Editor’s note: This story has been revised to remove references to a proposed zoning change that were contained in a memorandum included in the City Council agenda package. The zoning change refers to an earlier Ward Hill project, where councilors approved moving a line to a roadway edge instead of through a parcel. Moving the boundary allowed adding seven acres to a 33-acre Business Park zone.
Haverhill city councilors are scheduled to decide tonight on a proposal to demolish a mostly vacant industrial building, two single-family homes and an existing restaurant; alter certain zone boundaries; and build 230 housing units, a restaurant and retail space in Ward Hill.
The project, called “Oxford Crossing,” would be built by Tuscan Village Developer Joseph Faro and his sister Deanna (Faro) Gaiero, owner of Joseph’s Trattoria, already on 145 Oxford Ave., off Route 125. It would take advantage of a new zoning option aimed at encouraging housing around “village centers,” formally known as a Planned development District.
The plan calls for constructing a six-story residential building with 230 units and 8,600 square feet of “supportive commercial space.” It also calls for closing of a portion of Oxford Avenue.
Councilors have repeatedly expressed concerns over traffic congestion and safety along the stretch of Route 125 between Ward Hill and North Andover. Pillsbury said in a letter dated last week, however, that “the applicant has responded with a substantial package of additional traffic mitigation measures.” City Engineer John H. Pettis III called a proposed reconfigured intersection with traffic signals “a significant safety improvement from the current Y-intersection alignment.”
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.