Both of the proposals call
for public access to the river and for a river front walk that
would be available to the public. Preserving public access to
the river was key component of the Mayor Fiorentinis proposals
to sell the land. At the time, some city councilors said that
preserving public access would result in no one bidding on the
The property is located in
Bradford along the Merrimack River along Railroad Avenue. It
is across the street from the commuter rail station. Both of
the companies making proposals want to put residential housing
on the property and both would preserve, in some fashion, public
access to the water front.
When the property went out
to bid, Fiorentini insisted that the city state a preference
that the public have river front access and stated at the time
the river does not belong just to the person who buys this
land. The river belongs to all of us, and it is critical that
we maintain public access to it.
Today the Mayor called the
two proposals a victory for the city and victory for those
of us who believe that you can protect the publics interest
in river front access.
We took a gamble
said Fiorentini, and the public is winning that gamble.
Asking developers to dedicate some portion of their land to the
Fiorentini said that public
hearings would be held to evaluate the proposals. The hearings
will be held in late November.
Fiorentini said that these
proposals show the need for a waterfront overlay ordinance. The
proposals show that you can develop property and still preserve
public access to the waterfront, said Fiorentini. Now,
we need to incorporate the principles from this piece of land
into our zoning ordinances. Developers of property along the
river should be encouraged to preserve public access to the river.
The principle is the same regardless of who owns the land. The
river does not belong to those few able to afford land along
the river. It belongs to all of us.
*Source: City of
Haverhill, Massachusetts Web Site: www.ci.haverhill.ma.us 2-16-05