Nursing Home Owner’s Housing Plan Faces Uphill Battle

A developer’s plans to create so-called “congregate care housing” on property located off North Avenue, Haverhill, goes to a city council public hearing tonight.

An application for a special permit from Continental Wingate Development Company of Needham seeks to build a two-story complex with a total 90 units for either assisted living, supported independent living or memory care units. The complex would be built on approximately eight acres of land owned by the McGirr Family Trust.

However, the Haverhill Conservation Commission last month submitted an unfavorable recommendation, expressing concern the project would cause “significant encroachment upon a 25 foot no disturbance zone, which protects the site’s wetland resource areas, for installation of storm water management areas and abutter landscape screening.” The commission also said excavations would potentially have negative effects on the wetlands, while “the project does not propose any mitigation for these impacts.”

The company is affiliated with Wingate Health which locally owns skilled nursing homes Wingate at Haverhill, 190 North Ave., and Wingate at Andover, 80 Andover St., Andover. The company is operated by Scott and Gerald Schuster.