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Alder Larry Palm

Alder Larry Palm

Home Address:
2502 Dahle St
Madison , WI 53704

Phone: 608-692-8416

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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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Public Market Equity Survey available now
Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:07 PM

Public Market District Equity Survey

The City of Madison is continuing to make progress on planning for the Madison Public Market District. The work completed so far has been shaped by community input and ideas gathered through several surveys and public meetings.

Now, the city is conducting an "Equity Analysis" to evaluate how future decisions about the Public Market can have a positive impact on communities of color and lower income residents. Input from this survey will help shape the implementation of the Public Market District project. 

I encourage everyone to complete the survey. We all have good ideas about how to improve the Public Market District vision and this is one significant way the City is collecting information and feedback.

The survey can be completed online and should take about 10 minutes.

For more information about the Public Market District, to be located at the intersection of East Johnson and First Street (current city Fleet Services building) please see the Public Market District website.

If you have follow up ideas or questions, please contact Dan Kennelly, 608-267-1968

Tax Assistance at Madison Public Library

Madison Public Library partners with other agencies in the community to provide tax assistance. Information is available online about all assistance available.



Racial Equity and Police Chief Forum
Posted January 20, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Northside Racial Equity Forum

Monday January 26 6:00 - 8:00pm Dinner starts at 5:30pm

Sherman Middle School - 1610 Ruskin St

The Northside Planning Council Year of Equity will be launched with a community-wide Racial Equity Forum. This open discussion will be include  FREE childcare and a FREE meal will help make this forum accessible to all members of the Northside community.  

The goals for this forum are to start conversations about racial inequities, how they impact all of us, and what causes them.  From there we plan ongoing activities and discussion forums about specific impacts of inequities and how the Northside community might address those. 

A recent article in the Northside News provides more information about the Year of Equity

Police Chief Northside Community Forum

Wednesday February 18 6:00-7:30pm
North District Community Room - 2033 Londonderry Drive

The North Police District invites you to a Community Forum with Chief Koval. The results from the 2014 Northside Community Survey are also now available online.


Monday Jan 12 - Two Meetings
Posted January 12, 2015 at 11:04 AM


Tonight there are two different meetings of importance to residents in District 12:

Madison Plan Commission

Date: Monday January 12, 2015 Public Hearing Starts at 5:45pm

Location: City County Building Room 201

The proposed Tennyson Ridge Apartments will be agenda items 5-7 (considered together)


Demetral Park Playground Equipment Replacement Meeting

Event: Second Playground Meeting
Date: Monday, January 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Location: Emerson Elementary School Gym Upper/Cafeteria

This will be a follow-up meeting to discuss more specifics and designs of proposed additional playground equipment in the park.

For More Information:

Bitterly Cold Tips
Posted January 5, 2015 at 9:09 PM

During this cold spell please be sure to stay warm and check in with others who may have issues with the bitterly cold weather expected through January 11, please see these tips from Public Health...

Bitterly Cold Weather Raises Health and Safety Concerns Information and Tips on How to Stay Safe

It is expected that the National Weather Service will be issuing another wind chill advisory on Tuesday January 6th for another round of frigid air.  The wind chill temperature is a measure of how the cold actually feels on your skin. Temperatures and wind chills this low cross the line from discomfort to genuinely life threatening. Public Health-Madison and Dane County and Dane County Emergency Management strongly urge people to be alert and aware of these dangerous conditions.

What may be a minor inconvenience under normal temperatures can rapidly accelerate into a dangerous situation under these temperatures.  Under normal winter conditions, a ten minute walk from a car in the ditch would be inconvenient.  That same walk under the predicted extreme conditions may cause frostbite and hypothermia.

Signs and symptoms of frostbite include the loss of feeling and color in parts of the body. Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, feelings of numbness, drowsiness, exhaustion, confusion, memory lapses, slow or slurred speech, slow breathing and pulse rates, failing eyesight, poor coordination and possible unconsciousness. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek immediate emergency medical assistance.

If you have to be outside:

  • Ensure that someone inside knows your schedule and location.  Follow up with that person when you arrive at your destination.
  • Identify who you will contact in case of an emergency and make sure they are available to (send) help.  Your reaction time to request assistance is critical at these temperatures; do not delay in asking for help.
  • Have tow truck numbers programmed into your cell phone so you don't waste valuable time trying to find a towing company to call.

Cold Weather Precautions:

  • Check on loved ones and neighbors, especially those in fragile health, preferably by telephone.  Pay particular attention to older neighbors who may be outdoors attempting to shovel snow or engaged in some other activity. Try to talk them into stopping and going back indoors.
  • If you have to go outside, wear appropriate clothing that will adequately insulate you from the cold and provide protection from the wind making sure to expose as little skin as possible to the air.
  • Monitor your food intake and physical output and maintain a regular diet to help your body better handle the severe weather conditions.
  • Hydrate - Water is usually the best choice.
  • Drinks with caffeine, sugar and alcohol take longer for your body to absorb and do not hydrate as well. People should be aware of the amount and intensity of their physical activity, both indoors and out. Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts additional strain on the body, especially the heart,
  • Older adults, those in fragile health and smaller children can be more readily affected by the cold than the average adult.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. Temperatures in vehicles can drop rapidly.
  • Pets can be greatly affected by the cold and should not be exposed longer than they have to be.
  • Large animals need to be kept out of the wind and have a dry place to lie down. Water supplies should be checked to avoid freezing and diets should be adjusted to increase energy (calorie) content by 5%.
  • Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans every year. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, and garage or near a window. Also, make sure you have installed a carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you and your family to this "silent killer."

For additional information regarding winter weather, visit the National Weather Service's Milwaukee / Sullivan Forecast Office.

For shelter and warming center information, or resources due to extreme weather please call 211 or visit the Dane County Homeless website. Also check out the Homeless Services Guide in English or Spanish.

For additional information on winter weather health and safety guidance, visit the CDC page "Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety"

Warm Up with the FEED Kitchens Birthday Bash

The FEED Kitchens is One Year Old!

This Saturday, January 10, 2015, from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm, FEED Kitchens will be having a first year birthday party in conjunction with the Winter Bazaar.  It is an open-house event where  current FEED users will be present to meet with the public, share information (and samples) of what they are doing and you will have the opportunity to meet members of the Northside Planning Council Board of Directors, see our shiny kitchens and get mini-tours of the operation.

There will be food, drink and good times to be had by all. Come out and help us celebrate one year of serving the community and see our vision for years to come.

Hope to see you at FEED Kitchens @ 1219 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, WI 53704 this Saturday!

2015 First Week Meetings
Posted January 4, 2015 at 10:03 PM

After a short winter break, the City and the Common Council return to action. Our first meeting of 2015 will be this Tuesday, January 6. You are always invited to attend, speak at or watch on Madison City Channel. For a full agenda of what may be talked about (the Council does employ something called a consent agenda so we only speak on items that there are speakers or an Alder has pulled off the consent agenda) you can view the complete agenda online

Also this week are two very important meetings concerning District 12 related to new housing proposals using WHEDA Section 42 tax credits. Both the Tennyson Ridge and the Union Corners proposals follow the same schedule and will be up against each other for WHEDA funding.

Tennyson Ridge Meeting – Wednesday January 7

Based upon resident requests at the last neighborhood meeting, Alder Palm invites you to an additional neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed Tennyson Ridge project.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 6:00 p.m. Warner Park Community Recreation Center - Community Room 2 1625 Northport Drive

Representatives from City Planning, Community Development Authority and Madison Police have been invited to answer any questions you might have.

City of Madison Proposal Website

Plan Commission: 12 January 2015
Common Council: 20 January 2015

Union Corners Meeting – Thursday January 8

City of Madison Proposal Website

Please join Alder Rummel (District 6) and myself for a second neighborhood meeting where we will discuss Gorman & Co.'s proposal to seek approval of a Specific Implementation Plan (SIP) to build two 4-story mixed-use buildings on Winnebago Street at Union Corners.  Gorman proposes to construct ground floor retail and market rate and affordable housing with underground parking.

Thursday, January 8, 2015? 5:00 p.m. Goodman Community Center - Evjue D 149 Waubesa Street

The Gorman team will provide updates on the proposed building design including first floor retail configurations and on the WHEDA application for tax credits and get your feedback.

Plan Commission: 12 January 2015
Common Council: 20 January 2015

Milwaukee Street Bridge (at Fair Oaks Avenue) Reconstruction

Something of interest from the District 15 Alder, David Ahrens: The bridge at Milwaukee St and Fair Oaks will be replaced next summer. It's been in bad shape for some time and had emergency repairs last summer. The construction of a replacement bridge will close that entrance to Milwaukee St for a month. Also, in conjunction with the replacement will be improvements in the intersection.

Holiday Tree Collections

Don't forget the City Holiday Tree Collection "Round One" begins tomorrow Monday, January 6. The Second round will begin Tuesday January 21. For more information please see the City's Recycling website.


I hope you have a terrific 2015! 


Mid-December Update!
Posted December 11, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Greetings! A few things before we wrap up 2014... If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at Happy Holidays to you and your family and friends. Larry

MadCity Bazaar/Let's Eat Out

MadCity Bazaar, in conjuction with the food cart group Let's Eat Out are proposing to host a series of events at the Fiore Shopping Center and Burr Jones Park May through September.

