But Travis Vencel, the developer for the project, said the developing company has already taken steps to protect these neighborhoods.
Vencel said he has reworked the property design to shift the building southwest and increased the buffer zone in order to minimize the effects on neighbors.
Chapel Hill resident Deborah Finn said while she isn’t opposed to students living near long-term residents, she is concerned about the size of the proposal.
“There seems to be an impression that the neighborhood doesn’t want them,” she said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a matter of quantity and balance.”
Residents also raised concerns about the level of noise associated with student renters, as well as safety in such a large complex.
“It would take an army to patrol for safety in a building of this size,” said Chapel Hill resident Elizabeth Okun. “Unfortunately, it will probably be needed and not available.”
But others argued that the proposal would benefit the area.
“We can decrease the demand for more and more single-family homes downtown,” said Kate Connelly, a Chapel Hill resident and former UNC student.
Several residents said the project will only worsen the lack of workforce housing in town.
In response, Trinitas, the developing company, committed to giving the building’s 13 employees a 20 percent discount on their rent, and pledged $120,000 toward affordable housing.
Several residents and council members raised questions as to whether developments of this kind were in line with the town’s vision for the area.
But Councilman Lee Storrow said he felt like there was a strong need for more student housing in Chapel Hill.
“I don’t think this project is the perfect fit, but I think it’s part of the fit.”
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