Group Asks Environmental Officials to Overturn Approval of DiBurro’s Ward Hill Redevelopment

DiBurro’s Function Facility, 887 Boston Road, Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

A group of Haverhill residents is asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to overturn and replace the city’s conditions on a proposal to construct 152 apartments and commercial space at the site of current DiBurro Function Facility.

Few of the 10 petitioners appear to have any connection to the property at 887 Boston Road, between Route 125 and Boston Road. Led by Christopher Twombly of 49 Vernon St., Haverhill, the signers wrote the approved stormwater management plan is “not adequate,” impacts to the property’s wetlands were “not properly described,” a proposed retaining wall cannot be constructed without affecting a “no disturb” zone and there may be endangered species such as the blue-spotted salamander. The developer, on the other hand, disputes the complaint and noted the city’s outside, independent consultant reviewed the initial plans.

“Unfortunately, we are never surprised by these types of frivolous motions. We are nonetheless buoyed by the fact that our engineers are first rate and the unanimous peer-reviewed decision of the conservation commission leads us to believe we are in an excellent position to finish the permitting of this development quickly,” Princeton Properties Management Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chaban told WHAV.

The independent review was conducted by Curt Busto, staff engineer with Merrimack, N.H.-based Comprehensive Environmental.

Twombly asks the northeast regional office of DEP to issue, what is known as, a “superseding order of conditions” to replace requirements approved by the Haverhill Conservation Commission earlier this month.

Conservation Commission Community Liaison and Vice Chairman Ralph T. Basiliere told WHAV he was surprised to learn of the complaint since no one spoke against the project at the Commission’s public hearing.

“This one doesn’t pass the smell test. It doesn’t seem to be about the Wetlands Protection Act,” Basiliere said. He added the developer went “above and beyond” what the Commission could require, including “daylighting” the partially underground “Barker Brook” to expose the brook and mitigate erosion.

Besides Twombly, those signing the public petition were Jake Hoyle, 60 Washington St.; Joseph Terilli, 96 Margin St.; Jennie Twombly, 49 Vernon St.; Edmund Palen Jr., 124 Grove St.; Kurt, Kenneth and Krystle Stephen, 61 Charles St.; Simone Turcotte, 10 Parkview Lane; and Nicholas Lupoli, 211 River St.

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