From MadCity Bazaar:
We will be hosting our MadCity Bazaar events on the 1st and 3rd weekend of the month (both Sat and Sun).  We will be working in tandem with Let's Eat Out on their Lets' Eat Out Concert Series scheduled for June 21, 28 and July 5 as well as the Fall Food Cart Festival on 9/27 as well as during our regularly scheduled MCB events.  We will host two mini markets on 6/28 and 9/27 to continue our presence during the LEO concert series.  I have attached a document we sent out to our vendors listing the dates of MCB as well as other nearby events/festivals to give a full picture of what is happening in the area. 

MadCity Bazaar will have the majority of our operations taking place in the parking lot of the Fiore Shopping Center but are planning also use Burr Jones Field for music, food and play.  We will be submitting an application to the Park Department by weeks end to continue this process moving forward. 


Tenneyson Lane Development

Two developments on Tenneyson Lane are returning the Plan Commission for review. Please see previous updates for information as to why each site is returning.


1910 Tenneyson Lane (Tenneyson Ridge) Website

  • Public Neighborhood Meeting: December 15 6:00pm Lakeview Library (All Are Welcome)
  • Urban Design: December 17, 2015
  • Plan Commission: January 12, 2015
  • Common Council: January 20, 2015


1936 Tenneyson Lane (Independent Living) Website  

  • Plan Commission: December 15, 2014
  • Common Council: January 6, 2015


Union Corners

Proposal  on the City website

Lots going on at Union Corners. Gorman & Company is proposing to construct 2 mixed-use buildings containing a total of 18,000 square feet of retail and 90 apartments. The apartments would be financed by Section 42 tax credits similar to the Tenneyson Ridge proposal.

There is a semi-regular Neighborhood Steering Committee that has been meeting with the developer about the various aspects of the site. On December 8 they had a meeting to discuss this next phase and former Alder Satya Rhodes-Conway wrote some notes that I thought would be useful to the wider District 12 community. 


What's new

  • Close to signing with Fresh Thyme grocery store
  • 90ish market rate apartments on top of grocery
  • Fresh Thyme wants exclusive on liquor store, pharmacy, bakery, etc. – meaning no other stand along businesses providing these services could be on the site
  • UW clinic SIP approved
  • Working on co-housing


Current SIP

  • 90 units, looking for WHEDA tax credits, very competitive – current focus on veterans
  • 1st level retail
  • If retail doesn't work, could try for library in one of the buildings
  • Need retail leasing to build


Issues the Steering Committee Identified

1. Affordability

  • 90 units total:
    • 15% - 14 units = market rate;
    • 25% (23 units) supportive housing units – up to 30% AMI ($15K individual), City wants them to work with The Road Home, targeted to veterans;
    • 60% at 50-60% of AMI ($25K individual), some 3 bedrooms at grade;
  • Whatever non-profit does the supportive care will likely need office space too. Porchlight might be interested.
  • Screening – no felonies, no evictions, 3 references needed, full background checks. Gorman manages for 15 years at least.


2. Orientation of retail space

  • Getting mixed messages from city and neighborhood
  • Ultimately their process is to let retail tenants decide where they want to be in the building, then put the residential in.


3.  Building Design

  • Working with designs
  • Marsha (Alder Rummel) told them "we're not a boring neighborhood"
  • brick is expensive, hard to do like the French Battery.
  • Waiting for UDC comments.


4. Green construction

  • Building solar ready/green roof ready.
  • City Row is energy star certified; these may end up there – or not.


5. Stormwater

  • Currently meeting the standards but no better;
  • likes the idea of rain barrels/cisterns.


6. Green Space

7. Community Gardens

  • Looking at several sites.


Steering Committee concerns

  • Quality of the building design and materials
  • Activating the courtyard and path as special places so people use them, treating the buildings as four sided – not having a front (Winnebago St.) and back (path)
  • Location of the retail – majority (but not all) want it oriented to the center of the site
  • Do better on green building and stormwater management

At least one, possibly four members of the Steering Committee will be at UDC to communicate these concerns. All are encouraged to attend, or to send an email to and asking him to share it with the UDC members.

Development Schedule
Urban Design Commission: December 17, 2014
Plan Commission: January 12, 2015
Common Council: January 20, 2015


Looking ahead to 2015

There are several great projects that are beginning or continuing that will require public engagement:

  • Warner Park Master Plan Process
  • Emerson East Eken Park Yahara Neighborhood Plan (Public meeting in March/April)
  • Demetral Park Playground Equipment Replacement (Second Meeting in 2015)
  • North Sherman/Northport block-by-block zoning and future reuse planning
  • Public Market District Planning
Posted December 2, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I am inviting residents to attend a community meeting to learn more about the Tennyson Ridge (1910 Tennyson Lane) development.

> Monday December 15, 6pm Lakeview Library Community Room


Tonight the Madison Common Council voted to support the Tennyson Ridge Affordable Housing Funding as proposed by our Community Services Committee, Staff and Mayor. 

In addition, the applicant has submitted a request for approval for a zoning and Plan Commission.This is identical to the Plan approved last year, but has to be resubmitted because the time will expire before construction can be done.

Recently there was an email circulating that expressed concern about poverty in Northside schools. Unfortunately, there was no connection made between school poverty and this specific development. The email let the reader make assumptions about who will be living in these buildings, without data or citations. 

This development, even with financial support, will simply not contribute to that poverty, and may even improve the economics of the Northside and our schools.

In my previous updates, I laid out more completely what the project is and who will live here. I'll be brief here, you can look at the other posts for more information.

  • 30% AMI (Area Median Income): 12 units (16%) 1 and 2 bedrooms for disabled veterans and will receive services from Lutheran Social Services.
  • 50% AMI: 39 units (54%) 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.
  • 60% AMI: 10 units (12%) 1 and 2 bedroom units.
  • Market Rate: 11 units (15%) 1 and 2 bedroom units.

The majority of units will be for people earning between $28,300 and $48,480 a year who can afford to pay rent between $732 and $1,032 a month. Below is a table that I've used before, but now I've added the federal Free School Lunch maximum income. You can see how the incomes compare:

AMI % of building 1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people
Free School Lunch   $11,670 $15,730 $19,790 $23,850
30% AMI 16% $16,980 $19,410 $21,840 $24,240
50% AMI 54% $28,300 $32,350 $40,400 $43,650
60% AMI 12% $33,960 $38,820 $43,680 $48,480
100% AMI 15% $56,600 $64,700 $80,800 $87,300

I've received a few questions (which I'll paraphrase) with my answer:

This is an OK project but it should be somewhere else.

Unfortunately this is the very fundamental of "NIMBYISM" (Not In My Backyard). As your representative to the Madison Common Council I have fought other Alders and communities about NIMBYISM and can't in good conscience give in when it appears within District 12. If it's an OK project anywhere it is an OK project everywhere. 

Why don't you focus on something else, like the Northside Town Center?

Besides the fact that City Staff and myself have been working with the owners of the Northside Town Center one of the things they really need are more customers. Investments in new housing developments will create more customers, which creates more opportunities for retail business to open on the North Side of Madison.

It's too dense.

Yes, it's more dense than a single family house, but will be only one-fourth the density of the proposed Independent Living facility right next door (72 units versus 300 units). This is actually a very large lot, and while the two buildings themselves are reasonably dense they unused area around the buildings would reduce it's density on a statistical scale.

There is too much Section 42 housing on the Northside.

There are currently one Section 42 housing development on the Northside: Sherman Glen (#33 on the map below). This is a very successful funding source and Alders on the Common Council who have Section 42 tax credits developments in their district have said that they have done very well. Please see the map below for the 38 developments in the Madison area that have received Section 42 housing credits, this includes family, low-income and senior housing.

If you are interested in this development, please plan to attend the December 15 Community meeting. Thank you.

Budget Wrap-up
Posted November 19, 2014 at 12:58 PM


Earlier this morning it was announced that the Mayor will not be signing the 2015 City of Madison Operating and Capital Budget that was approved by the Common Council last Tuesday. Because he did not actually veto the budget, it will still go into effect when the deadline (4:30 on 11/19/14) has been reached.

This was perhaps the most difficult budget that I have experienced in my ten years on the Common Council. It wasn't because we had no additional revenue, it's because the residents of Madison demand so much from our city. There was very little interest in cutting basic city services, in fact there is evidence is people want more...

While the economy is recovering, it's important to note that funding from state and federal governments continue to drop. That puts more pressure on the property tax and other fees that the city charges. In essence that means you pay more. It's certainly not an ideal situation, but is something we are forced to do if we want to maintain services.

The problem with getting 21 people in a room to agree (that's 20 Alders and the Mayor) is that it doesn't always work. I certainly voted against things that were put in the final budget and likewise other Alders voted against things that I wanted in the budget and they didn't get added. Ultimately I have to decide if I like a budget enough, which varies from year to year.  I have in the past voted against budgets that I didn't think do enough or perhaps too much.

