Design, design, design!                             Fall/Winter 2015-2016
Site design workshop

A lot has happened and much progress has been made in Shepherd Village during the bright days of autumn and winter's thoughtful afternoons. In September, we worked with our architect, Chuck Durrett, to design our site. We envisioned the location of our common house, our homes, and other features of the overall plan. That led within a few weeks to a workshop in which we considered what our individual homes would be like: spaces and possibilities taking shape on the page and in our imaginations as Chuck presented and drew. In December it all converged in a third workshop in which we took another long look at the drawings and plans for it all: site, common house (which we had thought about in the summer before everything else), and individual homes. Exciting!
We take a walk together during our home design workshop to look at the lovely architectural features of Shepherdstown that we hope to echo in our own homes.

Our site design...take a look:
In our last issue we reported that we hired an engineering firm, Allegheny Survey and Engineer.  Lisa McCauley is the engineer from that firm working with us on our project.   She has offered keen listening skills and much patience as well as a progressive understanding of water management. She has been refining our site plan by locating our buildings, water, sewer, and utilities on the topography and adding the roadways, parking, sidewalks, gardens, trees to be preserved, and even our chicken shed and fish pond.
Values workshop

As our community expands in numbers and we grow in relationship to one another, we want to clarify and deepen our understanding of how we work best together and the values we hold in common.   After all, our values shape our design, and how those values will flow together is a deep and intricate conversation.    To help us,  we hired Lisa Foley as our process consultant. She led us in a workshop, guiding us to identify our own "touchstone" values that we can return to for guidance and clarity during tough decision points.

We have
  • hired Gene Bayer as our Development Project Manager.  Gene has at least 30 years experience  as a general contractor, developer, construction administrator, architect's representative, and home inspector.  He has spent time working with a senior housing development.  We are very fortunate to have him!
  • started a process to clarify our internal organization so that everyone's gifts are used to the fullest and we work together with efficiency and joy
  • just completed another orientation series to bring new Explorers on board
  • 18 Equity Member households and 2 Explorer households!
  • On January 18, we gave an informal presentation about Shepherd Village to the Shepherdstown Planning Commission and interested town officials. We received strong encouragement and had the valuable opportunity to listen to their questions.  Next comes a big step: after a pre-application discussion meeting, we will submit our PUD (Planned Unit Development) application this month (February)!

Here is an artist's vision of our beautiful site....