Environmental Concerns Could Slow Approval of Haverhill’s Oxford Crossing Apartments, Restaurant

Oxford Crossing developer’s supplied aerial photograph of existing property.

Environmental considerations could slow development of “Oxford Crossing,” a planned “village” comprised of a six-story building with 230 apartments, new restaurant, bakery and gourmet market and boutique retail spaces, near the border of Haverhill and North Andover off Route 125.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is calling for a deeper review of wetlands alterations proposed for the construction of a second entrance and portions of a parking lot. In comments issued Wednesday, the agency said a state Water Quality Certification and a General Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers may be required.

“An alternatives analysis must be provided that demonstrates how the project can avoid (bordering vegetated wetlands) impacts, and if impacts cannot be avoided, how they can be minimized to the maximum extent possible, such as a relocating the entrance out of the (bordering vegetated wetlands) and Bank, designing a stream crossing entrance and relocating the retaining wall further away…,” reads a letter from DEP’s Pamela Merrill.

Haverhill Conservation Commission Vice Chair and Community Liaison Ralph T. Basiliere told WHAV the state’s review is likely to cause some delay.

“Notwithstanding Commission input, they’ve missed the mark on some basics. They can go back to the drawing board and we’ll see what gets proposed,” Basiliere said.

The state also called for the project design to meet Massachusetts stormwater standards.

Haverhill city councilors in November approved a special permit for the proposal by Tuscan Village developer Joseph Faro and his sister Deanna Gaiero, owner of Joseph’s Trattoria restaurant.

Consultant’s photograph supplied to the Haverhill Conservation Commission of a bank with a marsh, facing east.

Comments are closed.