Nothing New But Plenty to Do for Haverhill City Council This Week

This week’s City Council meeting will feel very much like the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Councilors will be faced with several projects they thought they had already decided. They include a lease agreement for Haverhill District Court, a multi-unit housing project on Harrison Street and land-taking for a road improvement project on Broadway (shown on map, pictured). Several projects that city councilors thought they had already decided will come before them again this week.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

The council meets beginning at 7 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Councilors will be asked to approve a six-month lease extension to the Massachusetts Trial Court for space on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall. The lease, which brings with it a $2,000 monthly payment, was to end on Feb. 28.

If councilors approve, it will continue at least until Aug. 31 and result in a total of $12,000 in rent payments.

The extension is needed because rehabilitation of the Haverhill District Court building on Ginty Boulevard is not yet complete.

Although they won’t hear the case until April, the attorney for Harrison Street Investments will submit a request for a special permit to build a 17-unit multi-family dwelling on the site of the former St. Gregory and St. James schools. Last year, Common Ground Development, a nonprofit housing agency based in Lowell, had proposed a 21-unit, two-building development, which failed to win council approval based on the density of the neighborhood and fears of parking and traffic gridlock.

The proposal to be submitted this week includes only one building and two on-site parking spaces for each unit.

The developer has asked for a hearing on April 17.

An action that councilors took in April 17 will come before them again at the request of City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. According to an order submitted to the council, Cox has concerns about the recording of land-takings and easements related to the pedestrian and traffic improvements on Broadway from Research Drive to Silver Birch Lane.

Cox has asked councilors to update their vote so that the actions can be properly recorded, especially since the bid process delayed the start of the project until this year.