District 3 Blog
Kwik Trip at UDC tonight, plus taking your yard and garden to the next level
Good oddly chilly day neighbors,
We have a lot to cover today.
Firstly, remember that the Urban Design Commission will consider the Kwik Trip proposal at tonight's meeting. The meeting begins at 430pm and Kwik Trip is the 10th item on the agenda. This means it could come up anytime between say 530pm and 730pm, it's quite an inexact science. Urban Design and Plan Commissioners certainly listen to voices in the neighborhood so whether you are for the proposal, against it, or for it with certain design conditions, please make use your voice at tonight's meeting.
If you cannot make tonight's meeting, please shoot me a quick email with any thoughts you have so that if you are unable to attend tonight I can lend voice to your thoughts.
One more time, the UDC meeting regarding the Kwik Trip is tonight beginning at 430pm in the Madison Municipal Building Room 260.
By way of putting it on your radar, the Kwik Trip proposal is slated to go before the Plan Commission on Monday April 18th. Should it pass both UDC and Plan Commission, it will then appear before the common council on Tuesday May 3rd.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the second meeting on Kwik Trip specifically and the 5th meeting in the last 18 months regarding the Sentry space and the Rolling Meadows shopping center more generally. We are lucky to live in an engaged neighborhood in an engaged community and to have dedicated city staff to help inform and guide us.
Based on my notes from the latest meeting on March 23rd, here's a list of quick hit facts which we discussed and settled on:
- Some of Kwik Trip's employees make a living wage for Dane County, some fall about $1 to $1.50/hour short of living wage. All positions pay well above minimum wage.
- Kwik Trip will be applying for a liquor license but if they are denied one, it's not a deal breaker for the store (***many neighbors are opposed to license and I will be sure to provide notice of when the Alcohol License Review Commission take this up so we can be sure to be heard there)
- Kwik Trip makes a good deal of political contributions on both sides of the aisle
- KT has reduced the number of gas pumps from 10 down to 8
- KT has eliminated the driveway onto Acewood Blvd to reduce the scope for traffic issues in the immediate neighborhood
- Plans call for rain garden-style water filtration on site. Per conversations with KT and their landscape architect, there will be picnic tables around that area and it will be planted with native grasses and bushes such that it can serve as a small but nice gathering place
- The site will feature bike racks and a free air compressor for bike or car tires
- The bus shelter which sits on the corner will stay there undisturbed
- KT will contract with a snow removal company to remove snow to an off site location in winter months
- Plans call for LED cut off lights from the store and gas pump canopy which is to say the direction/ange of the light can be controlled in order to reduce light pollution and ambient light issues for the immediate neighbors
- This location will operate 24 hours per day, both the gas pumps and the store
- This location will allow customers to pump fuel and then pay inside, unlike how many gas stations are nowadays
- KT will be placing underground fuel tanks
- Semis and other delivery trucks will enter KT through the Rolling Meadows shopping center rather than via Acewood (where the driveway was eliminated)
I've heard tell that Jennifer St market may be looking for a new location (I have not received confirmation of this), and a few individuals have reached out to express their preference for a coop-style market as opposed to a gas station in the old Sentry location. I would much prefer that too. At this point in the development approval process, we cannot simply tell Kwik Trip to hit the road because we think we may be able to get a better offer maybe. City staff and committees will apply our zoning codes and ordinances to Kwik Trip's proposal. It's essential that the rule of law apply equally to all, not just potential developments which we may like more than others. Because there is room for interpretation in the law, I urge each of you, whether for or against the proposal, to voice your interpretation during this process. As always in a democracy, showing up and speaking up is the best way to impact change.
Neighborhood Vision for Heritage Heights and Rolling Meadows
Spurred in part by the proposal for yet another gas station in the adjacent commercial space in the neighborhood, several of our neighbors have formed a focus group to advocate for a well thought out collective approach to planning for the future of our neighborhood.
The group helped engender a neighborhood meeting which took place on March 16th and was very well attended. At the meeting neighbors discussed what works and doesn't work about the Heritage Heights and Rolling Meadows neighborhood area. The discussion also included potential for neighborhood plans and a possible corridor study for the Cottage Grove Road commercial corridor.
The group will continue to work together in the neighborhood vision/planning process and in the future we can hopefully secure funding for city staff support for an official neighborhood plan. Neighborhood plans help shape future development in an area and are important to a neighborhood retaining its essential character. To be successful in this endeavor, we will need a great deal of neighborhood involvement so please stay tuned and stay engaged.
Yard Waste and Brush
If you're a homeowner and you've been out raking and trimming already this season, keep in mind that brush and yard waste (two separate things, keep them in separate piles on your curbside) began today and will run through the summer and fall.
If you don't want to wait for crews to come by, or you'd like to check out the selection of wood chips with which to mulch your garden, please note that all three of Madison's yard waste drop off sites are open for the season. Hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and 8:30am to 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd., 4602 Sycamore Ave., and 402 South Point Rd.
If you live by me on the east side of Sprecher Road then you'll notice that beginning mid-month, the city will be removing some trees. Specifically, the city has identified trees in the North Door Creek and East Hill Parkway greenways which are invasive tree species (black walnut, etc.), which choke out growing canopy trees like the east side's famous and beautiful Burr Oaks. You should have received notice of this, but just by way of reminder as to why the city is taking out otherwise normal and healthy-looking trees.
Compost Bins and Rain Barrels
Reminder that Saturday May 7th from 10am-2pm you can purchase compost bins and rain barrels to bring your garden to the next level and kick you eco credentials up a notch. The sale is for these money-saving implements is at the Alliant Energy Center. More info here.
I'll be in touch again soon with word from the UDC and more happenings in our area. In the meantime, please note that several coyote mothers in our area probably have pups to feed. Keep your small dogs and your cats close to you. If you encounter a coyote and you try to scare it off but it seems reluctant to leave, it may be because it has pups in the area. Call animal control so that they can relocate the family (the coyote family presumably, not your family). Do not approach the teeny tiny oh so adorable pups as mama coyote won't like that and we don't want any negative encounters. Stay logical and we should be able to have an educational and peaceful co-existence with our four-legged fellow food chain toppers.
Stay warm this week and be well,
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