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District 11

Alder Bill Tishler

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Alder Bill Tishler

Contact Information

Home Address:

P.O Box 5252

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Tishler’s Blog

Memorandum: Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay District (Legistar 74703)

December 14, 2022 7:02 PM

Summary: This memorandum provides an overview of the proposed ordinance that implements new TOD Overlay Districts, details action taken by referred committees, and summarizes discussions about including Local and National Historic Districts in the TOD Overlay District. (Legistar #74703)


The proposed ordinance implements new TOD Overlay Districts by amending sections in Chapter 28 of the Madison General Ordinances (MGO). This ordinance would modify underlying zoning regulations for the base district to intensify land use and economic value around transit stations. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan recommended implementing TOD overlay districts in the City's zoning ordinances to help support increased transit-oriented development in select areas. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan also recommended a strategy to preserve historic and special places that tell the story of Madison and reflect racially and ethnically diverse cultures and histories.See:

Geographic Coverage: As shown on this interactive zoning map, the proposed TOD overlay (outlined in red) covers some parcels in districts 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, & 19. 

Public Input: Many committee and community meetings have been held throughout the development of the TOD overlay ordinance. Links to those recordings and other background information are available on the project website. Public comments have been added to Legistar, and will continue to be added as they are submitted.

Video: The 7/27/22 UDC Presentation provides a 15 min. overview (begins at 6 min.)   Slideshow: Presented by the Planning Division at the 12/12/22 Plan Commission meeting. 


  • November 16, 2022 #74703 was referred for introduction 
  • November 22, 2022 #74703 was referred to the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (12/5) and the Plan Commission (12/12) by the Common Council
  • December 5, 2022 #74703 was taken up by the Transportation Policy and Planning Board 
  • December 12, 2022 #74703 was taken up by the Plan Commission
  • January 17, 2023 #74703 will be referred back to Common Council

12/5/23 Transportation Policy and Planning Board Meeting (TPPB)

Item 3: Amending section within Chapter 28 of the MGOs to implement the new TOD Overlay District Summary: The TPPB unanimously approved amending sections within Chapter 28 of the MGOs to implement the new TOD Overlay District and removed exclusion for the National Historic Registry and Local Historic Districts.

TPPB recommended to include Local and National Historic Districts with ΒΌ mile of high frequency transit in the TOD overlay area. The map below shows the parcels originally included in the TOD Overlay District

(gray), along with the National and Local Historic District parcel (yellow and blue) and Planning and Zoning staff provided a memo to further outline TOD Overlay Zoning with the inclusion of Historic Districts.

BRT proposed Overlay Zone


12/12/22: Plan Commission

Item 27: Amending Sections within Chapter 28 of the MGOs to implement the new TOD Overlay District as recommended by TPPB to include Local and National Historic Districts

Summary: The approval of the second substitute amending section of Chapter 28 of the MGO to implement the new TOD Overlay District passed 6 to 1.

Some members of the Plan Commission requested to delay returning this item to the Common Council for a final vote to allow for more time for community engagement in the TOD Overlay District with the inclusion of Local and National Historic Districts. President Furman said that the item would be referred to the 1/17/23 Common Council meeting instead of the 1/3/23 meeting to accommodate the request. 



Themes brought up among those opposed to including National and Local Historic Districts in TOD Overlay Districts included:

  • Whether development encouraged within TOD Overlay Districts may disrupt status of Historic Districts (local and national)
  • Benefits of delaying referring TOD Overlay Districts with the inclusion of Historic Districts to the Common Council for a vote (originally set for 1/3/23 CC meeting) to allow for additional community engagement 
  • Potential negative impact of historical character and cohesion of neighborhood
  • Concerns about the TOD Overlay District conflicting with pre-established neighborhood development plans
  • Changes could cause confusion and further delay while potentially waiting on more formal guidance from the Federal government

Themes brought up among those in favor of including National and Local Historic Districts in TOD Overlay Districts included:

  • Having more city area in the TOD Overlay District could promote increasing and maximizing housing opportunities by creating better access and connectivity through more robust transportation options for residents
  • Expanding TOD Overlay Districts would promote more multi-family housing along bus lines, which increases housing opportunities
  • This policy would not change or limit the Landmarks Commission's authority. Additionally Landmarks Commission gives guidance on the historical significance of any property where there is a proposed demolition
  • Local historic districts are already protected from adverse physical impacts through the regulatory framework as laid out in the new historic district standards (MGO 41) and that there is room for increasing development intensity in the National Register (NR) districts along the transit corridors that would not inherently negatively impact the historic integrity.


Compiled Resources

City staff have compiled various resources in an effort to provide clarity on these matters:

TOD Overlay Zoning Memo

TOD Overlay Zoning Memo – Historic Districts

Planning Staff Presentation on TOD Overlay 12/12/22

Landmarks Commission Discussion on TOD – staff memo

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