Haverhill Councilors Approve Apartment, Deny Fueling Station in Separate Decisions

Haverhill City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

Two public hearings, one for a special permit to add an additional one-bedroom apartment to an existing building on South Main Street, and the other for a license for an underground flammable storage tank on Amesbury Road, had different outcomes at last night’s Haverhill City Council meeting.

The first involved an application by Salon Val Bros, 381 South Main St., to convert a vacant space on the first floor of its building into a rental apartment. Currently, the building is home to the owner’s hair salon on the first floor and two apartments on the second floor.

Attorney Robert D. Harb, representing the owner, detailed the plans.

“The purpose of this application is to enable the salon to remain in business and get some additional income. Taking over the unused commercial space and then converting it into a single bedroom apartment. It’s a mixed-use building,” he explained.

Councilor Melinda E. Barrett. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Harb said the building has more than enough parking and the only exterior alteration would be the addition of and exit and stairs in the rear of the building.

Councilors endorsed the project by a vote of 7-1 with Councilor Melinda E. Barrett opposed, citing concerns about a lack of storage space. Councilor Catherine Rogers was absent.

The second hearing involved an application by Steven J. Eddy to install a diesel fueling station, including a 32,000-gallon underground storage tank, at 298 Amesbury Road. The site abuts a proposed industrial park at the former Dutton Airport.

Attorney Michael J. Migliori, representing Eddy, detailed his client’s process of meeting with city department heads in order to meet all necessary requirements and was completed fully.

“This is not a special permit. It’s a license similar to a hot-dog cart license or any other licenses the City Council issues routinely. There’s no legal position to deny this permit,” he warned councilors.

Councilors disagreed, expressing reservations about allowing any access to the station from Route 110/Amesbury Road. Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said the project should wait until a new intersection is created for an industrial park at the former Dutton Airport..

“If we want to say the project cannot move forward until there is an access road on Elliot Street, I would support that motion because I don’t want to see an access to Amesbury Road ever for this particular purpose,” he said.

The Council denied the application by a vote of 5-1 with only Councilor Shaun P. Toohey in favor. Council President Timothy J. Jordan and Councilor Michael S. McGonagle abstained and Rogers was absent.

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