Council Vice President
Alder Syed Abbas,
Council Vice President
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Abbas’ Blog
OSCAR MAYER & CITY OF MADISON TASK FORCE ON GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE RESIDENTS SURVEY
Hi Neighbors, please see below the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan July's Update from the consultant we are working with:
As part of the Oscar Mayer Special Area planning process, the project team intends to provide regular updates to interested parties.
As many of you may know, we kicked-off the plan with a walking tour of the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan planning area. About 50 people attended the walk to get a better idea of the scale, issues, challenges and opportunities present in the 425-acre study area.
Study Area Connections
One of the key challenges discussed was the difficulty accessing the Oscar Mayer site and adjacent properties as well as continuity throughout the study area. The rail corridor to the west and Packers Avenue to the east limit connections to the half mile-long site and creates barriers between neighborhoods on both sides. Digging back into history, Packers Avenue was originally envisioned as part of Madison's 1955 Highway Plan. Starting downtown, a limited access grade-separated freeway was proposed on the blocks between Johnson and Gorham Street traveling east before turning north near First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Fortunately, the isthmus freeway, which would have decimated Tenney-Lapham and other central neighborhoods, was never constructed. However, the segments which became Packers were constructed in the 1960's as limited access highways, requiring demolition of homes in the Eken Park neighborhood and separating it from employment opportunities at Oscar Mayer. The future of the 72-acre Oscar Mayer site will likely be a combination of redeveloped existing buildings and new buildings on the surface parking lots.
Some participants asked about the possible Madison Metro bus facility on the north side of the property. Metro's facility on East Washington is beyond capacity and additional garage space is needed to increase transit service in the future and improve the systems efficiency. The City of Madison is in talks with the owners of the Oscar Mayer site (Reich/Rabin) to explore purchasing the northern third of the site and working with architects to understand the near-term and long-term potential of the site.
There was also considerable interest in what could happen on the neighboring, largely vacant Hartmeyer properties across the rail corridor from Oscar Mayer. Preserving the wetlands and natural areas, and better overall stormwater management in the project area were main topics of discussion, as the August 2018 flooding is still fresh in many minds.
In all areas, leveraging transit will likely be a major focus of the Special Area Plan, given the proximity of the North Transfer Point and future bus rapid transit line planned for Sherman or Packers Avenue. While the exact location of future transit stations may evolve over time, being influenced by this plan, few areas of the city have as high a level of transit service.
Since the walking tour, the project team has initiated several interviews with major property owners in the area to understand issues unique to those properties and building, as well as their perspectives and plans. The project team is beginning the initial phase of concept exploration and development. This starting point explores larger issues like what uses, building scales and connections may make sense in different locations throughout the project areas.
Focus Group Engagement
Outreach is a major component of this planning process and meeting with small focus groups about the project continues to take place. The purpose of the small focus groups is to help the project team understand perspectives of underrepresented populations who are less likely to attend traditional public meetings. These groups are made up of northside residents, participants from the Strategic Assessment input sessions, the Northside Planning Council, individuals from the OSCAR group and other "grass top" community leaders who understand the pulse of the "grass roots". This is part of an effort developed in Phase 1 and we are continuing to build upon.
Future Public Engagement Opportunities
The next phase of public events will take place in the Fall to discuss draft development scenarios and site concepts The public events are designed to keep you informed and that you have an opportunity to hear progress and learn more about what is being considered as ideas for the redevelopment of the area.
We also have developed an opportunity for you to keep us in the loop! Throughout this process, City staff are actively making themselves available. One such way is the "request a presentation" link on the project webpage, allowing groups a simple way to get in contact with staff to learn more about the Special Area Plan and discuss your perspectives. More information can be found on our website:
CITY OF MADISON TASK FORCE ON GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
WHY DID THE CITY CREATE A TASK FORCE ON GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE?
Do you know when the City is making key decisions that will impact your neighborhood? Or who is making those decisions?
Do you have the time, resources, or know-how to voice your opinion to City Government?
The Task Force on Government Structure is asking these questions and others to find out if changes to city government structure could help make the City work more effectively for all of its residents, and, particularly, for residents of color and low income.
WHAT DOES MADISON'S GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE LOOK LIKE NOW?
Madison's Mayor is elected every four years in city-wide elections and is responsible for, among other things, running the day-to-day operations of the City and proposing a city-wide budget to Madison's Common Council.
Madison Common Council consists of 20 different "alderpersons" elected from 20 districts across the City. The Common Council's responsibilities include making city laws and policy by passing resolutions and ordinances and serving on the City's Boards, Commissions, and Committees. To find out your aldermanic district, see the aldermanic district map printed on the reverse side of this Information Sheet.
Finally, Madison has over 90 Boards, Commissions, and Committees consisting of nearly 700 alder and resident members. These Committees make decisions and recommendations that affect city policy and administration.
HOW YOU CAN HELP.
The Task Force wants your help to find out if this current city government structure works for all Madison residents --- or if changes could help make city government work better.
1. Take a moment to fill out the Resident Survey by going to:
2. Join use at an Open House on August 28, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Atrium on South Park Street.
3. Finally, join the Task Force at an upcoming meeting!
August 13, 2019 6:00 p.m., Room 206, Madison Municipal Building
September 4, 2019 7:00 p.m., Room 206, Madison Municipal Building
September 19, 2019 6:00 p.m., Room 153, Madison Municipal Building
September 25, 2019 6:00 p.m., Room 206, Madison Municipal Building
October 2, 2019 7:00 p.m., Room 206, Madison Municipal Building
October 16, 2019 6:30 p.m., Room 103A, City-County Building
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