, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 6, 2013

Civil rights complaint filed against Merrimac resident


When contacted, Waterhouse said he had no knowledge of the complaint. He said, “I have received nothing and have heard nothing. It must be in response to my letter to the Planning Board which I sent on July 30. He is just trying to intimidate. I shot his arguments out of the water and I won’t waste my time responding to it. It is silly.”

The Dollar General store is intended for a 1.7-acre parcel presently owned by the Waterhouse family and is located at 1 Bear Hill Road on the corner of Route 110. If built, it would be the first small retail store associated with a national chain to come to Merrimac.

The zoning bylaw in question is Article 14.8.3, which does not allow impermeable surface on any building site to exceed 15 percent or 2,500 square feet, whichever is greater. The plans for the Dollar General call for 54 percent of impermeable surface between the size of the building and the parking lot.

A special permit for the extension of impermeable surface was issued by the zoning board. Attorney Hill stated that his plaintiffs are challenging the permit because the board may have “rubber-stamped” the process.

“We are challenging the process because we believe that [the ZBA] did not look rigorously enough at the associated runoff of the parking lot into the town’s Water Resources Protection District. We also believe that the appropriate boards such as the Conservation Commission, the Board of Health, Water Department and Planning Board were not consulted prior to the permitting. There is no evidence in the permitting of these consultations,” he said.

A date for the hearing has not yet been set. A Planning Board review of the store’s architectural design, lighting and sound modifications as well as traffic, vehicular and pedestrian safety is set for Tuesday, Aug. 27, the time and location to be announced.

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