Construction may seem to be coming to a close on Rosemary Street, but a whole lot more is just beginning.
On Monday afternoon, Chapel Hill town employees hosted a meeting with Northside neighborhood residents and townspeople at the Hargraves Community Center.
The meeting, which was open to the public, aimed to open up a dialogue between Northside residents and Chapel Hill officials about the future of West Rosemary Street. Going forward, the town will hold periodic meetings to update residents and get input.
Stanford Harvey, a principal architect at Lord, Aeck & Sargent, facilitated the presentation and question and answer session. Both parts of the meeting focused largely on affordable housing and the heights of buildings.
In the presentation, Harvey said Chapel Hill and Carrboro add about 317 households per year, so town officials want to make sure that everyone who wants to own a house can.
Harvey said that while there is some concern that students use a majority of available housing in the town, Chapel Hill also prioritizes the needs of its residents to find affordable housing.
“Our fundamental premise is to preserve single family neighborhoods back on the side streets,” Harvey said.
Harvey also said that building appearances, including the heights of buildings, are an important factor of future development on Rosemary Street. He said the town of Chapel Hill does not want fancy balconies and big buildings, but rather blank walls and more simple structures.
“The more you can break a building mass down, the more humane it feels,” he said.