Chapel Hill Town Council held a public hearing Monday night to discuss plans for a new hotel on West Rosemary Street, among other issues.
Developers of the hotel brought forth their application along with resolutions to begin construction on a four-story hotel on the corner of West Rosemary Street and Church Street. The hotel would be a Marriott hotel based after hotels in Mediterranean Europe known as the AC.
"The AC is a Marriott product," said Dennis Mitchell, development manager with OTO Development. "It's coming out of Mediterranean Europe. There are over 80 properties in Europe. It's slowly being rolled out in the U.S. with four or five hotels. It's targeting a style that is contemporary but laid back."
While the hotel will bring in new revenue to the town through tourism, there were concerns brought up about the direct impact on the neighborhoods near the hotel. Chapel Hill resident Kim Hoppin voiced concerns about the traffic problems around her home on Short Street.
"I do have some real concerns about the traffic situation," Hoppin said. "When I heard (Gene Poveromo) mention only a few cars would be impacted, I suppose I would be one of those cars impacted."
The hotel plans include bicycle lanes being put into place near the hotel that would eliminate a left turn lane which would back up traffic during rush hour.
Chapel Hill Town Council member Maria Palmer, who is on the Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board, said the bike lanes would be great for the area and open up new avenues of travel in downtown Chapel Hill. She believed the hotel would be a positive addition to the town.
"I find this project very exciting, and I hope that it brings tourists that are gonna spend lots of money," Palmer said.
Palmer said she hopes the hotel works with the historical society to feature Chapel Hill's history, photographs and art at the hotel.
While the hotel was the main focus of the meeting, an item involving development-related improvement in Chapel Hill was raised and brought to the attention of the council. This mainly focused on the timeliness of inspections on job sites and updating the software used to keep the information about those inspections.
When talking about changing regulations about building near the UNC Horace Williams Airport, the council's concerns involved a zone that would be off limits to habitable buildings, sites dealing with hazardous materials and features that would attract wildlife to that site. When council member Jim Ward asked what kind of things would attract wildlife, Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said, "Like my garden."
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.