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(July 12, 2019) A proposed residential planned community near Ocean Pines cleared its first hurdle Wednesday, after the Worcester County Planning Commission accepted the step one concept plan.

Evergreen Village on Beauchamp Road, just north of Route 589 would have 90 single-family homes, according to the proposal. 

Attorney Hugh Cropper IV, who represented Evergreen LLC, said a concept plan is “very preliminary.”

Land Planner Robert Hand, of R.D. Hand and Associates Inc., also noted the area’s zoning, R-1 Rural Residential and RP, Resource Protection. 

The property owners would have access to several amenities, including a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, and walking trails, according to the plan. Ocean Pines, the River Run subdivision and golf course as well as St. John Neumann School and church surround the proposed project. 

In order to “reduce impacts to sensitive areas and non-tidal wetlands,” the concept plan does not include cul-de-sacs, according to Hand’s report.

“The clustered design of Evergreen Village minimizes the consumption of land, optimizes open space and maximizes open space while reducing impervious surfaces,” Hand said. 

The River Run Sewer Treatment Plant would provide sewer capabilities to the subdivision, and the Ocean Pines service area facilities would allocate water services.

“Evergreen Village will be an infill development and compliment the neighborhood,” Hand’s report said.

Residents of the proposed project would also use Racetrack Road, or Route 589, a major area thoroughfare and state road. 

Maryland Department of Transportation and State Highway Administration also investigated the area, and they “do not anticipate the project will negatively impact the surrounding state roadway network,” according to District Engineer James W. Meredith. 

However, Joe Price, facilities planner for Worcester County Public Schools, said the new 90 single-family homes could add to the student population in the northern part of Worcester County.

If approved, Hand said construction would begin in fall 2020.

Several members of the county’s planning commission had questions about safety with regard to the sidewalks and bike riders in the area.

Cropper took note of their reservations and offered to take it under advisement.

“I think that’s a step two detail, but we’ll take that into consideration and come back and address it one way or the other,” Cropper said.

Planning Commission member Jerry Barbierri moved to accept the plan as presented, which Planning Commission member Betty Smith seconded. The vote was unanimous.

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