Shepherdstown is a historic university town that is situated on the Potomac River in the far western exurban reaches of the Washington, DC metro region. As the oldest incorporated municipality in the state of West Virginia, Shepherdstown’s rich history is well preserved in its historic downtown and neighborhoods that grew up around the bustling river trade associated with the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. From its beginnings as a center of river trade, Shepherdstown has evolved into a hub for artists and cultural events, including the internationally renowned Contemporary American Theater Festival

In 2013, Shepherdstown engaged Benchmark to prepare an update to its comprehensive plan. The primary focus of the plan was the need to preserve the rich historic, cultural and environmental fabric of the community and surrounding agricultural landscape. The successful planning effort led to the adoption of a Growth Management Boundary in coordination with Jefferson County, which, along with a range of new land use policies, has established a clear path toward a sustainable future for the community.