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Milestone reached toward Shepherd Village project

By Staff | Nov 25, 2016

As people around the Panhandle prepare for the nation’s celebration of thanks, the 34 people who are part of Shepherd Village, a co-housing community forming in Shepherdstown, have been counting their blessings for months.

The Shepherdstown Planning Commission unanimously approved the Shepherd Village Development Plan, which describes in detail the engineering designs of homes, roads and storm water management systems, at a recent meeting.

This milestone was one in a series of approvals needed for the project, the first being an Outline Plan approved by both the Planning Commission and Town Council last spring.

“Our group of owners spent countless hours designing these plans alongside our project manager, civil engineer and a Shepherd Village member who is an engineer specializing in public water systems,” said Charlotte Baker-Shenk, one of the founding members of the group. “We’ve come a long way since we purchased those 19 undeveloped acres three years ago!”

Shepherd Village is a cohousing community that is designed, managed and owned by residents who will have private homes and share use of a Common House for group dinners, get-togethers for music, movies, exercise or yoga, and just “hanging out” on a screened-in porch or patio. People interested in joining the community become “Explorers” for three months, attending meetings and participating in activities before deciding to join.

As one Explorer recently remarked, “Where else can you meet and work together with your neighbors before you sign up, buy and move in?”

When completed in 2018, the project will have created 30 private homes in duplexes and triplexes, along with an approximately 4000 sq. ft. Common House, plus a community garden, walking paths, clustered parking and other amenities.

As of today, Shepherd Village has 21 households of member-owners with eight Explorer households, both individuals and couples.

Baker-Shenk went on to say that the project is moving toward construction because of the Town’s support and the high caliber of professionals hired on the project.

“Our architects, Shepherdstown’s Sara Lambert and member-owner Mike Binder, have collaborated with the Shepherd Village design team to create a lovely neighborhood that reflects our values of care for our environment and retaining its natural beauty,” said Baker-Shenk.

The project plans are now out to bid, with construction to begin in early 2017.

After months of researching, discussing and determining the best roofing, siding, flooring and a variety of housing details with a “green” quotient for saving energy while controlling costs, the members of Shepherd Village are ready to give thanks that last Thursday of November.

The next day they will keep moving forward on the journey to build an actual community while they deepen their friendships and commitments with each other.

To find out more about Shepherd Village, visit shepherdvillage.net, Shepherd Village Cohousing on Facebook, and @SVCohousing on Twitter.