Last night was an extraordinary conversation about re-opening the budget to remove funding for the Madison Area Sports Commission, dip into our city's "savings account" and take any property tax levy still available and give some of our workers an additional .5% raise (in addition to the 1.5% raise that is already in the Mayor's original proposed budget). For reference, .5% works out to about $750,000 so there is currently $2,250,000 in the budget for certain staff raises (and more with Police and Fire).

The rational is that our Police Officers and Firefighters - because they can still have union contracts - had a 3% raise and that we would like to compensate all our employees fairly. Obviously 1.5% + .5% still doesn't reach the 3% level. 

On any given day, I would have wholeheartedly supported - as long as funds are available - the additional .5% for our dedicated and hardworking city employees. If I knew a raise was on the table, I probably wouldn't have supported some items that were added to the budget, making it not necessary to dip into our savings or take every last property tax dollar that we could legally use.

But what happened at the last minute last night was a proposal that wasn't fair or balanced to anybody. We should think seriously about dipping into our savings. We didn't evaluate all the amendments that were proposed or even items in the Mayor's original budget. And we should actually understand what our hard working employees actually need to grow with the city.

Understanding a post- ACT10 world.

On January 1, 2015 for the first time in many decades most of the City of Madison's employees will not be represented by a Union (or at least a Union with contract rights). When there were contracts, our city's HR staff, under the direction of the Mayor, used to sit around a table and negotiate with Union representatives worker's compensation. The Council's role was to approve the contract at the end of the process.

Now we're not sure what our role is. Can we sit with anyone now and discuss future salaries and work conditions? Originally the Mayor had sent communication that it was not the right of Alders to discuss with employees any issues previously related to contracting. 

So it was surprise to most Alders that the Mayor thought his originally proposed 1.5% was not enough. And I agree. Certainly not after the years that we have used ACT 10 opportunities to balance our budgets. As revenue increases we certainly should return workers to pre-ACT 10 levels and then grow from there.

Most Alders I believe agree that now we need to be part of the discussion and welcome an opportunity to explore the city budget and policies for opportunities. What happened last night with the budget means that we no longer have an opportunity to change the property tax rate, but we still have an opportunity to modify the budget. We can still discuss what 2016 and years beyond look like. Heck, if there is money available we can still give a raise to our hardworking employees in 2015.

I pledge to work with our city staff on any legal and practical way to improve their rights, compensation and work environments.

We still have an opportunity to modify our Capital Budget and remove or delay projects that are less necessary or have changed from their original intention. Traditionally many projects do not get finished in the year that they are proposed (some never getting started, others being in the middle of the process) so changes to the Capital budget are actually quite common.

You can use this link to see the 2015 city budgets.

As always, I encourage you, District 12 residents, to continue to share with me your opinions, concerns and suggestions. I attend many Neighborhood Association meetings as well as wander around the District to talk to as many residents as I can. I enjoy so much the conversations that I have with residents about what happens in the city and what is really important to them.

If you would like to discuss items with me more, please contact me at


Alder, District 12

EAB Tree Meeting
Posted November 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM


Please join me, City Forester Marla Eddy and Forestry Supervisor Dean Kahl and District 12 Alder Weier for a neighborhood meeting about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Learn more about what the City is doing for city-owned trees, including street trees and park land trees. More information about EAB and the city's response is available on the City's EAB website.

Monday, November 24, 2014
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Warner Park Community Recreation Center - Community Room 1
1625 Northport Drive

I look forward to seeing you November 24!



The Return of Tennyson Developments
Posted November 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM


Last winter, there were two projects being proposed on Tennyson Lane. One was Independent Living the other a 72-unit apartment complex at 1902 Tennyson Lane. This winter, in a case a déjà vu, we'll be discussing the exact same two projects.

Independent Living Project

When the Independent Living project was approved, one of the Traffic Engineering staff conditions was: "Senior living facilities generate expectations for higher level pedestrian facilities above and beyond typical development. Applicant prior to sign off shall provide a deposit in the amount of $20,000 to be used at the discretion of the City Traffic Engineer for enhanced pedestrian improvements in the Right-of-Way near the proposed development."

Independent Living Zoning

This condition requires Independent Living to provide the City with $20,000 to be used to improve pedestrian movement if so requested in the future. Improvements could be crosswalks, curb bump-outs, traffic islands and other features that improve pedestrian transportation. I know that there are already concerns about traffic on Tennyson, especially around the school.

Because the Plan Commission and the Common Council approved this application with the staff condition, the only way that the condition can be removed would be for Independent Living to resubmit their application and request it not to be in the final approval.

Therefore, on November 12, 2014 Independent Living resubmitted the project for Plan Commission and Common Council approval. Our Traffic Engineering staff still supports the inclusion of this condition in the approval. I understand and appreciate Independent Living's concern that this is not financially suitable for them and I will be working with the applicant and staff to develop a compromise that can be supported by all.

At this point, I am asking residents of their opinion about the need for pedestrian improvements on Tennyson and nearby streets, especially when you consider that the long-term plan for the project would be 300 units – bringing significant pedestrian and motor vehicle access.

In addition, Independent Living is requesting a waiver of the 30-day neighborhood review period. At this moment I have not heard back from Berkley Oaks Neighborhood leadership, however if you have a concern about this waiver request please let me know.

I am also not planning on having another neighborhood meeting on this project because of the consistent general support residents had previously had. This can change based upon your comments and feedback.


1910 Tennyson Lane (Tennyson Ridge)

Last January the Common Council and Plan Commission approved a 72-unit development at 1910 Tennyson Lane called "Tennyson Ridge". In addition, about 25 single-family lots were laid out along Tennyson Avenue and an extension of Eliot Lane. City Background information

At the time of approval for 1910 Tennyson Lane, as Alder I hosted a series of meetings for residents to discuss and express their concerns as well as ask the developer questions about the project. You can see a summary of these meetings.

The project was to have a mix of income levels and the developer had applied to the City for Affordable Housing funds and the WHEDA for Section 42 tax credits. While the city had approved up to $795,000, WHEDA did not score them high enough to receive the tax credits. At the time the developer had said that he would re-submit in the next cycle, which we are currently in.

Details on what Affordable Housing Means for This Development

As part of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund application, the developer has delinated what the composition of the units, the maximum Average Median Income (AMI) and rent that will be paid. I've summerized them in a chart:

# of Units Unit Type % AMI 2015 Rents Size sf
7 1 BR/ 1 BA 30% $452.00 710
2 1 BR/ 1 BA 50% $732.00 710
6 1 BR/ 1 BA 60% $872.00 710
4 1 BR/ 1 BA Market $947.00 710
5 2 BR/ 2 BA 30% $541.00 970-1,178
18 2 BR/ 2 BA 50% $901.00 970-1,178
4 2 BR/ 2 BA 60% $1,001 970-1,178
7 2 BR/ 2 BA Market $1,171-1,$1,201 970-1,178
19 3 BR/ 2 BA 50% $1,032 1,252

Incuded in the rent will be in-unit washer/dryers, private balconies, central air conditioning and underground parking.

The application also indicates that Lutheran Social Services (LSS) will also provide "extensive support services" to the residents.

WHEDA Dane County Average Median Income Chart

What is the maximum income for someone to qualify for one of these apartments. Based upon the Dane County income:

AMI 1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people
Free School Lunch* $11,670 $15,730 $19,790 $23,850
30% $16,980 $19,410 $21,840 $24,240
50% $28,300 $32,350 $40,400 $43,650
60% $33,960 $38,820 $43,680 $48,480
100% $56,600 $64,700 $80,800 $87,300

* 12/2/14 added USDA Free School Lunch maximum income information to compare to Dane County AMI.

Plan Commission Previous Actions

The 72-unit development land-use and zoning was approved by the Plan Commission in January 2014. The developer still has the right to build the project for up to one-year. However, the city offer of funding was contingent on the WHEDA tax credits.

Plan Commission – consideration of a conditional use alternation introduced 12/19/13 and approved 1/27/14

Plan Commission – approval of zoning project at 1902 Tennyson Lane introduced 11/21/13 and passed 1/21/14.

The developers will continue to own the property, but it will be managed by Oakbrook Corporation. 

Affordable Housing City of Madison Funds 

The developers were one of six throughout the city to apply for the 2014 Affordable Housing funds, and one of four to now be recommended by the Community Development Committee to receive funding. Again this funding would be contingent on the project receiving WHEDA tax credits.

What I know about 1910 Tennyson Lane at this point...

  • Project currently has a building permit that expires in January 2015. The developer has asked the city to extend the deadline, which is generally acceptable provided no significant modifications to the physical building are made.
  • The developer has made a request to the City for 2015 Affordable Housing Funding and the Community Development committee, as they have done previously. The Community Development staff has recommended funding at a level of $1.0 million instead of the previously approved $795,000.
  • The developer has indicated that they will apply for WHEDA Section 42 as part of the 2015 cycle ( These items have not changed significantly since the January 2015 proposal that was denied.
  • Most importantly: the entire project – construction, the plan, zoning and financing is substantially similar to what was proposed in January 2014. 

I am currently searching for a date and location to host a public meeting with the applicant and nearby residents. We will be sending a post-card to residents as previously done when a meeting time has been selected.

