Superior Court Rejects Neighbors’ Request to Delay Crystal Lake Booster Construction

Salem Superior Court (Courtesy photograph.)

An Essex County Superior Court judge has rejected the request of two Haverhill neighbors to delay construction of a water booster station near the Crystal Lake golf course, new court documents show.

Neighbors Leota Sarette and Lisa Palmaisano recently petitioned Associate Superior Court Justice Timothy Q. Feeley to order Haverhill’s building inspector to “not issue any new building permits for any further construction of the subdivision.” Sarette, who lives across the street, and Palmaissano, a direct abutter on Back Nine Drive, filed suit nine years after the subdivision was initially approved by the city in 2009.

As WHAV previously reported, the neighbors are concerned over a water booster pumping station being built in the Crystal Springs development near the golf course purchased by Kevin Osgood after former owner Michael Maroney declared bankruptcy.

Maroney has been at odds with the city in a dispute over a partially constructed development on the 13-acre subdivision where he planned to build 50 homes. Twenty-nine properties were built and sold, but construction was held up when the City of Haverhill refused to grant him additional permits unless he constructed the booster station. When Maroney built four more homes without also building the booster station, a judge ruled he did not comply with city requirements and was ineligible for permits.

Upon orders from Building Inspector Richard Osborne, construction stopped three years ago. Lowell Five Bank took over possession of the land from Maroney and plans to move forward with the booster station as originally approved.

According to the women who filed the civil action, their neighborhood has simply changed too much over the years for the city not to re-evaluate the booster’s proposed location. City Planning Director William Pillsbury, however, has said the approved plan for the development does not expire, despite the neighbors’ assertions to the contrary.

In sum, wrote Feeley in his ruling, “(Sarette and Palmaisano) have shown no likelihood that they would be successful in bringing to a halt ongoing construction or future construction under the subdivision plan.”

A foundation permit was recently issued for the booster station and construction is ongoing.

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