Council Approves Special Permit to Replace Abandoned Salon with Three Townhouses

An abandoned hair salon will give way to three affordable townhouses at the corner of Washington and Ayer Streets in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill City Councilors were beside themselves with praise for a plan, presented at Tuesday’s meeting, to construct three affordable townhouses at the corner of Washington and Ayer Streets in Haverhill.

That property, at 462 Washington St., contains an abandoned hair salon once known as “Mr. Wayne Hairstylists” as well a large paved parking area.

Attorney Donald F. Borenstein, representing property owner Richard P. Early Jr, began by telling councilors the planned building will be an excellent fit in the neighborhood.

“Basically, in the immediate area of that building, we have approximately one-third of the buildings are two family homes and two-thirds of the buildings are either three family or four plus, so we believe the density of this as a three unit project is very appropriate for that neighborhood, a good use of that corner,” he said.

Borenstein said the three townhouses will be side by side, each featuring three bedrooms and, at least, one parking garage per unit beneath the building as well as substantial off-street parking.

Borenstein then told the Council that some recent discussions between Early and the organization Bread and Roses have made their proposal even more attractive.

“We were very excited about that project as it was presented and approved by the zoning board. We’re even more excited about it tonight because Mr. Early has been in discussions with Bread and Roses Housing and we’re now proposing that project to be three affordable units,” he explained.

Bread and Roses Executive Director Annmary Connor helped break it down.

“So, we’re looking at all units will be affordable, more than likely three 60% affordable units. So, for a family of four, you’re looking at $72,000 per year for an income. So, this is who we’re trying to get, the workforce in Haverhill housed into home ownership,” she said.

All of the councilors were enthusiastic over the plan. Council President Timothy J. Jordan expressed it this way: “Love it, love it, love it. Love everything about it. The location fits. Home ownership. People will be paying a lot less for their mortgage here than they would be paying for rent.”

The Council granted the proposal by a unanimous 9-0 vote.

On a separate matter, as expected, the Council supported a decision made by the Administration and Finance Committee last week to put Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s request for various zoning amendments on a back burner until after the new year.

Councilors voted unanimously to wait until the new administration takes office before making any changes of that nature.

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