Residents along Kristine Lane in Haverhill stand on a lot that was abandoned before this home was finished. Homeowners on the street feel they were left high and dry when the developer went bankrupt, leaving them with $600,000 homes in an unfinished development, high property taxes, and no public services along what the city cannot declare to be a public way. From left: Stephanie Given, 3; John Luongo; Angelo DeSimone; Sarah Given, 8; Jan Luongo; Carol Given; Alissa Given, 2; Terri Given and Julianna Given, 11.

HAVERHILL — Jan Luongo lives in a new $600,000 home off a rural section of Route 97, but she describes her neighborhood as a mismanaged slum with overgrown weeds and partially completed homes. “It looks so bad,” said Luongo, who moved to Haverhill from Florida more than a year ago.

The contractor developing her new upscale subdivision — Crystal Farms — had to sell the properties at a foreclosure auction this month, Luongo and city officials said.

The problem is the development is on a private road called Kristine Lane with no municipal trash and snow removal, or mail services.

Residents are left to fend for themselves for services that are normally provided by the city, she said. Together, the residents there pay $50,000 a year in property taxes, she said.

City Councilor David Hall and City Planning Director William Pillsbury said they are meeting with the new owners of Crystal Farms — North Shore Bank of Peabody — this week.

They want the bank, which bought the properties at auction last Wednesday, to complete work on the curbing, sidewalks and street lights as soon as


When the upgrades are made, the city can add it as a public way and the residents will get regular municipal services.

Kristine Lane has large holes in the blacktop blocked by orange cones, some piles of construction materials and weeds along the street side that are more than 5 feet high.

The mailboxes are nailed to a flimsy board held up by bricks.

“I’m livid about this thing,” Hall said. “It looks like a war zone up there.”

The development is off Route 97 near the Methuen line, half a mile south of Crystal Lake.

“It’s an obligation on the bank to do what they are supposed to do,” Hall said. “These poor people have been waiting a year and a half for this because the company went bankrupt. It’s not their fault.”

Eight homes have been completed, and a few other homes are only partially done. The contractor, North Andover-based Richard Welch, has worked on the site since November, neighbors said.

Welch could not be reached for comment, and North Shore Bank had no immediate comment.

Pillsbury said he hopes the bank agrees to make the improvements and finish the project.

“We’re obviously very concerned and we’ll make sure, since the neighbors are already living up there, that they will be protected,” Pillsbury said.

The city has the option of seeking an $800,000 insurance bond to make the road improvements, an option Haverhill is not yet pursuing, Pillsbury said.

Terri Given of 25 Kristine Lane has four children and is frightened for them because they live in a construction zone with potholes in the streets.

“You cannot see your hand in front of your face because we have no street lights and it’s pitch black up here,” Given said.

Residents there pay $5,000 to $6,000 a year in taxes for no services, and it is not fair, she said.

“We’re paying full taxes for what?” she said.

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