Changes to Previously Approved Railroad Street Condos Trigger Second Look by Haverhill Council

Architect’s original rendering of three proposed condominium buildings on Railroad Street.

Developer’s revised rendering.

Haverhill city councilors are scheduled tonight to revisit the body’s 2021 approval of 48 condominium homes in three buildings along the Merrimack River in Bradford.

According to documents before councilors, design changes remove skylights above stairs, add rooftop structures to support elevators, alter window choices, remove exterior decks for better firefighter access and substitute roofing material. Haverhill Building Inspector Thomas Bridgewater declared proposed changes to the project amount to a “major change,” requiring the City Council to sign off on the modifications. Councilors granted themselves power last summer to review major design changes when members realized the body had been stripped of key powers after the city approved new zoning rules.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Last summer, Councilor Melinda E. Barrett called for clarification of the rules.

“When I brought this forward, it was at the request of building inspectors because they had a lot of things coming at them that seemed to be major modifications. So, they just wanted a process when they thought it was over their grade,” she said.

Developer Ernest Cioto two years ago won approval of the project on a 1.4-acre property at 38 Railroad St. Chris Crump, one of the project’s architects, described the plans.

“Three individual buildings, each building consisting of 16 residential condominiums. They’ll be eight one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom units in each building. Each building steps down in height towards the river to allow all units to have water views and all units will be sold at full market value. No section eight housing,” he said.

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.

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