Council Approves Special Permit to Replace Abandoned Salon with Three Townhouses

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.

Council Subcommittee Halts Proposed Haverhill Zoning Changes and Other Housing Measures

Plans for addressing Haverhill’s housing crisis—from reducing lot sizes to shifting building approvals away from the City Council—were met with opposition Monday night and concluded with a “wait and see” approach. The decision by the City Council’s Administration and Finance Committee, headed by Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, also takes off the table measures proposed Mayor James J. Fiorentini that would have been on the City Council agenda next Tuesday. The administration over the last several years has suggested, among other things, increasing housing availability by changing existing zoning ordinances affecting Residential Medium areas as well as decreasing minimum lot sizes in Residential Rural areas. A number of residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the second idea, including Sam Bergeron. “Of the land left in Haverhill that is open, we’re talking about roughly 3,200 acres.

Rosa Calls Ouster Bluff, Decries Antics Involving His Disabled Son and Defends Haverhill Mediation

The recent request for a mediator to resolve contract negotiations between the Haverhill and educational support professionals brought condemnation last night of those who would bring a School Committee member’s disabled son into the fray. As WHAV reported first, School Committee negotiators sent the request to the state Department of Labor Relations once it appeared the two sides had reached an impasse in negotiations. Haverhill Education Association President Barry Davis accused School Committee negotiators Richard J. Rosa and Gail M. Sullivan of not bringing that decision to the entire School Committee beforehand. He also charged them with having a personal agenda to beat the union. Davis continued to express his dissatisfaction with the decision at last night’s meeting.

Haverhill Voters Make It Clear They Want Candidates to Seek Only One Seat at a Time

Haverhill voters responded last night with a resounding “no” to the idea of candidates seeking and holding more than one office and defeated two candidates who sought to do so. Coincidentally or not, incumbent School Committee member Toni Sapienza-Donais lost both the Ward 2 School Committee seat and Ward 2 City Council post. Likewise, Fred A. Simmons lost his bids for an at-large City Council seat and Ward 4 School Committee seat. The first ballot question asked whether a person should be prevented from holding the office of mayor, city councilor or School Committee member while simultaneously holding any other elected or appointed office of the city or another position with the city for which they are paid out of the city treasury. That question received a total of 8,310 yes votes compared to 1,343 no votes.

Bevilacqua Suggests ‘Kallister Green-Byrd School’ for New Haverhill School

Should the new Dr. Albert B. Consentino School come with a change of name? That was a motion put before the Haverhill City Council this week by Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua, who suggested the new learning institution, scheduled to open in the fall of 2025, instead be named in honor of long-time Haverhill resident, educator, civic worker and volunteer, Kallister Green-Byrd. Bevilacqua gave his rationale for making the recommendation. “She is a champion of education, an advocate for those voices may not be heard and she’s an inspiring teacher. She was actively involved in community engagement and many of you have seen this individual at so many events that volunteering could be her middle name,” he explained.

Haverhill to Spend $90,000 on Private Street Repair, Seeks to Recover Cost from Developer

Residents of Farrwood Drive in Haverhill are about to get some relief from, what has long been described as, the deplorable and dangerous conditions of their roadway. As reported by WHAV in April of last year and earlier, the problem is the roadway has never been accepted as a public way. As a result, the city has done no work on the private road and, city officials and neighbors say, the property owner allowed it to become a patchwork of potholes. Addressing the Haverhill City Council on Tuesday, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said while he is averse to providing city money for work on private property, the situation has become a danger to people living in the area. “I don’t like spending public money on private roads.

Haverhill School Sports Teams Receive Accolades on Recent Wins From Superintendent

Haverhill High School sports teams have been on a roll over the past few weeks. School Superintendent Margaret Marotta put on her sports commentator’s hat at last Thursday’s School Committee meeting to praise those team’s recent wins. “(The) girl’s volleyball team won the conference championship this weekend for the third straight year. The team finished the regular season with 17 wins and one loss and they are ranked number two in the state. The girl’s cross-country team are also tearing it up.

Pfifferling Tells Committee Public School Spending in Haverhill Appears on Track

Haverhill Public Schools finances are in fairly good shape this year, according to school Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling. Addressing the Haverhill School Committee last Thursday, Pfifferling said the current 2024 fiscal year budget looks like last year’s at this time. “In reviewing this year’s budget versus last year’s budget, we are just about where we were last year as far as remaining unexpended funds at this time of the year. All salaries are currently encumbered. We do have a little bit of work to do on utilities still.