Thank you,


2015 Council Budget Adoption
Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Greetings (again!)

It always seems like things bunch up, and so I apologize if there seems to too many emails from Alder Larry Palm. But it's hard for me not to send out one final communication about the 2015 City of Madison Budget.

The full council will meet next week to discuss several proposed Operating and Capital Budget amendments. We have a special budget meeting starting Tuesday, November 11 at 5:30pm in Room 201 in the City-County Buidling. Alders have blocked off the next two nights in case we need to continue debating the budget.

All members of the public are invited to send comments to individual Alders or to all alders using the or to speak at the Public Hearing at the beginning of the meeting. However, once the Public Hearing is closed, we will not re-open the hearing.

If you send an email please remember:

  1. Identify what amendments you are concerned about. 
  2. Articulate why you're for or against the amendment. 
  3. Identify who you are. Generally speaking Alders are looking for residents of their own district, and it's likely that will be the only Alder that will respond to that email.

If you are attending to speak at the Public Hearing.

  1. You only get five minutes. It sounds like a lot but so many people go over. Please review what you'd like to talk about with a stop watch to make sure everything you say can fit.
  2. Don't leave the most important part until the end. Not only can the time limit get you, but you can best frame your argument if we know what it is you're concerned about.
  3. The Council will wait until everyone speaks to ask questions.

Capital Budget Amendments 

Capital Budget Amendments

The Capital Budget generally is for items that last longer than a few years. Particular amendments that I think residents may be interested in:

#2: $75,000 for the purchase of 50 body cameras for one police district.

#5: $80,000 for lighting the basketball courts in Warner Park along Troy Drive.

#16: Delaying by two years Public Market District expenditures. Obviously this would be a significant change and I believe would end the current process being planned along the Yahara River.


Operating Budget Amendments 

Operating Budget Amendments

The Operating Budget is the day-to-day activities of the city, mostly salary and benefits. Amendments that I think residents might be interested in:

#4, #5: Increases to parking fines.

#10: The costs to operate Police body cameras ($30,000).

#12: Increases the Common Council President to 1/2 the salary and benefits of the Mayor for about $53,000.

#14: Increase the Urban Forest special charge from $527,500 to $1,000,000. The $527,500 is a 1-for-1 replacement of the Landfill Fee we currently pay.


I encourage you to look at the Operating Budget amendments and share your thoughts with me and/or the entire Council. 

Have a great weekend!


Alder, District 12

Ash Tree Removal Begins
Posted November 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM


City of Madison Forestry has informed me that they will begin removing ash marked as preemptive removals starting this weekend. 


Above is a Forestry Tree District map of the areas in Madison where we will be focusing our removal efforts over the next year.  Each of these areas corresponds to the current infestations that were discovered since the first find near Warner Park in November of 2013. As you can see a signficant part of District 12 is within the "Warner Zone". The city has developed an amazing online map that shows information about street trees and what may be in front of your house. 

The Warner area infestation is the most widespread of the four infestations, it currently stretches from the neighborhoods south and east of Warner Park to as far north as the Whitetail Ridge neighborhood.

Treatments started on the north side this last summer and we treated over 800 ash street trees in Tree Districts 2, 4, and 6, and over 4,000 Citywide. Tree Districts are indicated by the numbers in the map.

Over the last winter, Forestry removed around 400 ash street trees in the area around the Warner infestation.  There are currently 392 more ash in Tree Districts 2 and 4 that are scheduled for removal over the next year.  Tree District 6 is one of our current cycle pruning areas – we will only be removing ash marked as preemptive removals as we encounter them during our pruning operations.  All residential property owners that have an ash marked for removal have been notified per our standard Forestry door card notification.

Replacement of these trees will depend on the timeframe of removal – trees that are removed this fall through next spring will have the stumps removed during the summer of 2015 and should be able to be replaced either Fall of 2015 or Spring of 2016.  Trees that are removed towards the end of 2015 will end up on the stump grinding list during the summer of 2016 and can be replaced in the Fall of 2016 or Spring of 2017.

You can find out more information about the city's Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) plan online. You can also Adopt an Ash Tree in City Parks such as Warner Park. There is also information about the "Green Ribbon Project" to highlight the need for Park Tree adoption.

I know that many individuals have approached me about their concern with the City's plan, which we began in 2008. There are thousands of Ash Trees within the city and this has tremendously affected out Forestry department and what they can do. The Mayor has proposed spending significantly more in the 2015 city budget, however that still isn't enough to treat each Ash tree.

Efforts have been made to generate additional funding for our Urban Forest, including EAB mitigation, however this is not finalized. Once funding can be secured, I will work to add additional treatment (as appropriate) to the plan. 

If you have any questions, you can contract City Forestry directly at (608) 266-4816, Monday - Friday 7am - 3pm.

Thank you,

Larry Palm

Alder, District 12

In Defense of Affordable Housing
Posted November 5, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Recently there has been a city effort to build both workforce housing (ie: housing for people with jobs) and low/no income housing. Both are worthy of our support and efforts, but residents should not confuse one for the other.
First, a bit of background. The cost of housing has increased substantially over the last decade – far more than people's income. This means that people working good jobs – police officers, teachers, fire fighters, young professionals – are not earning enough to buy/rent good quality housing in Madison. Years ago, they would leave Madison seeking "cheaper" housing.

Cheaper suburban housing is proving to be a mirage – while the cost to acquire is sometimes less, transportation and other costs eat any savings and may actually cost more year after year.

Living in Madison, you know the benefit. Access to Metro Bus reduces transportation costs, compact development means places that you want to go to are more convenient and nearby and ready access to civic and cultural activities increases satisfaction.

But, again, the increase in the cost of construction has made good quality housing difficult to find. Madison's occupancy rate since I was elected ten years ago continues to hover in the 2-5% range. That's pretty low.
WHEDA, the state Housing and Economic Development, offers developers something called Section 42 tax credits which offer financing for construction of new housing units. Generally speaking, then a fixed number of units are available to rent at market rate, and some units at various local income limits for the next thirty years. WHEDA offers a FAQ about the tax credits on their website. 

For instance, to qualify for a unit at 50% of the average area income, a single person must earn no more than $28,300 or a couple at $32,350. The maximum rent that then could be charged for this household for a one bedroom unit is $758. Landlords continue to have the ability to screen applicants and manage facilities as they would normally.

                              Max Income for One Max Rental  for One Bedroom Max Income for Four Max Rental for Three Bedroom
30% AMI $16,980 $454.00 $24,240 $630.00
40% AMI $22,640 $606.00 $32,320 $840.00
60% AMI $33,960 $909.00 $48,480 $1,260.00

These developments are not cheap. A few recent proposals I've seen have back-of-the envelope unit costs in the $160,000- $180,000 range. That's more than the average house cost in some parts of District 12. In addition, these developments generally have modern amenities such as underground parking.

City Row, on East Johnson Street at Blair Street, is a local example of a development that has received Section 42 Tax Credits. It has become highly regarded as a benefit to the James Madison Park area and can be seen a positive contribution to the city, providing an opportunity for people working in Madison to actually live in Madison.
Does the City of Madison need workforce housing? Yes, absolutely. Does the WHEDA Section 42 help in this goal? Yes, and I encourage residents to understand this program and how it supports our community's goal to build new good-quality affordable housing.

I also support Madison's efforts to build low-income or no-income housing, however that a more challenging topic for another article. As a member of the Madison Community Development Authority (CDA), I recognize the challenge of locating and financing projects throughout the City of Madison.

Madison needs, and our residents deserve, a wide selection of multiple types of housing widely dispersed throughout Madison. Section 42 Tax Credits is just one method to support workforce housing that will work and already has in Madison.

Vote Tuesday November 4!
Posted November 3, 2014 at 8:33 PM


Don't forget tomorrow Tuesday, November 4! This is a very important election at the state and local level.

No IDs is necessary to vote and you can register at the Polling Place. Polls are open from 7:00am - 8:00pm.

City information is available at:

If you need a ride to the Polls, Union Cab will provde free transportation. Please see:

Two Meetings and a Budget
Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Union Corners Meeting - Monday

Below are renderings that the Gorman development team will present at the next public meeting to discuss the development of residential units on the site.


You are invited to attend the meeting to discuss housing on  Monday 10/27 at 7p Salvation Army 3030 Darbo Dr, annex (lower level).

Gorman and Co plans to apply for WHEDA tax credits which, if awarded, will help subsidize units at 60% area median income (AMI). If they do not win the competitive bid, they will not pursue this proposal.

At 60% AMI one person household income would equal $33,900, 2= $38,800, 3= $43,600 and 4= $48,400.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. A full-time minimum wage employee earns $15,080 annually. The poverty threshold for a single person is $11,670. For a family of four with two children it is $23,850.

