District 3 Blog
Residential Development and development process dates, plus new traffic signal on Milwaukee Street
I have so many updates for you this evening! Let's dive right in
Those of us on the east side of Sprecher Road noticed the fall colors turn up early this year, in the form of red and yellow spray paint and orange signs. AT&T is putting in cable in our neighborhood. This will give us a choice between Charter and AT&T. Competition between service providers usually leads to better service and prices, so that's a nice plus for us.
Those of you who are seeing the grass along your property torn up, note that AT&T is responsible for putting things back the way they were, and don't be afraid to stay on them about it. They're a multi-billion dollar company, they can afford to make you lawn right. Don't be afraid to speak up.
Traffic Signal Installation On Milwaukee Street
Just when we completed one construction project on the eastern stretches of Milwaukee Street, we've got one more project to complete before the ground freezes. The city is installing a traffic signal a few blocks west of Sprecher Road. As with the above, this is a temporary inconvenience for a net gain. This will reduce speed on Milwaukee Street and help drivers turning in and out of Grandview North stay safer.
A few weeks back we had another neighborhood meeting about the proposed Ace Apartments at the corner of Cottage Grove Road and Acewood Blvd.
We heard from Madison Police Department East District Captain Tom Snyder about his thoughts on impact of increased population density to the neighborhood. To be perfectly transparent, I heard from several residents who were specifically concerned that individuals and families who are low income would be more likely to increase crime in the neighborhood. I hold us to a higher standard than to stereotype our potential neighbors in this manner. Nonetheless, there is wisdom in getting facts directly from the source, and Captain Snyder kindly agreed to speak. He shared that in his opinion and experience, that this development would not impact crime in the area.
We also heard from folks whose lives have been impacted by Movin Out affordable housing, one Movin Out resident, and a father of an adult daughter with physical hurdles, who has stable housing because of a Movin Out facility.
We heard from Movin Out on the design for the proposed building, and we heard from residents. We still heard hesitancy from neighbors, and we heard some positive notes as well. I thought it was a productive discussion and thank those of you who attended. We passed around comment cards to those present, and we have scanned those in to the public record. This means that your comments will go to each committee and council which makes a decision on this topic.
What's Next for the Ace Proposal-
I can share the following meeting dates for when this proposal will be at decision point in the process:
Urban Design Commission (UDC) - Wednesday November 21st, beginning at 430pm, 3rd Floor City County Building
Note that UDC decides whether the shape, architecture, and design of a proposed development fit the area around it. I'm following up this post with a post full of slides and images of the proposal so you can look through those. You can send me your thoughts and I can review and respond to them and put them in the public record, you can also email the city staff member assigned to the UDC email@example.com and she will place them in the record and compile them for committee members. One final note: the UDC is comprised or architects and designers and one alder. I'm the alder on UDC so I get to take a role in working for a great design for the proposed project.
Plan Commission - Monday December 3rd
Plan commission determines whether the zoning and use fit within the city's zoning and plans for the space. You'll recall that this parcel is zoned for a multi-story, multi-use development. This is the reason Kwik Trip didn't make it passed plan commission, despite a good amount of popular support in the neighborhood. It's why we didn't even go down the path with UW Credit Union, we knew it would be the same result. The Ace proposal is multi-story and multi-use. If you believe, however, that the development does not fit with the spirit of the zoning and land use for this parcel, I encourage you to come and speak up at the plan commission meeting. Any citizen can come and speak to the commission, or any committee, and I encourage you to utilize your voice and engage on any and all topics which are important to you.
After UDC and Plan Commission-
As you'll recall from previous posts, if this proposal meets with UDC and plan commission approval, it will go to city staff to determine if it the city will fund/sponsor it for state funding consideration. Then the state would decide whether to select this project for funding. I will stay in touch as the process goes along and keep you all updated.
We will be meeting as a neighborhood in Late October or very early November to learn more about land use proposals for the Rodefeld site at the southeast corner of Sprecher and Cottage Grove Roads. The developer is currently tussling with some stormwater retention issues on the site and is finalizing their new site plan for our consideration as a neighborhood. Note that the proposed multi-unit development would be paired with commercial development facing Cottage Grove Road. Currently, Summit Credit Union and Kwik Trip are looking at development in the parcel.
Stay tuned for meeting dates and location for our second neighborhood meeting on this project.
Milwaukee and Sprecher - southwest corner
If you live near or drive by this area, you've surely noticed the absolutely gorgeous autumn prairie that has grown up on this site. Folks have even walked and moved paths through it, stacked stone cairns, and are walking their dogs and interacting with this beautiful space in all different ways.
As you may imagine, however, this is technically private property. Hovde Corp owns this parcel and while they haven't minded the neighborhood interacting with it, they do plan to go a new direction with it. In the next few weeks, they are going to till the site and plant winter wheat, for harvest next summer. I think of winter wheat as something that didn't grow in France for a few years in a row, which helped spark the French Revolution, I did not even know that it grew in a Wisconsin climate. Learn something new every day.
Out of deference to the neighborhood and the health of ourselves, our kids, and our dogs, and the fact that your alder is a crunchy plant hugger, Hovde has decided not to spray weed killer to take down the prairie, and will instead be plowing it under. I wanted to give you all a heads up well ahead of time. So please, get out an enjoy the beautiful space for a little bit longer and join me in thanking Hovde for letting us use this beautiful space like it was our own for as long as we have.
Whew! That was a lot of info. Thanks for sticking with me. I have reminders about early voting and smoking safety and not least, our city budget, plus a few other things but I'm going to follow up with those things a bit later this week so as to ensure each item gets the column inches that it deserves.
Thank you all for being engaged residents and have a lovely evening
Alder, District 3
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