EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 1, 2013

Proximity to lake slows bank's bid for new branch

NORTH ANDOVER — Last July, Pentucket Bank of Haverhill announced plans to open a branch office at Butcher Boy Plaza.

At the time, President and CEO Scott Cote said he hoped construction would start in November. It has not worked out that way, however.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted to issue a variance for the project Jan. 8, but Pentucket Bank has yet to win the approval of the Conservation Commission and Planning Board.

Because the proposed location is close to Lake Cochichewick, the town’s drinking water supply, the bank needs to submit a stormwater runoff plan that adequately protects the lake from pollution, Town Planner Judy Tymon explained.

Conservation Administrator Jennifer Hughes said the stormwater runoff plan must satisfy both the Conservation Commission and Planning Board. Tymon also said the bank needs to provide adequate parking.

The Conservation Commission is scheduled to review the bank’s latest stormwater runoff plan May 8. Pentucket Bank is due to appear before the Planning Board in June, Tymon said.

While Pentucket Bank faces more hearings before the Conservation Commission and Planning Board, things have gone much more smoothly for another financial institution that recently opened a branch in North Andover.

The Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank received approval from the Planning Board to build a branch at 498 Chickering Road, aka Route 125, only a few weeks before Pentucket announced its intention to come to North Andover.

Louis Minicucci, owner of the Chickering Road site, had the vacant Mobil station there demolished and construction of the branch began in July. By January, the building was completed and the Lowell 5 opened for business.

Cote and other Pentucket Bank executives could not be reached for comment on this story.

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