North District Police Survey

You are invited to take part in the annual North District Community Survey. Your opinions are important to your police department.   Go to:

Public Market Planning Workshop - Tuesday
The City of Madison is making progress on the Madison Public Market District project. After over a year of research, public engagement, and analysis, the City's Local Food Committee, Economic Development Committee, and Common Council have endorsed a recommendation to finalize the business plan and to focus on an area along East Washington Avenue near the Yahara River as the preferred location for the project.
The next step will be an interactive "Placemaking Workshop" to brainstorm ideas for uses and activities to include as part of the District. The Workshop will take place on Tuesday, October 28 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm in the Tenney Park Pavilion (1414 E. Johnson Street). The session will start with a brief presentation in the Pavilion and then small groups will head outside to walk the site and identify opportunities and uses.
Dress for the weather. All are welcome to attend but please register online at the project's website so we can keep an approximate headcount:

Emerson East - Eken Park Yahara Neigborhood Plan Process

The Emerson East - Eken Park Yahara (EEEPY) Neighborhood Plan process  is really starting to take off. Recently the committee has had representatives from the Parks Department and Traffic Engineering to discuss concerns or issues of the area and potential solutions.

There are planned to be a few public meetings to gather more feedback and present the plan, everyone is invited to attend the actual committee meetings.

You can find out more information about the Committee, and sign up for the mailing list at:

City Budget

You might be aware that the Mayor has introduced his 2015 Operating Budget. The Operating Budget pays for day-to-day activity for the year. As you can expect there are significant payroll costs to cover the many employees that perform the services that city residents request.

The Common Council has already done a quick discussion to highlight Alders priorities, but given our levy limit (how much we can legal increase funds from property taxes) there are few major initiatives the city can begin, without cuts to existing programs or services.

Next Wednesday amendments are due for the Board of Estimates (BOE) discussion the following week. Amendments will be made public on Friday.

You are welcome to review the budget at: If you have any suggestions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me and let me know.

Thank you!

Larry Palm
Alder, District 12

Public Market District - Council Vote Tuesday
Posted October 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The Madison Common Council is scheduled to vote on the final Local Foods Committee report and resolution on potential sites.

You might know that the current preferred site is at the Yahara River, compassing an area that could include Marling Lumber, Fiore Shopping Center, City Fleet Services sites, at the western edge of District 12.

What Can You Do?

If you're interested in the outcome of this vote, you can do one of the following:

  • Attend the Council Meeting on Tuesday, October 7 6:30pm, 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Room 201 (City-County Building) October 7 Council Agenda
  • Send an Email to All Alders:

It will be unlikely that this vote will be referred, as it has already been the last time it appeared before the Council. I continue to champion that the Eastside site is idea based up the demographics (both number of individuals that would benefit and the customer base for vendors) and total number of vehicles to be reached from East Washington Avenue.

I believe this could continue the rebirth of East Washington Avenue, making it a key Eastside destination. It could also reinvigorate a tired area, supporting a whole host of additional usages.

Please review the below background information about the Madison Public Market District.



Alder, District 12

Background Information

Capital Budget Amendments
Posted September 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM


It's been a while since I last wrote and I apologize for that. However, today the 2015 Capital Budget amendments as proposed by Council members were released and since this is the substance of the discussion for the Board of Estimates (BOE) committee I thought I would go over it a bit for your review. Eventually the entire list will be available on the City's legislative system, Legistar, as an agenda item for the BOE (Now available online).

First, I notice that there are a few "Operating Budget" items embedded in Capital Budget amendments. You might know that the City splits its budget between Capital items – lasting longer than a few years – and Operating – the day-to-day items. Garbage trucks are in the Capital Budget, trash can liners and the salary to pay people to pick them up are in the Operating Budget.

Why does this matter? Municipalities get themselves in a lot of trouble buying short-term things with borrowing. If you can't afford it today, how can you afford it next year while paying off the debt of this year's item? Things get a little difficult on items like paying staff to engineer road projects out of the borrowing for that project – is that right or wrong? Depends on how you look it I believe.

Amendment 1 – Eastside Library Planning Process $100,000

  • This was in the 2014 budget as well, and now we've hired a planner who will work on this and all of our next library projects (saves money as we will not need as many consultants and the knowledge gained stays in house). Fortunately, we won't need $100,000 on a planning process so I think this is a little financial overkill but the concept is valid.

Amendment 2 – Fire Station #14 –far southeast Madison  -$400,000 (2015)

  • A little more complex, but it moves some money around in the future.

Amendment 3 – New Midtown Police District $2,125,000

  • Adds money to start building a new station on the former Mt. Olive Church site on Mineral Point Road.

Amendment 4 – Neighborhood Center Internet Connectivity $200,000

  • Not sure since many community centers already have high speed internet, but the idea would be to use the centers to promote community use of the internet.

Amendment 5 – Feasibility Study for a co-op internet utility $100,000

  • Can Madison create an internet utility to reduce the cost of wireless internet service, especially to low income neighborhoods and families?

Amendment 6 – Develop a Participatory Budget Process $100,000

  • Hire a consultant and provide materials to city staff to create a strong participatory city budget process.

Amendment 7 – Buy 217 N First Street to construct bike path linkage - $200,000

  • This is my amendment for the corner of North First Street and East Johnson Street to connect an existing path at the intersection. Currently bicyclist can't see around the house – unoccupied – and motorist can't see bicyclist.

Amendment 8 – Construct pedestrian/bike path in Demetral Park $325,000

  • Add a bike path or sidewalk along Packers Avenue where there currently is no path.

Amendment 9 – Sidewalk Program Assessments -$500,000

  • Not sure, few specifics but would reduce the other funding line from special assessments from $1,500,000 to $1,000,000.

Amendment 10 – State Street 700/800 blocks TID 32 $500,000

  • Reauthorize $500,000 of TID money for plantings and a new public art piece.

Amendment 11 – Union Corners Railroad Crossings and Quiet Zones

  • Adding in 2017 money to construct new gates and warnings to create a quiet zone.

Amendment 12 – Add Lake Street to the resurfacing list $560,000

  • From a multiple of pots, but only $150,000 from general borrowing.

Amendment 13 – Atwood Avenue resurfacing (Schenks Corner)

  • Adds reconstruction of Atwood and Winnebago at Schenks Corner for $1,200,000 in fiscal year 2016.

Amendment 14 – Capitol Square Pavement Replacement

  • Revises the 2016 funding sources from TID.

Amendment 15- Monroe Street to 2016 construction $885,000

  • Puts planning of Monroe Street reconstruction in 2015 and construction in 2016.

Amendment 16 – Old Middleton Roundabouts

  • Deletes the project.

Amendment 17- North Gammon Road

  • Adds reconstruction of North Gammon Road in 2020.

Amendment 18 – Stevens Street Park improvements  - $95,000

  • Adds money to improve seating area, basketball courts and retaining walls.

Amendment 19 – Improvements to James Madison Park

  • Adds funding in 2016 and 2017 for a master plan and replace shelter in 2017.

Amendment 20 – Olin Park Gateway Improvements - $100,000

  • Adding money for a reflection point in Olin Park.

Amendment 21- Police Squads $412,322 Affordable Housing Fund $215,500

  • Moves money for squad vehicles from Operating to Capital budget (not surprisingly squad cars have a very short life and have been traditionally considered operating budget) and add money to the affordable housing fund with a direct appropriation from Operating Budget.

Amendment 22 – Organic Waste Screen $120,000

  • Reauthorizes funding for the organic waste screen, which was recently approved but if not accomplished in 2014 allows it to be still done in 2015.

Amendment 23 – Far West Public Works Facility delay

  • Moves a Far West Public Works Facility from 2019 to 2020 and construction in 2021!

Amendment 24 – State Street Campus – Lake Garage for 2017-2018

  • Funding for a replacement in 2017-2018 was inadvertently left out of the Executive budget from previous years.

Amendment 25- Neighborhood Centers (Salvation Army Darbo)

  • Clarifies language in the Executive budget that funding would be for acquisition and design work on the Salvation Army site in Darbo Worthington, not the 600 block of East Washington Avenue.

Amendment 26 – TID 39 Stoughton Road Funding from Borrowing $500,000

  • Borrows money for the TID 39 area for business retention, expansion and relocating projects and $30,000 for the BioAg Gateway.

Amendment 27 – Public Market Site Acquisition reduction -$2,000,000

  • Reduces the amount for funding for land acquisition from $5,250,000 to $3,250,000.

Amendment 28 – Language change for Permanent Supportive Housing initiatives

  • Changes a few bits of language for the currently proposed project on Rethke and funding for a second Phase.

Amendment 29 – 100 Block of West Mifflin Street - $50,000

  • Changes the language about funding and options for the redevelopment of 100 block of West Mifflin Street (essentially at State Street) and adds some TID funding for the planning process.

Amendment 30 – Law Park /John Nolen South Capitol Development district

  • Merges language in the Capitol budget as there are two complimentary proposals in the Executive budget.

Amendment 31 – Co-operative Enterprise Development

  • Deletes the project for the Capital Improvement Plan.

Amendment 32- Northport Drive Gateway improvements - $100,000

  • Adds funding to develop a plan to improve the gateway to the city.

Amendment 33 – Ann Street Development - $5,000,000

  • Adds funding to buy the properties 1026 Ann St to 902 Ann Street to eliminate the blight and landbank for future re-use.

Amendment 34 –Women Enterprise Fund - $250,000

  • A two year plan to create investments in women-owned companies to create jobs and economic development.




PS: I've done these a little fast without the benefit of further investigation and talking to the Alders/Mayor proposing so maybe some of it is a little off. If you have a question I can always follow-up. 

