Lafayette Square Business Sign Brings Council Debate

Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek.

Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich.

Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich.

Problems with a Lafayette Square business sign, with visibility hindered by untrimmed trees, brought some help from Haverhill city councilors for a business owner.

After discussion, councilors Tuesday night granted a license to sell second hand articles for Shop To Talk, 68 Lafayette Square, on condition the business remains compliant with the city’s Inspectional Services code. The department alleged window and exterior signage was excessive. Councilor William J. Macek, who requested the discussion with the business owners, noted they have since complied. Ayad Maroun, 62 Frye Road, Methuen, spoke on behalf of petitioner Jeanine Maroun. He contended a tree planted by the city during the Lafayette Square traffic redesign project several years ago is obstructing his business and he asked councilors for help.

“I spend a lot of money advertising. People coming from Plaistow or Methuen, Atkinson. Today I had to walk across the street to Tedeschi to tell a customer where my store is, that’s why I added more signage. I took them all out but I need you guys to help me. I need these trees to be trimmed,” Maroun said.

“I went to the mayor’s office a few times, they said, ‘Call the highway department.’ I called the highway department, they said, “Call the mayor’s office.” Called the mayor’s office, they called the highway department, he called me back. They said, ‘Now we know what’s the problem. In the springtime we’ll trim them.’ It’s been two years, nobody touches the tree,” Maroun added.

Macek said the amount of signage found was “one of the things that makes our community look very poor.”

“In order to read as much as you had, I would have to have stopped my car in the middle of Lafayette Square and probably spend a couple of minutes reading all the stuff you had hanging there,” Macek said. “I’m pleased to know you have come into compliance with the city ordinance for signage. And I would just like to remind you that’s required, that you stay in compliance, so please don’t slip back.”

Other councilors, including Michael S. McGonagle, assured Maroun they would personally contact Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich as early as Wednesday for follow-up on the tree issue.

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