Ocean City Today

Commissioners move forward with Bishopville Park proposal

Program Open Space funds sought, could cover up to 90 percent of expenses
By Brian Gilliland | Nov 16, 2017

(Nov. 17, 2017) The former Bergey and Chmar properties at the junction of St. Martin’s Neck Road and Bishopville Road will be developed into a passive park following the Worcester County Commissioners acceptance of a concept plan earlier this month.

Recreation and Parks representative Bill Rodriguez said about 90 percent of the park’s total estimated cost of about $125,000 could be paid for out of Program Open Space funds, should the expenditure be approved by the state.

That would leave the county’s share at about $12,500 to finance the park.

Rodriguez identified two challenges to the park’s production. First, approval and a waiver would be needed from the State Highway Administration for vehicle parking, because of the location’s proximity to the intersection. The parking lot is proposed to be installed on the former Chmar property, caddy corner to the park across Bishopville Road.

Second, according to Rodriguez, the majority of the former Bergey property falls within the Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical area buffer, which would require additional approvals from one or both of the Critical Area Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

As for improvements to the existing lots, the concept plan calls for a 24-foot stone sitting wall surrounding a patio incorporating a hexagonal shelter with one or more picnic tables, paver stone walkways, swing bench and game table, the Old Mill foundation with informational sign, a retaining wall and bollard poles along the property lines near the roads to increase visibility.

On the former Chmar property the lot improvements include a grass-reinforced plastic mesh designed to withstand vehicle traffic and help reduce erosion, which in turn reduces stormwater mitigation requirements, Rodriguez reported.

Bollard poles would also be installed here to increase visibility, and additional signs.

Rodriguez said he plans to incorporate this project into the Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan and the annual program update required for Program Open Space funding.

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