Haverhill City Council Signs Off on Outdoor Dining Plan for Restaurants

Phase two of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan is less than a week away and area restaurants are anxious to start serving customers again. To that end, the City Council, last night, approved a temporary plan regulating outdoor dining in Haverhill. The plan, which was developed in consultation with several local restaurant owners, addresses guidelines for acceptable physical distancing for customers and employees. Under these guidelines, eligible businesses will be allowed to expand seating into off-street parking logs, sidewalks, boardwalks and other areas

In order to institute outdoor dining an establishment needs to fill out an application, which Mayor James J. Fiorentini says is available now on the city website, cityofhaverhill.com. “Now if they don’t serve alcohol, it’s really simple.

Podcast: Haverhill Restaurants May Apply Beginning Today for Temporary Outdoor Dining Seating

When Haverhill restaurants first reopen, it will be with outdoor dining. In fact, today is the first day eateries can apply for outdoor space made available by the city. Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dougan Sherwood, appearing recently on WHAV’s morning program, explained the thought process behind outdoor dining following the COVID-19 pandemic. “What I have heard is that six feet of distance is going to continue to be the standard for distance between tables. But, the city right now and the Chamber have been working very closely with Mayor (James J.) Fiorentini, Council President (Melinda E.) Barrett and a number of others and also the restaurant community at large, to make sure that by June 8, which is the earliest it could happen, that we’re hitting the ground running.,” he says.

State Land Court Judge Denies Request to Close Haverhill Pot Shop; Dismisses All Zoning Claims

A state Land Court judge today denied an emergency request to close a newly opened retail marijuana shop in downtown Haverhill, while also throwing out a larger and earlier zoning challenge. The decisions by Judge Robert E. Foster allow Stem, owned by Caroline Pineau at 124 Washington St., to remain open. Last Saturday, Stem, became the first of four permitted adult-use marijuana stores to open in the city. Foster said the request by opponents Stavros Dimakis of Mark’s Deli and Realtor J. Bradford Brooks and Lloyd Jennings, owners of 128-130 Washington St., for an emergency closure order became moot when the judge ruled against them on the larger city zoning challenge. “Therefore, the plaintiffs by definition have no likelihood of success on the merits of their claim.

Traffic Concerns Dominate First Look at Proposed Ward Hill Area Marijuana Shop

Neighbors’ traffic concerns dominated the public’s first look last night at a proposed adult-use marijuana store near Ward Hill. During a remote community outreach meeting Monday night, officials of Frosty Nug, proposed for 1181 Boston Road, acknowledged heavy, peak-hour traffic. However, traffic consultant Scott Thornton of Vanasse & Associates, Andover, said traffic will still be less than other possible uses of the property. “For Dunkin’ Donuts, and I’ve permitted a number of those, we typically look at between 200 and 300 trips during the peak hours, which is in the morning. It’s just a drop in the bucket.

Haverhill Considers Removing Little River Dam to Resolve Flooding, Hasten Development

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week. The picturesque Little River Dam at Winter Street could be coming down in the future as Haverhill considers how to deal with upstream flooding at areas along Apple Street and Little River Street. City councilors tonight are being asked to support a request for a state grant to study the feasibility of removing the dam. The Haverhill Conservation Commission last week also signed off on the request to delivered to the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program of the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

‘Wild Bill’s Beef Jerky’ Maker, City Close to Agreement on Firm Coming to Haverhill

Tennessee-based Monogram Foods, maker of Wild Bill’s Beef Jerky and other foods, and the city are close to an agreement on bringing the company to Haverhill. In advance of a Haverhill City Council vote approving short-term tax breaks, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said Monday the was looking at other Massachusetts communities for a new plant, but prefers Haverhill because of its nearness to Interstate 495, among other factors. “This is going to be one of the biggest business developments in Haverhill in some time,” Fiorentini said in a release. “This project is going to be a huge benefit to the city in terms of economic activity, tax revenue, good-paying jobs and perhaps most of all, good economic news at a time when we could really use it. These 350-plus jobs will be coming exactly when we need them the most, when so many of our citizens are hurting.”

As first reported by WHAV in February, Monogram has been eyeing a vacant lot at 25 Computer Drive, off Route 97.

Haverhill, Methuen Mayors and Police Chiefs Condemn Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

The mayors and police chiefs of Haverhill and Methuen have condemned the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department that resulted in the death of George Floyd last week. In separate statements for each city, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Methuen Mayor Neil Perry and Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon echoed the sentiment of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which called said it “denounces the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department.” The joint statement by Fiorentini and DeNaro said police have already been speaking to community leaders and plan a “community discussion” later this week. “The Haverhill Police Department and the mayor’s office have a strong and active relationship with the city’s minority community, and we pledge to stand with them in their fight against this injustice,” read the Haverhill statement. It added, “The city and its police officers will always be resolutely committed to keeping our city safe and treating our residents with respect.”

Floyd, a black man, died while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. Mayor Perry said he joins in “the collective mourning and call for action.” He added, “Police officers are sworn to protect life, and the actions of a few officers in Minnesota this week have shaken us all.”

Solomon said, “The violent methods used by Minneapolis Police are not consistent with proper training and actions of a modern police department.