Water Street Housing Development Hearing Likely Delayed

A scheduled public hearing Tuesday night by the Haverhill city council for a proposed 59-unit multifamily building at 85 Water St., the former Friend’s Landing site, is expected to be rescheduled to June 30.

Attorney Joseph P. Sullivan, representing applicant Frank Franzone and Water Street Waterfront LLC, has requested a postponement to the council hearing.

Water Street Waterfront LLC, represented by Attorney Joseph P. Sullivan, Newburyport, is seeking a special permit allowing a “density bonus” under the zoning ordinance, for plans to expand and improve public access to the Merrimack River waterfront and adjacent River Rest Park. The manager of Water Street Waterfront is Frank J. Franzone.

Project plans call for 59 multi-family units including “professional or artist live/work units, a decrease from a 96-unit plan approved by the council in 2003.

The former Water Street urban renewal parcel was once occupied by Capt'n Chris Restaurant and later by the Friends Landing lounge.

In other city council business, temporary side street access restrictions to the Hunking School premises during construction of a new grades kindergarten through eighth grade facility is among matters before the Haverhill city council Tuesday night.

A request by Superintendent James F. Scully and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro, along with the council’s Traffic and Safety committee, would immediately close the ends of Revere and Winchester streets intersecting with the Hunking access road and bring concrete posts and chains, painted yellow, to be opened mornings and afternoons during bus arrivals and departures. The closures would be in effect until the anticipated June, 2018 completion of the Hunking project.

“These actions are recommended due to the high rate of speed by residents and non-residents near school property thus creating an extremely unsafe environment for students near the Hunking School,” Scully said in a letter.

“It is my recommendation that city council give serious consideration to approving the school department request for this closure. It should be noted the Hunking School driveway that runs adjacent to the fire station and ends at the traffic lights on South Main Street is not designated as a public way,” DeNaro said.

Also on the agenda, Mayor James J. Fiorentini has requested to address the council regarding the new budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

The Haverhill city council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.