Topsail Beach commissioners have opted to keep open a block of road a local church wants closed, ending a months-long debate.


Topsail Beach commissioners have opted to keep open a block of road a local church wants closed, ending a months-long debate.



Commissioners agreed Wednesday night to leave an about 195-foot-long stretch of Carolina Boulevard between Scott Avenue and King Street open against the request of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel.



The town board’s decision follows four meetings, including two public hearings, since church leaders asked commissioners in March to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to close and abandon the block.



That block divides the church’s property. Church leaders asked for the block to be closed for safety reasons and possible future expansion of the church campus.



About 50 residents attended a public hearing last month. A majority of the 20 people who spoke at the hearing opposed the closing.



“I think the people on that street that it most affects spoke loudly in favor of not closing it,” Commissioner Tom Eggleston said. “I don’t want to go against the people that it affects the most.”



Residents who expressed their opposition to closing the block asked the town board to consider exploring other safety measures, such as installing a crosswalk on the block and barricading the block on Sundays.



Commissioners did not discuss whether they will take such action.