PPS: The Finance Department has added some additional information:

The proposed BOE capital budget amendments increase the 2015 all funds capital budget by $9 million and 2015 proposed GO borrowing by $7.9 million compared to the 2015 executive capital budget.  As a result, the proposed amount of additional borrowing would add an estimated $926,700 of debt service and $10.31 in taxes on the average value home starting in 2016 compared to the executive capital budget

Public Markets!
Posted June 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM


Tonight the City of Madison Local Food Committee voted to move forward on three specific locations for the new Public Market proposal. Two of the sites - at East Washington and First Street and the Northside TownCenter at North Sherman and Northport Avenue are in District 12! The other site is on South Park Street.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback, suggestions and comments to the committee. The next steps will obviously be to further refine the locations and what each site can offer. I think both sites offer a weath of opportunity not only for our local food producers but residents and businesses. I look forward to the continued discussions.

While I'm sending out an email, I'll update everyone on a few more items:

independent Living - 1902 Tenneyson Lane

This Wednesday, Independent Living will be going in front of the Urban Design Commission (UDC) for final approval of their proposal on Tenneyson Lane next to the currently under construction Granite Ridge.  The meeting will be Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 4:30pm at the Madison Municipal Building Room LL-110. This will move forward their proposal for large senior living building for the Northside.

North Street Reconstruction

North Street and Commercial Avenue construction is well under way! 

Commercial Avenue (Packers Ave – North St): Construction shall be in Phase I. Vehicles are on the north side of Commercial Ave. Contractor is replacing utilities.

North Street (Commercial Ave – E. Washington Ave):  Contractor will close North St to through traffic on June 14 and start installing utilities.

Johnson St/North St Intersection:

June 23:  Johnson St will be one lane only at North St.  The contractor will flag traffic on Johnson St  at North St.

It is expected that Johnson St at North St will be one lane in each direction for the PM peak hours traffic.

For details about the project take a look at the specs and who to call with issues

Northside Independence Day Celebration

Let's celebrate Independence Day! An amazing group of Northside residents have been putting together a family fun day on Saturday July 5 at Warner Park concluding with fireworks from the Madison Mallards. For more information, see the Northside Madison webpage.


Have a happy and safe Independence Day!



Union Corners UW Health Clinic Meeting
Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM


Alder Rummel and I invite you to a meeting specifically about the proposed UW Health Clinic site and building at Union Corners.

Gorman & Company is seeking community input for the new UW Health Clinic at Union Corners in anticipation of an Urban Design Commission informational presentation on May 28.  Please join us for a neighborhood meeting to learn more about this project as it moves forward:

Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Bashford United Methodist Church - Room 3
329 North Street
(Please enter from the parking lot in back.)


Madison Public Market District Site Selection Community Conversations
Posted May 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM



The City recently completed phase 1 of the Public Market District Business Plan. This study revealed a strong interest and high-level of demand for the idea of a Madison Public Market. Further, the Phase 1 report expanded the City's vision of the Market to be a "Market District" with numerous co-located, related uses that evolve over time. Phase 2 of the Business Plan includes identifying a location of the Public Market District and defining its attributes and amenities.

You are invited to attend any of the scheduled "Community Conversations." These will be your opportunity to share your ideas about which locations in Madison can best fulfill the vision of the Public Market District.

Each meeting will have the same agenda and include a brief presentation followed by lively and engaging small group exercises and discussions.

Meeting Places and Dates
All meetings will be held 6:00 – 8:00 PM

  • Thursday, May 22 MGE Innovation Center, room 50, 510 Charmany Drive
  • Tuesday, May 27 Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Evjue Commons, 3330 Atwood Ave
  • Wednesday, May 28 Villager on the Park, Atrium Community room, 2234 S. Park Street
  • Thursday, May 29 St Pauls Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 2126 N. Sherman Ave

A Spanish and a Hmong translator will be present at each meeting.

More information about the Public Market Process: see

Questions? Contact: Dan Kennelly, 608. 267.1968

Public Mark Flyers Available Online in Multiple Languages: English   Spanish  Hmong


Council Recap 5/6/14
Posted May 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM


So much happened at this Tuesday's Council Meeting, I feel compelled to write a (hopefully?) quick update.

Madison Central Library "Public Works Project of the Year"

First, we presented an honoring resolution to the Madison Public Library, our city Engineering division, the construction team of J.H. Findorff & Sons Construction and the architect Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle for the new Central Library for the 2014"Public Works Project of the Year" by the American Public Works Association. 

The new Central Library has received many awards since it's been open, but one accomplishment that I am most proud of is that the actual costs of the project came in over $1,000,000 below estimates. That alone will save the city about $60,000 a year in operating costs over the next 10 years.

Occupy Madison

Certainly the bulk of last night's Council meeting was about the Occupy Madison "Tiny Houses" project. We had about two and a half hour of testimony. My running speaker tally was in district: 12 support, 8 opposed, all together 42 in support, 8 opposed. There were many excellent points on both sides of the argument and I do want to thank all the nearby residents for their voice. This project is better because of the concerns that have been raised.

In addition to the Staff Report and conditions that the Plan Commission previously approved, I moved to add the following conditions:

  1. That all references to "tiny house" be revised to say "portable shelters", and that all references to "residential cooperative village" be revised to say "portable shelter communities", with the following definitions:

"Portable Shelter. Any movable living quarters, no more than 150 square feet in area, used as an individual's permanent place of habitation. For purposes of this definition, a permanent place of habitation is established when an individual lives in a portable shelter for four (4) consecutive months."

"Portable Shelter Community. Any site, lot, parcel, or tract of land designed maintained, intended or used for the purpose of supplying a location or accommodations for more than three (3) portable shelters and shall include all buildings included or intended for use as part of the Portable Shelter Community. A "portable shelter community" shall not include a "portable shelter mission."

  1. The applicant shall work with the Urban Design Commission (UDC) to add additional landscaping, including trees, shade and evergreen, to the residential area of the project and where possible reduce paving surface.
  2. The applicant shall comply with all future city ordinances regulating portable shelter communities, including obtaining any necessary licenses and permits required to own or operate a portable shelter or portable shelter community.
  3. The applicant shall allow any public official presenting proper identification to conduct lawful inspections of the portable shelter community and the manufacturing facility.
  4. The portable shelters shall have address unit numbers as assigned by City Engineering.
  5. The portable shelters shall have a standard 32" x 78" door.
  6. No open flame cooking devices are permitted within the portable shelter.
  7. If wired, all portable shelters constructed at the subject site shall be wired in a method/manner consistent with Chapter 3 of the National Electrical Code.
  8. All woodworking, metal work and related fabrication activities shall occur within completely enclosed buildings and outdoor work shall be limited to attach the roof and final assembly and finishing activities that follow attachment of the roof.

Since there was a verified petition from the nearby residents, an affirmative vote of 3/4 of the Alders present was required. We had two Alders absent, so this required 14 votes as opposed to the 11 normally required. 

In the end there was a unanimous vote of the Alders to confirm the actions of the Plan Commission and add the above nine additional conditions.

Occupy Madison also has to return to the Urban Design Commission and have final approval of their site plan. I added in #2 additional requirements for landscaping that I hope will improve the atmosphere for the residents onsite and nearby.

And finally, a reminder that the continued operations of the facility is under the jurisdiction of the Plan Commission that can review the operations and can pull the permission to continue. 

Ad Hoc Downtown Public Toilet Committee 

And finally, at the end of the evening I introduced (actually Alder Schmidt did the actual introduction since I was momentarily out of the room) a resolution creating an ad hoc Downtown Public Toilet Committee to discuss the recently released staff report and to make recommendation to the Common Council and Mayor about future actions to be taken.

You might remember in the 2014 budget, the Common Council added $300,000 to the Capitol budget for the installation/construction of at least one public toilet in the downtown area for residents and visitors alike.

The Ad Hoc committee will have two alders, a representative of the neighborhood association, representatives from Downtown Madison Inc and the Central BID board, a major property owner, a downtown homeless service provider and a current/previously homeless resident who serves on the Dane County Homeless Issues Committee.

The creation of the committee will be debated and voted on at our next meeting.


Thank you again for all the District 12 residents who have attended community meetings, communicated with me and the Council and came and spoke at last night's meeting. City government does not work without your engagement and involvement and I certainly appreciate it.




Tiny House Protest Petition
Posted May 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM



You might know from my many recent emails that the Common Council will be discussing the Occupy Madison "Tiny Houses" proposal tonight, beginning at 6:45pm in The City-County Building Rm 201. 

I am writing to update you that a protest petition has been filed and certified by the City Attorney's Office. Similar to the petition filed by opponents to the Edgewater Hotel and more recently 149 East Wilson (next to the Marina), this will force the Common Council to concur with the Plan Commission with a minimum of 14 votes (as opposed to the usual simple majority of 11). 

The factors that the Common Council members may consider in making their decision does not change, just the actual number of votes that must be cast in favor of the project to pass. Below I have pasted the actual memo from City staff that the Mayor and Common Council has received.

If you have an opinion on the project, I encourage you to attend the meeting and register your support or opposition. Public hearings begin at 6:45 and you do not need to speak.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can also send an email to all Common Council members at





TO: Mayor Paul R. Soglin
Madison Common Council

FROM: Katherine Cornwell, Director, Planning Division

DATE: May 6, 2014

SUBJECT: Protest Petition Against Zoning Map Amendment Legislative File ID 33390, Rezoning
Property at 2046-2050 E. Johnson Street.

