Haverhill Councilors Turn Down Gile Street Condominiums, Approve Vine Street Units

Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Two separate proposals to allow for the development of new housing in Haverhill came to two very different conclusions at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The first, which received City Council approval, was a request for a special permit allowing for the construction of a six-unit apartment building at 8 Vine St. That land has been vacant for more than three years, after fire destroyed the building formerly located there.

Jared Fish, of Kingston, N.H., sought approval of a three-story multi-family building on that site containing six one-bedroom rental units. Attorney Robert D. Harb, representing the developer explained the builder’s plan.

“We’ve probably been 10 months on this project, just in planning and going through the departments. It’s an infill lot. The planning director recommended it. We don’t have any departments opposing it. We’ll meet all of the department’s requirements. We’re basically replacing a multi-family that was there since 1800 with a brand new structure and multi-family,” he said.

Harb added the building will fit nicely into the existing neighborhood and will have adequate off-street parking.

At the urging of Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, the builder is required to provide adequate snow removal as part of the approval process and her colleagues agreed. Barrett, however, cast the only no vote and Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski, who participated remotely, was unavailable.

Councilors also considered a proposal by JCG Investments to construct two buildings at 94 Gile Street in Haverhill. Each of those buildings would house three 3-bedroom condominiums.

The property is zoned to allow five single-family buildings, but the developer sought approval for six under Haverhill’s “flexible development” zoning tool. That provision also allows for a density bonus when open space is preserved. Representing the developer, Attorney Michael J. Migliori explained the builder’s plans.

“The lot area itself is 3.27 acres. The flexible development process allows us to reserve 2.23 acres of that as open space,” he explained.

A number of neighbors, however, expressed concern over water pressure once the project is completed. They told the Council they already experience problems with water pressure and this project will only make matters worse.

At least one resident also complained the neighborhood is almost exclusively single-family homes and two side-by-side triplexes would simply be out of place there.

Ultimately, councilors listened to the neighbor’s protestations and voted 9-0 to disapprove the proposal.

Comments are closed.