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Shepherdstown town house project resurfaces

April 25, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Proposed development near Morgan's Grove Park outside of Shepherdstown, W.Va., is generating controversy again.

Members of the Jefferson County Planning Commission Tuesday night heard a proposal for a 32-lot town house development next to the park that would cater to artisans and feature commercial attractions like homegrown food stores.

Although the Shepherdstown area is known for its artisan community, the project was generating opposition during a public hearing before the planning commission.

The president of the Shepherdstown Men's Club, which owns Morgan's Grove Park, said the proposed Town Run Commons is not appropriate for the rural setting in and around the park.

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Joel Garner criticized the project for several reasons, including that plans for the development do not say how high buildings in the development would be.

"It's just not compatible," said Garner, who encouraged planning commission members to visit the site and visualize how commercial uses might look in the area.

Other development ideas have been proposed for the area over the years and have caused controversy.

Planning Commission member Jim Surkamp said he is concerned about traffic associated with Town Run Commons and the fact only one entrance will be used for it. Mark Dyck, a spokesman for the project, said two entrances have been considered.

There was also discussion about how Town Run, a stream that runs through the area, would be protected. Peter Corum, the owner of the property where Town Run Commons would be built, said he consulted with experts on that issue and it was suggested that natural vegetation be allowed to grow along the stream.

A public hearing on the project was still under way Tuesday at 9:20 p.m.

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