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Comp Plan will move to Council

By Staff | Sep 29, 2014

A final public hearing was held for the Comprehensive Plan proposal at a meeting of the Shepherdstown Planning Commission.

After ten years, the Shepherdstown’s Comprehensive Plan was revised through a the course public meetings and workshops held in the last 12 months.

Committee Chair, David Rosen discussed the plans major components.

The new plan reflects what Rosen called “a shift in demographics,” due to a recent annexation of Shepherd University property.

The document also reflects increased public support for further annexation and growth.

Commissioner Steve Ayraud called this one of the plan’s major changes.

“There is broad support for the town to grow,” he said

Ayraud quoted the plan’s text: “The result of a town’s failure to expand its geographic limits, especially as growth occurs around it is usually stagnation in terms of both its fiscal posture and quality of life and often decline.”

“That’s something to think about.. Really, a vibrant community needs to grow,” he said.

The Comprehensive Plan review process also resulted in the establishment of a formal growth management boundary- a first for the corporation.

Commissioners hope the boundary will provide a framework for appropriate development.

“Although, there’s a big push for annexation, we need to to be careful with annexation,” Rosen said.

“What’s the density that actually makes sense for the town to annex.”

“Let’s grow smart,” he said.

Rosen said the plan’s priority is on maintaining whats most attractive about the town.

“The essence of Shepherdstown is quality of life,” Rosen said.

“That’s really what we’re going for, trying to improve and maintain that quality of life.”

Another major aspect of the plan would call for the adoption of a building code for the corporation and a property management code for residents.

Commissioners projected a need for additional subcommittees to work on the plan’s various proposed projects.

Copies of the document can be found in Town Hall and on the the Corporation of Shepherdstown web site www.shepherdstown.us.

The final draft will go before the Shepherdstown Town Council for approval at a meeting on Oct. 14.