Zoning Code Rewrite Community Meetings Scheduled

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 9:12am

The City of Madison is working to rewrite its zoning code and prepare a new zoning map. The existing zoning code was last rewritten in 1966. The new zoning code will be easier to use and understand than the current code, better enable the City to implement its Comprehensive Plan and other plans, and help the community achieve City sustainability goals.

"Our current zoning code fits the City like a Neru jacket with bell bottom pants," said Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. "It's very 1966 with overlays of 1975. It was born in a period where strictly separated uses and an auto-centric zoning mentality were in vogue. To make matters worse, over the years it has taken on so many amendments that it is almost impossible for neighbors or developers to work with. The new code will be short and clear and it will promote mixed-use neighborhoods where everyone has the opportunity to walk, bike, ride a bus or drive a car. The new code will be better for neighborhoods, easier to use for developers, will create stronger, more beautiful communities and will be better for the environment."

The Zoning Code Rewrite project is as inclusive of community interests as possible, and will provide a variety of ways for the public and interest groups to participate. One opportunity to participate is to attend one of the two upcoming community meetings described below:

Thursday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts, Wisconsin Studio, 201 State Street;

Thursday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center 149 Waubesa Street, Evjue Community Room.

At the community meetings, a draft outline of the proposed new zoning code will be presented to the public by the City's consultant team led by Cuningham Group Architecture P.A. The presentation will introduce a new "menu" of proposed zoning districts that are designed to more closely match Madison's built environment. The outline will serve as the basic framework for the full zoning code, which will be drafted during the months ahead. The community meetings will provide the public with an opportunity to participate in small group discussions that will focus on important topics that will be addressed in the new zoning code. These topics include residential, commercial, employment, and mixed use development; the environment and sustainability; the development review process and much more. The results of the discussions will help guide the consultants as they complete the zoning code rewrite.

The Zoning Code Rewrite project is designed as a two-year process extending from January 2008 to December 2009. The project is being led by an Advisory Committee, made up of neighborhood representatives, planners, builders, developers and business owners. The Committee is working closely with the City's zoning code rewrite consultants, city staff, the Plan Commission and the Common Council. The new zoning code and map will ultimately be adopted by the Common Council after review by various City boards, commissions and committees, and the general public.


  • Rick Roll, Project Manager608-267-8732