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Council approves events, talks task force

By Staff | Sep 15, 2017

During its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Corporation of Shepherdstown Town Council addressed several event permits, including the approval of BooFest, the annual Christmas parade, Christmas in Shepherdstown and Shepherd University’s Homecoming parade.

Parking and accessibility around town were discussed as follow up to the August meeting, and to a previous meeting regarding the approval of Shepherd University’s new commuter parking lot. It was noted that the town has 38 handicap parking spaces. In a report from the Shepherdstown Visitor Center, it was also noted that no new complaints of students using metered spaces have been received since the beginning of the semester. This was considered by most of the council as a success, in support of the new commuter student parking lot.

The council introduced a reading of an amendment updating language used in Chapter 10 Title 9 of the city code, detailing duties and responsibilities of the zoning appeals board. Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer said that the changes made in the proposed amendment are “very minor,” and will not alter the actual function or responsibilities of the appeals board.

The forming of a transient lodging task force was a final topic of discussion. Listed on the original agenda as an “Airbnb Task Force.” This group would be an informal planning commissions group, looking into public requests, changes on zoning, parking and other issues related to the concept of temporary private room rentals, such as those done through Airbnb.

This type of business is not legally permitted in Shepherdstown, where only businesses such as bed and breakfasts or hotels can rent rooms.

“This task force should involve residents, homeowners and business owners as they are the people impacted by this type of business should it be permitted,” Auxer said.

The task force is to present a more defined mission statement and goals at the council’s October meeting.