Haverhill City Council to Consider Mt. Washington Zoning Map Change, Possibly Allowing for More Housing

Attorney Robert D. Harb. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill city councilors are expected tonight to consider a landowner’s request to place all of his contiguous parcels in a single zone within the Mount Washington neighborhood.

Andrew R. Fanaras of PBF Trust is asking the City Council to rezone five lots, currently designated as residential medium, to residential high density—the same as two other abutting lots. The properties under consideration are at the corner of Boston and Freeman Streets and the proposed zoning change has already received a favorable recommendation from the Haverhill Planning Board. Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. told councilors in a letter that the change would allow for greater development, which would be subject to further Council consideration.

“The proposed zone line change is consistent with land use patterns in the immediate and surrounding areas,” Pillsbury wrote.

During a hearing before the Planning Board, attorney Robert D. Harb said the family has owned the parcels since about 1918. He noted existing houses on one side of the street are already in the high-density zone. He added duplexes are not allowed in the medium zone and the city’s zoning ordinances do not permit use variances.

“It is really zoned for duplexes. I thought, since they owned it since 1918, they lost the grandfathering,’ Harb said. “We are basically trying to get back a little of the grandfathering that the grandfather thought he was getting when he bought all of these lots, so that we can develop the other two lots.”

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, online and in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, City Hall, 4 Summer St., Haverhill. As a public service, WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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