Haverhill City Council Kills Proposed 5th Marijuana Shop Over Traffic Concerns

Frosty Nug is proposed for 1181 Boston Road, Havrehill, currently the site of a used car lot. (WHAV News photograph.)

Plans for opening another pot shop on Route 125 in Bradford were snuffed out at last night’s Haverhill City Council meeting.

Representatives for the Frosty Nug, who were seeking a special permit to operate a recreational marijuana store at 1181 Boston Road, pointed out the advantages they retailer would bring to the city and rebutted concerns expressed by City Engineer John H. Pettis III over an expected increase in traffic.

Scott Thornton, of the Andover based traffic engineering firm Vanasse and Associates said his company completed a traffic analysis at the beginning of the year and determined the operation would increase traffic in that area by only .6 to 1.3 percent and would likely go down from there.

“As more of these facilities become operational, we expect the traffic volume to decrease,” he said.

In his original comments on the proposal, Pettis said an additional 450 automobile trips per day, six-days-a-week is “a significant concern.” He said he raised similar objections to the proposed Dunkin’ shop at 915 S. Main St. “and those concerns have proven to be well-founded as there have been numerous accidents at the location, some very serious.”

A number of residents who live nearby were not convinced by the presentation though. Among them was Jonathan Campbell, who said the area is already a problem for pedestrians due to poorly maintained sidewalks.

“This location is unsafe, as you know. The city engineer, John Pettis, has recommended against granting a special permit. Entering and exiting access of this facility is on a blind curve on a busy four-lane highway,” he said.

Campbell also took issue with the developer’s plan to allow right-only turns out of the property. He said drivers wishing to go in the other direction will use Farrwood Drive to turn around.

Councilors agreed traffic is already a problem and adding the Frosty Nug would make it worse. Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said it is not about marijuana; it is about an unsafe road.

“The road is a horror show and I cannot in good faith support another business going in at that location, whether it’s a pot shop or anything else. I’ll oppose anything. Anything else that is proposed for that stretch of 125 will never have my support until Mass DOT steps up to the plate and makes meaningful improvements to Route 125.”

The Council voted 8-0 to deny the special permit and, in called for stipulations that would need to be met by anyone looking to open a business in that location.

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