Two primary housing related themes emerged during the planning process. The first was related to the need to ensure that the housing stock in the area was sufficiently diverse so as to provide reasonable access to the market for individuals and families of all ages and income levels. While the size of the market and its composition within the town proper is limited by its physical size and degree of development, the greater Shepherdstown area has a much more diverse housing stock, particularly in terms of price point. As the town grows, it will be critical to ensure that the market remains sufficiently diverse so as to allow the market to attract a wide range of residents to the area.
The second area of concern that emerged from the planning process was the need to ensure the long term health of the housing stock, particularly in terms of the care and maintenance of existing dwellings in a manner that supports the value of nearby residences. The historic nature of the housing stock can be a barrier to upkeep because of the need to comply with the Historic District Guidelines, which can lead to the deterioration of dwellings that owners cannot afford to repair or rehabilitate in compliance with the guidelines. To ensure the viability of the housing stock over the long term, the competing interests of the public’s desire to maintain the integrity of the historic character of Shepherdstown’s neighborhoods and the private necessity of maintaining homes in a manner that is cost effective must be balanced to ensure that character is not sacrificed for convenience and that property owners are given the ability to maintain their homes without incurring unreasonable financial burdens.