Despite Traffic Worries, Haverhill City Council Grants Special Permit for 18 Condominium Homes

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill City Council last night approved a special permit to construct six triplex condominium homes on a new subdivision at 1240 Boston Road.

Currently, that three-acre site is occupied by a single-family home owned by David W. O’Leary. Development plans would keep O’Leary’s home on the property, while moving it back 240 feet.

Attorney Paul A. Magliochetti, representing development company Boston Haverhill told the Council this is a well-thought-out plan.

“This is a project that actually started well over a year ago. This isn’t something that was put together quickly or in haste. We’re not seeking any variances or any waivers for this development, so it conforms completely with zoning in that area. Requested use preserves the character of the site and the neighborhood. It will have a minimal impact on the neighborhood,” he said.

Developer Steve Paquette said homes would likely be listed for under $400,000 per unit.

While councilors generally voiced strong support for the plan, the project did rekindle the long-standing issue of traffic problems on Boston Road. Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said that road has been a thorn in the city’s side for a long time because it is a state road and the state has not been responsive to Haverhill’s requests for help.

“We need to get them out there, but more importantly, we need a commitment from them to study the whole corridor and come up with a plan to make significant improvements which will solve potential problems at other points where developments may take place,” he said.

Sullivan said while he understands this is no fault of the developers, he cannot support the project after denying others previously.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua also expressed concern about the increased traffic along that road, suggesting approval should be contingent on not allowing any left-hand turns out of the subdivision. That proposal did not receive support.

Councilors did agree to an amendment to require the construction of a 200-foot-long fence between the proposed development and an abutting two-family home.

The final vote was 6-3 for approval with President Melinda E. Barrett and Councilors Sullivan and Bevilacqua opposed.

Architect’s rendering of proposed tri-plex condominium building off Boston Road in Haverhill.

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