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Building Begins: New residential development now underway downtown

By Staff | Nov 10, 2017

Submitted photo Land is shown being cleared as construction begins on Sage Place Commons, a new walkable residential neighborhood near downtown.

A new walkable residential neighborhood called Sage Place Commons is now being developed in a sought-after location a few blocks from downtown Shepherdstown.

Sage Place, a newly constructed road off of E. German Street near the historic Christ Reformed Church offers 20 buildable lots approved for residential duplexes for a price tag of $95 thousand each, and available for immediate sale. These units are adjoining the 30 Shepherd Village co-housing units, which have all been sold and are now under construction for 2018 occupancy. The housing lots are all part of the 19-acre area that was purchased four years ago.

The duplexes will feature single-floor main living areas, with an additional lower level and rear walkout basements, thanks to the natural ridge on which the development is being built.

“We really are clustered,” said Charlotte Baker-Shenk, one of the co-founders of the Shepherd Village area. “Our homes are smaller and we are close to each other. That’s by social design encouraging people to interact.”

Lots are 50 feet by 80 feet, with building pads up to 40 by 55 feet approved for each of the two residential units in the duplex building, which share a common wall on adjacent lot lines. The design plans provide for 10-foot front and side yard setbacks and a 15-foot rear yard setback. All Sage Place Commons lots have public water and sewer, underground utilities, pre-excavated basements and are surrounded by undisturbed, vegetated conservation areas with walking trails.

“We have worked really hard during the construction to preserve as many of the trees and vegetation as possible, which has been quite challenging at times,” Baker-Shenk said.

She went on to say that the Shepherd Village group has received a matching grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the help of Sebastian Donner, Storm Water Specialist from the West Virginia EPA, in the amount of $154,015 that will enable residents to use more progressive means of storm water management.

“We have a large group of water retention areas,” Baker-Shenk said. “The whole idea is to not send all of your water down and pollute the Chesapeak. The plan is to use ‘enlightened’ filtration practices to manage all of your water here on your own your own land.”

The grant also includes money to plant mature trees, grass pavers instead of asphalt, native plants and a a green roof that will be on the community garden shed.

“We’re just thrilled (about the grant),” Baker-Shenk said. “We’re trying to do the right thing. We all care about the environment. When you build something, some things get destroyed and so it is really important that we are very intentional about how we rebuild and create an environment that is sustainable.”

Sage Place Commons has been established as a primarily 55 and older West Virginia common interest community and homeowners association, meaning that 80 percent of Sage Place’s homes must have at least one person age 55 or older. HOAfees areanticipated to be less than $500 a year.

Sage Place Commons’ seller-developer is Shepherdstown East Development LLC, comprised of the 30 owner-developers of the neighboring Shepherd Village Co-housing community, which is also a 55-plus community. Shepherdstown East Development has identified local general contractors who are available to contract with buyers for Sage Place home construction.

For more information, contact Charlotte Baker-Shenk, 301-801-2793 or emailShepherdstownDev@yahoo.com.