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Topic 1: Land Use, Development and Community Character

Scenario 1-1:

You have company coming to town for the weekend and would like to take them on a short tour to introduce them to the community. Your time is short, and you need to pick the three places in the community to visit that will give them the best impression of the character of the town. What would those three places be, and what about those places makes them the most representative of the town’s unique character? Do you feel that recent development activity in and around Shepherdstown is reinforcing the community’s unique character? Identify what you feel has been developed in the most compatible manner and what has been incompatible? What about each example makes it compatible or incompatible?

Scenario 1-2:

A developer is proposing a mixed commercial and residential project in the community on a vacant tract of land that is in a prominent and highly visible location. You are interested in the project and have decided to speak at the public hearing on the zoning change that they need to make the project move forward. What are the conditions that you would encourage the Town Council to impose as part of the development approval process to help ensure that the new development will be compatible with Shepherdstown’s unique character? Are there examples of similar projects, either in nearby communities or elsewhere, which you feel could be a model for this type of development in Shepherdstown?

Scenario 1-3:

A developer mentions to you that they have acquired a vacant 10 acre tract of land that they would like to develop for residential use. They then ask your advice on what type of housing would best serve the needs of the community and sell/lease quickly in the local housing market once it is built. What would you tell them to build? Overall, what gaps do you see in the local housing market? Is there a high demand for certain types of housing that is not being filled by the current housing stock? Who is being left out of the local market? Where are they looking to buy/lease instead of Shepherdstown?

Scenario 1-4:

You have been assigned to a committee that is working on a plan to develop a long range annexation plan for Shepherdstown. Using the provided map, develop a phased approach to the growth of the Town, identifying those areas that you feel should become part of the corporation in the short-term (within 5 years), medium term (5-10 years) and long term (20 years) using different colors for each type of area. What are the most important criteria that you used in the process of determining which areas should be considered for annexation and the timeframe in which they should be annexed? What criteria did you use to decide which areas should not be considered for annexation? How do you think that annexation of the areas that you depicted on the map would impact the town, and will this be positive or negative?

Scenario 1-5:

You own a house in a part of town in which garage apartments and other types of accessory dwelling units are not allowed by the zoning ordinance. Your neighbor approaches you and states that their family wants to bring an aging parent to live with them, but they do not have room in their house to accommodate an additional family member. So, they are considering approaching the Town Council to request a change in the zoning ordinance that would allow them to construct an accessory dwelling on their property. This change would make this possible on all residential lots in this zoning district. What would be your concerns if the ordinance was changed to allow this? What types of conditions could be imposed on such structures through the ordinance to ensure that they created as little impact as possible on neighboring residences? Would you be in favor of such a change if adequate conditions were in place?