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Thursday August 11th

Development plan for West Rosemary Street will address residents' concerns

<p>The Town of Chapel Hill is taking resident input on the Rosemary Street development plan.</p>
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The Town of Chapel Hill is taking resident input on the Rosemary Street development plan.

Over the past few months, the Town of Chapel Hill has been listening to the input of town residents on what they want to see in the Rosemary Street developmental plan. After a period of constructing this developmental guide, the town is ready to propose the final draft guide to the Chapel Hill Town Council.

If the proposal goes through, it would improve resident concerns such as the maintenance of stormwater drainage, the adequacy of street lighting and the condition of sidewalks, among others.

Rae Buckley, assistant to the manager for organizational and strategic initiatives, has played an important role in the process of constructing the development plan.

Buckley said she has listened to the input of residents for other projects in the past and it worked well, so she wanted to do it again.

She said people voiced a lot of important concerns about Rosemary Street and these concerns were directly addressed in the developmental guide.

Buckley said the Chapel Hill Town Council will be considering the guide in April and May, and the decision to pass it or not will be made on May 22.

If the proposal is accepted, the next steps for developing Rosemary Street will be to push for the construction of small — four stories or less — buildings with affordable office space that local businesses can acquire, Buckley said.

Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, is also heavily involved in the creation of the developmental guide.

She said the downtown partnership has played an important role in the process of developing the developmental guide, such as helping to organize the two community input sections.

McGurk said she is excited about this plan and Buckley has done a great job communicating with residents and stakeholders.

“I think this guide will give the community a sense of predictability of what could come from future development and also reduce the anxiety among the community members caused by this unpredictability,” McGurk said.

Andrew Rifken, a UNC student who walks down Rosemary Street regularly, said he is happy that the developmental guide is in the works.

Rifken said he’s noticed some potentially dangerous problems when he walks down Rosemary Street, such as the storm drains, so he’s glad someone’s trying to make some changes for the better.



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