Council Wants Vote Next Week on 90-Unit Housing Complex

A city council hearing on a proposed 90-unit congregate care housing complex off North Avenue will take place next Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Haverhill city councilors voted six to two to postpone the hearing one more week. Councilors William H. Ryan and Colin F. LePage opposed the delay. Ryan said continuing delays serve to unfairly lessen neighborhood opposition.

“This has been going on for months and you just wear people down. I mean how many nights can people go to somebody come on out, tonight’s the night and show up and its postponed again. Eventually you wear everybody down and that’s whats going on here,” Ryan said. He said neighborhood opponents have gone door-to-door, collected signatures and organized people to come to meetings. Councilor William J. Macek said a week’s delay is the last he will support since it is unfair to opponents.

Attorney Robert Harb, representing Continental Wingate Development Co. of Needham, said the delay is necessary for the city council to review updated traffic reports; letters of support, including one from Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully; and receive an independent traffic peer review requested by the city engineer. Harb added, he would like all councilors present, noting Tuesday’s absence of Councilor Michael S. McGonagle absent.

Councilor Mary Ellen Daly-O’Brien agreed hearings with all members present is a typical courtesy.