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New house plans tabled second time

By Staff | Jul 23, 2010

Roger Munro

The Planning Commission has again delayed a vote on a proposal to construct a new house on Bones Wright Street so that they can get more information on the impact of the construction on the surrounding area. Pam Berry, chair of the Planning Commission, said that a special session of the Planning Commission would be held to vote on the project once additional information on the impact of the construction on the Town Run, which abuts the property, had been obtained. As of Wednesday, that special session had not yet been scheduled.

This is the second time the Planning Commission has delayed a vote on the matter. Previously, the Planning Commission had delayed a decision on the project so that the applicant, local resident Roger Munro, could survey his property to see if the proposed construction would fall into the flood plain. The decision to delay an up or down vote on the project followed more an hour of discussion which revealed confusion among the members of the Planning Commission over Shepherdstown’s floodplain ordinance. Town Councilman and Planning Commissioner Josh Stella said he was “baffled” by the floodplain ordinance, which he said appeared to contain contradictory clauses relating to building near a floodplain.

The project has also attracted the attention of some neighbors. High Street resident Patrinka Kelch, owner of the Thomas Shepherd Grist Mill, railed against the proposal during Monday’s meeting. “I’m not in favor of this structure going up in the Town Run,” said Kelch, who fears that construction downstream from her could affect the flow of water to the historic mill wheel.

The 1,600-square-foot home would be located at 204 Bones Wright Street, off of North Princess Street.

From the street it would appear to be a humble bungalow with wood siding, with the rear of the house sporting double-decker decks overlooking the babbling Town Run below. Paperwork filed with Town Hall earlier in the month describes the house as a single-family dwelling valued at over $280,000, with construction costs projected to run up to $180,000. Munro lists himself as the contractor for the construction.

The Planning Commission can either vote to grant a building permit, or they can deny the application because of zoning violations. If denied, Munro can appeal the decision by seeking a variance from Shepherdstown’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

Munro is a former president of the Shepherdstown Planning Commission.