The Haverhill City Council is looking to take back some of the authority it lost during zoning changes in 2020.
The Haverhill City Council Tuesday will hear a proposal by city Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. to specify which changes in development projects require public hearings. Councilors have expressed concerns the city’s new zoning ordinances limited their roles to site plan approval. As such, they argued, any developer changes would take place at the discretion of the city’s Economic Development and Planning Department. Rather than altering ordinances, Cox suggested conditions councilors may place on projects when granting permits.
“The additions of these conditions to approved special permits will provide notice to the permit holders that should they wish to make certain changes to the site plans, they will need to file revised site plans with the Council for consideration at a further public hearing,” Cox suggested in a letter last week.
Under the plan, “major modifications” would require a second look with the public allowed to be present. Major changes would include revisions to the size or locations of buildings, structural additions, changes to parking and introduction of noise or odors which may impact abutters.
“Minor” modifications that alter “features of buildings, structures and grounds” would remain subject to the discretion of The Planning Department before building permits are issued.
The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.