City Council decides not to close Berry Avenue
Washington’s City Council, during its June 11 meeting, decided against adopting a resolution of intent to close a section of Berry Avenue.
At its April 9 meeting the council unanimously voted to not close the section of Berry Avenue between West Fifth and Harrington streets. Last week, if the council had adopted a resolution of intent to close that section of Berry Avenue between West Fifth Street and Harrington Street, it would have been required by state law to conduct a public hearing on the matter.
The city’s Planning Board recommended closing that section. The issue came back to the council last week because Brad Horton, owner of Athletic Edge Sports and Fitness, wanted the council to rethink its decision. Horton sought the closure so he could expand Athletic Edge to better serve its 700 members.
At the April 9 meeting, Jim Gardiner, general manager of Compmillennia, which builds highly technical advanced composition vessels, objected to closing Berry Avenue, saying that closing the unpaved street would hinder his plans to expand the boat-building facility. The northern-most section of Berry Avenue is at the rear of the Compmillennia complex at the intersection of Hackney Avenue and Harrington Street.
Last week, Gardiner told the council Horton’s request for the council to reconsider the matter was not filed by the deadline to do so. Gardiner asked the council to reject Horton’s request. Horton did not speak at the meeting.
At the April 9 meeting, Gardiner said closing that section of Berry Avenue would benefit Horton alone and cause hardship for area residents who use Berry Avenue to access Fifth Street. Gardiner said closing the street likely would result in truck traffic leaving Compmillennia having to travel through a residential area to access Fifth Street.
There are no residences on Berry Avenue from Fifth Street to Harrington Street. Gardiner presented a petition of neighboring property owners who objected to closing the street section.