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the City Clerk received two protest petitions against the zoning map
amendment for property located at 2046-2050 E. Johnson Street, Legislative File ID 33390. The petitions
have been added to the legislative file.

The protest petitions have been filed in accordance with the provisions outlined in Section 28.182(5)(c)
of Madison General Ordinances.

The first petition was filed pursuant to Section 28.182(5)(c)3.d of the Zoning Code that, in the event that
a written protest against the proposed map amendment is filed with the City Clerk and is duly signed
and acknowledged by the owners of twenty percent (20%) or more of the land directly opposite from
the subject property and extending one hundred (100) feet from the street frontage of the opposite
land, such map amendment shall not become effective except by a favorable vote of three-fourths (3/4)
of the members of the Common Council voting on the proposed change. This first protest petition has
been reviewed by the City Attorney's Office and the Planning Division and has been found to be in
compliance with 28.182(5)(c)3.d.

The second petition was filed pursuant to Section 28.182(5)(c)3.f of the Zoning Code that, in the event
that a written protest against the proposed map amendment is filed with the City Clerk and is duly
signed and acknowledged by twenty percent (20%) of the registered electors residing within all buildings
any part of which is on land directly opposite the subject property and extending one hundred (100) feet
from the street frontage of the opposite land, such map amendment shall not become effective except
by a favorable vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the Common Council voting on the
proposed change. This second protest petition has been reviewed by the City Attorney's Office and the
Planning Division and has been found to be in compliance with Section 28.182(5)(c)3.f.

Therefore, in order to approve the zoning map amendment, Legislative File ID 33390, a favorable vote of
three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the Common Council voting on the proposed change shall be

Tiny Houses to Common Council
Posted May 5, 2014 at 12:18 PM



This is a reminder that the Occupy Madison "Tiny Houses" proposal is going to the Madison Common Council this Tuesday, May 6. The Public Hearing Process begins at 6:45 and you can sign up in support or opposition and have the option to speak or not to speak.

If you would like to just send an email to all the Alders, please do so to This email goes directly to the Alders and is not moderated. You do not need to send individual Alder email as they are all included on the list. 

The Plan Commission did unanimously approve the proposal at their last meeting. The Council will normally either approve the Plan Commission's action or refer a proposal back to them for more consideration. Rarely does the Council overturn a decision by the Plan Commission.

While the Common Council can generally consider information outside the narrow guidelines of adopted plans and ordinances, we generally try to keep to previously adopted policy. For instance, we can consider the benefit/impacts to the city as a whole. This generally works both ways as most projects both have potential benefits and impacts to the city.


Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night,



DAIS Shelter Scam
Posted April 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM


I have been notified that a woman known to Central District police and DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) for many years appears to be targeting the Emerson East Neighborhood now. This woman claims to be a domestic violence victim. She approaches people and tells them she can't get into the DAIS shelter due to us being full and says she needs cab fare to a domestic violence shelter in McFarland. You may be aware that the DAIS shelter is the only domestic violence program in Dane County.

This woman has been known on the UW Campus for many years. She typically targets UW-Madison students. Sometimes she hangs out on the square. Apparently, she just approached some residents at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Second Street who gave her $25. Afterwards they reached out to DAIS to confirm if it was legitimate.

If anyone is approached by her, you should contact the DAIS Help Line number (251-4445) for assistance.

Plan Commission Approves Tiny Houses
Posted April 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM


Late Monday night, the Madison Plan Commission unanimously approved the Occupy Madison "Tiny Houses" proposal based upon the staff recommendation with a few minor tweaks to the language. The full Madison Council will vote on it next Tuesday, May 6, starting at 6:30pm in the City County Building Room 201. 

You can email all alders at or come to speak to voice your concerns, support or opposition.


In addition, the outdoor patio for Tip Top Tavern was approved and will also be going to Council next week.


Thanks to the residents and neighbors who came and spoke on the project(s). You engagement throughout the process, attending public meetings, asking good questions, raising valid concerns, participating in the neighborhood association does make for a better project and better community.


Development Projects Update
Posted April 27, 2014 at 11:39 PM


Occupy Madison Tiny Houses

The Occupy Madison "Tiny Houses" proposal will be at the Plan Commission this Monday night starting at 5:30 in the City-County Building Room 201. As I have previously communicated, to me this is the meeting for residents who support, oppose or are wondering more about the project should attend. Everyone will have three minutes to speak if they so choose.

The Plan Commission is "in control" of the proposal. The information that the Plan Commission will be reviewing is available in Legstar File #33390.

If you are passionate, concerned or interested in this project, please plan to attend this meeting. I have also been informed that Occupy Madison intends to have tours of a tiny house prior to the meeting on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd starting at 5:00pm if you are interested.

Tip Top Tavern Bonus

The approval for the zoning changes for the Tip Top Tavern new outdoor patio will also be at the Plan Commission meeting Monday night. It is Legistar File #33464, although it is agenda item #19 which will appear much later in the evening. You can register to speak or just indicate your support or opposition.


Tennyson Ridge Apartments

Residents in the Berkley Oaks neighborhood have been waiting to find out if the Tennyson Ridge Apartment project planned at 1902 Tennyson Lane next to Lake View Elementary School will receive WHEDA Section 42 tax credit. I have been informed that they fell about 9 points less than this cycle's scoring "cut-off" and therefore will not be receiving credit this cycle.

I have been informed that they intend to apply again for funding in July, making modifications to the application to increase their score.

While the City of Madison has approved this project, obviously without funding it will be difficult for them to proceed. The City does give developers a bit of time to seek final approval and construction permits, so it is possible that if funding is made available during the next cycle they will not need to seek further Plan Commission approval to construct. However, I do intend to have one final neighborhood meeting prior to construction to allow residents to get the most recent revisions and any additional changes that were made via the city process or working with their new neighbor, Independent Living.


Union Corners

Last Thursday, residents of the Eken Park, Emerson East, SASY and adjoining neighborhood attended a meeting to discuss the latest proposal by Gorman and Company about Union Corners, at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street. You may remember previous meetings had strong vocal opposition to the development plans, especially the location of the two story UW Health Clinic at the corner, the amount of surface parking, and other items previously supported by the residents and the City.

Alder Rummel, who represents District 6 and this area, and a excellent neighborhood steering group have been meeting and working with city staff and the development team to come up with a new proposal that incorporates all the great elements of the previous plans and minimizes surface parking, adds appropriate density and creates a stronger neighborhood feel.

The proposal presented to the residents at the meeting is available online:  April 4, 2014 Development Proposal

UW Health is now at the corner of East Washington and Sixth Street (at the roundabout) making room for a larger building at the Milwaukee corner. In addition, they have announced that they are working with a new organic grocery store called Fresh Thyme. The new proposal was generally supported by the residents who attended the meeting and spoke so publicly. This will need to be approved by the City and then Special Implementation Plans (SIP) can be developed for each area based upon this larger plan.



Occupy Madison Proposal Update
Posted April 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM



The City of Madison Staff Report is now available online. The Staff report reccomends approval of the proposal by the Plan Commission with several conditions, which may be modified prior to Plan Commission Action.

From the Staff Recommendation:

In the case of the proposed planned development, concerns have been raised in discussions with staff about the unique nature of the proposed "tiny houses" and the residential cooperative village/living space for 9 of those units. Those concerns range from the tiny houses themselves, which may not have indoor plumbing (those parked on the subject site will not have composting toilets) and will be constructed on wheeled trailers instead of foundations, to concerns about the tiny house fabrication process on the edge of a residential area, to concerns stemming from the potential occupancy of the tiny houses by the homeless.

Staff believes that many of these concerns can be addressed through rigorous conditions of approval. The conditions recommended in the "Recommendation" section of this report include the submittal of a management plan for approval by the Planning Division, Zoning Administrator, Chief of Police and Public Health?Madison/Dane County that includes detailed resident/ steward selection procedures, conflict resolution procedures for on?site residents/ stewards (including the potential loss of a home unit (eviction)), emergency contact information, and the guest policy.

Additionally, because the Planned Development district allows for permitted or conditional uses to be established upon the approval of a PD district by the Common Council, staff has identified which of the uses proposed shall be conditional, and is recommending that the continuing jurisdiction provisions for conditional uses referenced in the letter of intent be incorporated into the final zoning text. Staff believes that establishing continuing jurisdiction over the property will provide a necessary mechanism to address any issues that may arise with aspects of the proposed planned development beyond the regular authority of the Zoning Administrator to enforce zoning approvals. In particular, the fabrication of the tiny houses and the residential cooperative village components of the project will become conditional uses in this PD district if it is approved.

For the complete Legistar file #32965 (pre-submittal discussion) please click here.

For the complete Legistar file #33390 (ordinance changes) please click here.

Remember, I highly encourage you if you are interested in this project to come to the Monday, April 28 Plan Commission meeting - starts at 5:30pm at the City-County Building 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Room 201 (Council Chambers).

