EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 13, 2014

Angry neighbors fight home developers

Council OKs 10 new houses, but hears complaints about poor road, noisy trucks

HAVERHILL — A proposal to build 10 houses in the Scotland Heights area was approved by City Council this week, but not before the developers faced the concerns of angry neighbors.

The council voted unanimously to give Michael Crowe and George Charest the special permit they need to build the homes in a “cluster-style” development on Snow Road, off Route 110 near the Methuen line.

They plan to build the homes on 6 acres of a 19-acre site, and then give 13 acres to the city or a local preservation group to keep as unbuildable recreational land. The property is highly regarded for its natural beauty and is accentuated with hiking trails, which the developers have agreed to allow the public to use.

Two neighbors who said they heard about the housing development for the first time in an Eagle-Tribune story the day of the council meeting voiced several concerns.

Elma and Paul Payson, 35 Tersolo Road, said on Tuesday night that the same developers built the Paysons’ house near the proposed new development 12 years ago, but have yet to finish the road it is on and turn it over to the city. The couple said the road is in poor shape and that their driveway has flooding issues and is breaking apart.

“The road is a mess and my driveway is falling apart,” Elma Payson said.

Payson said city officials told her the city can’t fix the road because it’s privately owned. She said the road was supposed to be finished and turned over the city seven years ago.

Payson also complained that contractors who work for Crowe and Charest have been driving large construction trucks and heavy equipment past their home at night and early in the morning.

“Construction trucks and backhoes are driving up and down our road, making all kinds of noise and stirring up all kinds of dust at 3, 4 and 5 in the morning,” she said in an emotional and often loud appeal to councilors. “If you want to let them build their new development, fine. But make them finish ours first. I want some peace and quiet and for them to fix my driveway and finish the road. It’s been 12 years since they said it would finished in five years. Please help me.”

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