historic District Commission Vice Chairman Robert Poli turned his attention to several items he said had been nagging him.

Poli was filling in for Chairwoman Carol Rose, who could not attend the meeting.

After the commission unanimously approved renovations on 101 South Main Street, Poli asked Planning Director Dave Engelhart about several projects the commission had considered previously.

Chief among those was a home on 201 South Main Street owned by Antonio and Deborah Benito. The commission approved a wheelchair ramp for the home more than a year ago, with the understanding it would be temporary.

Approval was not on an agenda and at the time was considered an emergency, as one of the residents is disabled and was coming home from the hospital.

“Can we get rid of that handicapped ramp?” Poli asked. “Can we give them a 45-day notice to remove the ramp and then they’ll get a daily fine or something like that?”

“Let me talk to them first,” Engelhart said, adding the ramp was put up about a year and a half ago.

“Let me reach out. And, if not, then we go on a notice … and it’s a fine,” he said.

“I don’t want to fine anybody,” Poli said. “I want people to be able to enjoy this town, but I think enough is enough already.”

He also brought up a building on 2 South Main Street occupied by the business Dream Weaver. A window on the first floor of the building was replaced about two years ago after an accident downtown that Poli and his wife witnessed.

Poli said he hadn’t been inside the store since it was the Waterline Art Gallery, but was displeased with how the building owner had replaced the window.

“She matched the other window by putting a fake muntin in there,” he said. “I looked at those muntins from the inside – they are horrible, the way they did that.”

Poli admitted it was probably too late to do anything about it, but added, “I think that was wrong the way that was done.”

“If you look at all the historic windows in town … that store there just ruined the whole look along the whole line of all the stores,” he said.

Commission members also discussed a work session to go over proposed new architectural guidelines for the town. The meeting was tentatively scheduled for Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall on William Street.