Alder Syed Abbas,
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Abbas’ Blog
Development and Other Updates
First Street Well Demolition
There is currently fencing around the former Well 3 in front of the Fleet Services building at the corner of First Street and East Johnson Street. In anticipation of the reconstruction of East Johnson Street, a demolition permit was requested and approved by the Madison Plan Commission.
The East Johnson Street reconstruction calls for the widening of First Street at the interstation to facilitate turning and to allow for a timed stopped for the widened pedestrian/bicycle path across First Street.
During the demolition permit request, there was an extensive review of the historical character of the Madison Water Utility Well 3, designed in-house by a Water Department draftperson around 1928. While the well may have been patterned in the style of the original Water Works building at 427 E Gorham Street (which was designed by the local firm Balch & Lippert) it has been determined that the well itself was not an architecturally or historically significant building and the Plan Commission did permit the demolition for the purposes of reconstructing the street.
Washington Manor Playground
The Parks Division is currently replacing the playground at Washington Manor Park. During community meetings in November 2017 and January 2018 residents requested moving the park closer to the street to allow for more community engagement in the playground. I look forward to seeing everyone use the playground next year!
The Avenue Apartments
The Madison Development Corporation (MDC) has requested the demolition of an office building (at the corner of E Mifflin St and N Second Street) to build a 6-unit row house, and the development of a 30-unit apartment building on East Washington Avenue. All apartments would be managed by MDC as part of their mission to provide affordable housing.
MDC made the proposal public during a presentation to update Graaskamp Park on E Mifflin Street to the Emerson East Neighborhood Association. The neighborhood association created a special MDC Subcommittee to review the proposal and develop the association response.
MDC has presented multiple plans and designs prior to their final submittal that have been discussed by the neighborhood association, sub-committee and nearby residents. I appreciate the work the sub-committee has done to review the proposals and provide feedback when appropriate. I appreciate the fine-line the sub committee has walked to best represents the residents while understanding the larger city-wide implications.
There are still many concerns and issues raised by residents about this project, and I encourage anyone who is interested to review the submitted plans and submit their comments to either the Plan Commission and/or the neighborhood subcommittee. The current timeline of the project is to appear in front of the Urban Design Committee on December 5, the Plan Commission on December 17 and the Common Council on January 8, 2019.
I have been recently made aware of plans to redevelop the final section of the lot at the corner of Tennyson Lane and Packers Avenue. The other developments were the Tennyson Ridge Apartments next to the Lake View Elementary School and the Tennyson Senior Living Community.
There is a proposal for a mixed-use multi-family apartment building consisting of 67 units, with 62 inside parking stalls, and 2,000 square feet of commercial space in a four-story building. There will be a second phase that includes a separate 4-story 62 unit four store apartment building with 57 indoor parking spaces.
The building is being proposed by Northshore Rentals, who has previously developed the Granite Ridge Apartments at the corner of Packers Avenue and Londonderry Drive across from the North District Police station.
There has not been a public meeting regarding the development of this parcel. There were meetings concerning the other projects on this site. This proposal does including a request to change the zoning from SR-C1 to CC-T (Commercial Corridor – Transitional District).
The proposed schedule for review of the plans is also a decision by the Plan Commission on December 17 and the Common Council on January 8, 2019.
Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee
The Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee is working on the final stages of a Strategic Assessment Report. A draft report is now available, which was reviewed by the committee and we expect to see a revised report for adoption at our Monday November 12 committee meeting.
The report recommends 10 overall recommendations to the city and the property owner:
- Target a high density of living wage jobs.
- Maintain housing affordability and minimize displacement.
- Leverage the corridor's existing infrastructure and building stock.
- Ensure economic recovery boosts diversity in ownership and local businesses.
- Integrate a welcoming district that serves all ages and diverse cultures.
- Equip the North/East side's next generation with skills to meet emerging opportunities.
- Create an integrated and connected multimodal transportation system.
- Deploy sustainable technologies, improve stormwater, and preserve environmental assets.
- Form an identifiable and authentic mixed-use district.
- Proactively utilize city financial resources and statutory powers to optimize tax base growth and achieve the vision.
If the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee recommends the report, it will be next be presented to the Common Council for adoption in January 2019. The city would then undertake the next steps to flesh out the committee's recommendations as a detailed land-use plan for the recommended site. As well, the report has additional recommendations that city agencies can proceed forward on, such as working to maintain the little league fields on Roth Street.
I encourage you to review the proposed recommendation and report. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact Bill Fruhling with the Madison Planning Division.
City of Madison Budget
The annual City of Madison operating and capital budget is working its way through the city's Finance Committee and the City Council. The City Council will discuss the budget at our special Budget meeting on November 13/14/15 (depending on how long it will take to adopt a final budget). Council amendments will be submitted by members on November 7 and will be public on Friday, November 9. When those amendments are public, residents can comment to the Council at email@example.com or by attending the meeting on November 12 and registering.
The Finance Committee on October 22 did adopt a few operating expenditures including:
- $50,000 to support The Beacon Day Center
- $145,000 for Eviction Legal Services
- $103,000 to upgrade the engine at Fire Station #14 (far east side) to have an always-on paramedic in anticipation of developing a ninth ambulance in future budgets
- $51,750 to add one additional sworn police officer
- $43,400 to create a civilian HR manager position to enhance the Police Human Trafficking Initiative
- Added $15,000 to support Narcan for businesses
Over the past several years, residents near the Schlimgen-Packers intersection have expressed concerns about pedestrian crossing of Packers Avenue (especially to access the bus stop) and the challenge to entering and leaving the neighborhood on Schlimgen. Because of the relatively few access points to the Sherman Neighborhood along Packers Avenue, this intersection is especially important for residents.
Recently, there have been several proposals for the former Hertz operation at the corner. Most were for multi-family apartments which would add additional vehicles at the intersection. During these discussion, the neighborhood and I have asked the city Traffic Engineering to add this intersection to the Traffic Signal Priority List which ranks city-wide intersections that have concerns based upon specific warrants and crashes.
In addition, I have asked our Traffic Engineer to respond to the concerns and propose any additional near-term solutions to assist residents. They are considering following countermeasures as well to improve the safety and comfort level of pedestrians crossing Packers Ave:
- Upgrade the crosswalk painting to the more visible continental style (vertical bars). This will help highlight the crosswalk.
- Add an overhead driver feedback sign (permanent speed boards) project to the list of potential projects for consideration in 2019. This will be ranked among other requests for similar types of projects.
A Greater Madison Vision
Once last call for anyone to respond to the regional survey A Greater Madison Vision. As you may know, I am one of the co-chairs of this regional process which depends greatly on a wide engagement of residents and employees of our community. Please be sure to complete the survey for yourself and if you have an opportunity to share with your friends and families. Thank you!
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