Council Postpones Decision on 60 Bradford Waterfront Condos Until Opposing Sides Meet

Architect’s original rendering of three proposed condominium buildings on Railroad Street.

Plans to build 60 market rate condominiums overlooking the Merrimack River in Bradford are on hold until the developer meets with neighbors to hear their concerns.

After hearing concerns about traffic, narrow streets, building height and a possible lack of privacy, Haverhill City Councilors postponed a decision on allowing the project proposed by Ernest Coito for 38 Railroad St.

A presentation by attorney Paul A. Magliocchetti, architect John Sava and designer Chris Crump explained how the project would dovetail with the city’s plans for expanding the rail trail. Sava and Crump also displayed drawings showing how the building would be stepped to allow nearly all future residents to have river views. Glass-roofed corridors would also afford plenty of interior light and maintain view of the Merrimack. Magliocchetti noted only one- and two-bedroom condominiums would be built to reduce pressure on the school system.

Resident Dana Fields questioned how the proposed site had grown a half acre since planning began and he speculated a land swap deal with the city might have been engineered behind the scenes. Magliocchetti acknowledged he has been in talks with City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. about “cross easements” that would benefit the city’s waterfront plans and allow the developer to build.

Haverhill’s Economic and Planning Director William Pillsbury said many of the issues raised by neighbors would be addressed by the plan. One idea, he said, would be to use part of the former railroad right-of-way for a new street.

The council was nearly ready to vote with Councilor Melinda E. Barrett proposing conditions on the project that would require privacy fences to protect existing neighbors, off-site snow removal, creation of a buffer zone and accommodations for the Haverhill High School Crew Team. However, Councilor William J. Macek suggested the developer meet with abutters and try to iron out differences.

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