Patriot Ledger | By Patrick Ronan
November 22, 2016
The city council has adopted a labor-wage requirement in a new zoning ordinance that Mayor Thomas Koch’s administration says is likely illegal.
The council voted 6-2 on Monday night to approve Koch’s plan to loosen the zoning rules at the North Quincy MBTA station, setting the stage for a large mixed-use development project already in the works. The T is looking to lease out its 7-acre parking lot to a development team that wants to build 600 apartments, 50,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage on top of the existing parking lot.
The project still needs to clear several hurdles before going forward. The council still has to authorize use of the city’s “air rights” over the T property, and the development team – a partnership between Bozzuto Group and Atlantic Development – needs permits from the city’s planning board and from the state.
The council added several amendments to Koch’s new zoning district, including one that requires the developer to pay prevailing wage to construction workers on the project. Prevailing wage rates are influenced by the pay and benefits called for in union contracts.
State law says contractors must pay workers prevailing wage on publicly funded projects. The Bozzuto/Atlantic project would be privately funded, but it’s on public land – and city officials said they didn’t know whether prevailing wage would be required.