A mixed-use development project already underway at 45 W 3rd St. in South Boston is taking a turn that chef/owner Sam Jackson of KO Catering & Pies believes threatens his business, and he's appealing to the public for support.
45 W 3rd is primarily a residential development that calls for up to 105 residential units and 3,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space, built in place of an existing, one-story industrial building. KO Pies has thus far been involved in the planning process, which has been in the works for more than a year. Jackson said on Facebook today that the team has communicated with the developer, an affiliate of Boston-based Spaulding & Slye Associates; the Boston Redevelopment Authority; and neighborhood associations the project will affect.
"We support the idea of development around us rather than having an underutilized building and an industrial parking lot there," Jackson wrote on Facebook, adding that so far, he feels the project has followed the appropriate guidelines.
But late in May, the 45 W 3rd developer filed a Planned Development Area review, a provision allowed by the Redevelopment Authority that applies special zoning rules to certain development projects. After a 45-day public comment period, the Zoning Commission could establish the PDA — essentially allowing the development to follow its own rules, not the rules that apply to the zoning district.
The KO owner doesn't say whether he feels threatened by any proposals made thus far as part of the PDA, but allowing the overlay zoning district would take away the business' ability to challenge something that may come up, he writes. Jackson describes it as essentially the city allowing a large developer to "move the goalposts" to get something done that the traditional rules wouldn't allow.
KO Pies wants the BRA to refuse this PDA, and it has a petition set up in its shop for support. The restaurant team also encourages its fans to attend a community meeting at Artists for Humanity (100 W 2nd St.) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24.