Occupy Madison-Union Corners Meetings
Posted April 15, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Occupy Madison Timeline

Occupy Madison is hosting a tour of a tiny house and a review of their proposal on Monday, April 21 at James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Church 2146 E Johnson Street:

  • 6:30 to 7:30 Tour a Tiny House
  • 7:30 to 9:00 pm Plans for our Tiny Village

City of Madison Hearnings and Decision Timeline:

  • Urban Design Commission: 23 April 2014
  • Plan Commission: 28 April 2014
  • Common Council: 06 May 2014

To me, the most important meeting is the April 28 Plan Commission meeting. The Plan Commission is generally in charge of the review and approval of projects throughout Madison. The will be reviewing the application and any updates, reviewing the staff report, listening to your concerns or issues (anyone is eligible to come before them and speak or register in support or opposition), and compare against adopted city plans and policies.

Most of the work of planning in the City is done at this Commission. The Common Council generally supports the decisions of the Commission and only involves itself in extra-ordinary situations. 

For more information about the proposal, timeline and documents visit the City website at:


Union Coners Revised Plan Public Meeting

Please join Alder Rummel (District 6, which the Union Corners site is located) and myself for a follow-up meeting about Union Corners.  We will see the latest changes to the proposed General Development Plan for Union Corners and Specific Implementation Plan for the UW Health Clinic.  Gorman & Company has applied for a zoning text amendment as the first step in the public review process but still need to provide details for the site plan.  They seek community input on the direction they are taking.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Bashford United Methodist Church - Fellowship Hall 329 North Street
(Please enter from the parking lot in back.)

Brush Collection Sta
Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM
District 12 Update - March 4, 2014
Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:05 PM


Tenneyson Lane

Two projects are still moving forward on Tenneyson Lane: Independent Living and Tenneyson Ridge.

There will be public meeting on the actual building proposal for Independent Living on Thursday March 20 at 6:00pm at the Warner Park Community and Recreation Center. Independent Living will also be doing an Informational Presentation to the Madison Urban Design Commission the previous night, March 19.

We are still awaiting notice from WHEDA about the Tenneyson Ridge Section 42 tax credit, expected sometime in April. However, the Wisconsin Development Corporation has approved a $150,000 grant to the City for environmental site work. I will continue to keep residents informed via the District 12 email list.

Occupy Madison

Occupy Madison has submitted an application for a zoning change to 2046-2050 East Johnson Street to convert the existing auto repair shop into a tiny house workshop and residential community for nine units as well as retail space, gardens and greenhouse. Complete information about the proposal is available online

It is anticipated that the schedule would be:

  • Urban Design Committee:  April 23, 2014
  • Plan Commission: April 28, 2014
  • Common Council: May 6, 2014

I've hosted three public meetings and a special discussion for residents living closer than 250 feet. The application reflects many of the concerns that neighbors expressed.

Just like all proposal, the Plan Commission has the right to amend any application. In addition, the Occupy Madison has proposed that the Plan Commission (City) maintain continuing jurisdiction over all conditional uses for the purpose of resolving complaints. This would allow citizens and officials the ability to have the Plan Commission review violations and impose any additional reasonable conditions.

At this point, I am not planning to schedule another public meeting, but you are invited to come to the Urban Design Commission and Plan Commission to learn more or voice your opinion. You can also send an email to the Planning Unit Contact Staff member on the link above.

North Street, Hoard Street and Commercial Avenue

The reconstruction of North Street from East Washington Avenue to Commercial Avenue, Commercial Avenue from Packers Avenue to North Street and Hoard Street from Seventh Street to North Street is moving ahead. The Council approved the changes at the March 4 meeting.

This is a complete reconstruction of the streets, replacing the sanitary and water mains, anticipated to begin in May and end in October. Other changes proposed:

  • The existing median on Commercial Ave. at Packers Ave. will be shorted to allow left-turns into and out of Dementral Field.?
  • Pedestrian islands will be added on North St. at the Hoard St. and Dayton St. intersections to improve pedestrian crossings.
  • The intersection of East Dayton and North St. will be realigned to provide a standard intersection and the existing triangle island will be removed.
  • The intersections of North St. with Hoard St., Upham St. and Mifflin St. will also be realigned slightly to improve visibility and provide shorter crossing distances for pedestrians.

If you have concerns about the project, especially during the construction stage, you can contact the Project Manager Glen Yoerger at 261.9177.

Warner Park Community and Recreation Center (WPCRC) Facility Manager

I'm pleased to announce the selection of a new Warner Park Facility Manager – Jacob Tisue. Jacob has most recently worked as the Park and Recreation Director for the Village of Cottage Grove, developing their Firemen's Park, improving and expanding the trail system and developing family-friendly community events.

I anticipate that this is a new opportunity for the Center to look at the services and support it provides our communities and improve and expand access. Please stop by WPCRC and say hi to Jacob and all the staff.

Northside 5th of July Celebration

A very dedicated group of Northsiders are working on a new and exciting Independence Celebration. It will be on Saturday July 5 in and about Warner Park, and all families and neighbors are welcome to attend. One of the highlights will be an evening fireworks display after the Mallards game. The Northside Planning Council has also been active in planning the event and more information will be available soon.

Union Corners Meeting 3/1
Posted February 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM


Please join Alder  Marsha Rummel and me for a neighborhood meeting about Union Corners (at the intersection of Milwaukee Street and East Washington Avenue).

We will hear from the Gorman & Company team about their proposed General Development Plan for the overall site and Specific Implementation Plan for the UW Health Clinic.  A neighborhood steering committee has been meeting with the development team. 


The team seeks to gather community input before they submit plans to the City by March 12.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Bashford United Methodist Church - Fellowship Hall
329 North Street
(Please enter from the parking lot in back.)

We look forward to seeing you on March 1.


Also don't forget about the Occupy Madison Meeting this coming Monday:

Monday, February 17, 2014 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
East High School - Room 1031 (Barrett Room)
2222 E. Washington Avenue



Madison Public Market Survey
Posted February 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM


The City of Madison is conducting a Public Market Survey. I know that many on the Northside have an interest in getting the Northside Towne Center (North Sherman and Northport) tagged as a potential location. 

We are conducting a survey to better understand food buying habits in Madison and to gauge community interest and preferences for the Madison Public Market.  The survey can be completed online at the link below. 

The city will also be conducting some in-person "intercept surveys" at branch libraries over the next couple weeks to reach folks who are less likely to access the survey online.  This survey is one of several outreach efforts we will be making during the next few months to engage the community about the project.

Please forward this to anyone or groups that you think might be interested,




Occupy Madison Public Meeting #3
Posted February 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM


You are invited to a third public meeting about the proposed Occupy Madison project at 2046/2050 East Johnson Street. This meeting will be similar to the first public meeting where there will be a review of the proposal and then an opportunity for residents to ask questions or make comments.

Monday, February 17, 2014 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
East High School - Room 1031 (Barrett Room)
2222 E. Washington Avenue

Residents who attending the Public Meeting #2 were able to review the UDC Initial Application (see link below) with a short Q&A about the proposal. The applicant has not been able to submit the official application until after the UDC Initial Application therefore the timeline has moved to meetings of the Plan Commission and Urban Design Committee (UDC) to the March/April timeframe.

Residents who live within 250 feet will also receive an invitation to a round-table discussion with Occupy Madison to discuss the proposal in more specifics. These residents have received a post-card inviting them to this meeting.


Neighborhood and Emerging Opportunities Funding
Posted February 4, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Madison has two annual grant programs that are designed to assist communities, neighborhoods and residents make Madison a better place. Both have extensive information online which is available by following the specific hyperlink.

If you are interested in either of these programs, please do not hesitate to follow-up with me at

2014 City Neighborhood Grant Program

The Department of Planning and Community & Economic Development, Planning Division, has a grant program designed to help neighborhood associations build capacity, beautify public places, and plan for the future. The grant program helps to improve the quality of life within neighborhoods, and the City as a whole.

For more information please see information online.

The City of Madison Emerging Opportunities Program Funding Now Available

The Emerging Opportunities Program (EOP) was established to support projects and activities that address emerging needs or unanticipated opportunities that arise outside of the Community Development Division's (CDD) more formal Purchase of Service processes. The EOP was created to allow the City to respond in a more timely manner and seize opportunities as they are presented and most viable. The EOP is also intended for new and nascent organizations to receive City financial support, provided they demonstrate broad engagement in the development of the project or activity the organization proposes.

The City of Madison is seeking proposals at this time that address issues of poverty and inequality in the City of Madison. Strong proposals will:

  1. Focus on emerging needs or unanticipated opportunities in the City that warrant resources and attention at this time; and
  2. Present opportunities to try new or innovative approaches to resolving issues or problems that adversely affect the City's quality of life; and
  3. Demonstrate resident and community interest and engagement in the development of the proposed project.
  4. Preference will be given to new or nascent organizations. Proposals should address needs that arise outside the timelines and/ or scopes of other established City funding processes. The program's intent is to address issues that impact such things as access to affordable housing; services for children, youth, and families; employment and training programs and other activities that help improve the quality of life in Madison's neighborhoods.

More information and applications available online.

Occupy Madison Builds Moves Forward
Posted January 31, 2014 at 4:43 PM



I have been informed that the Occupy Madison Builds intends to apply to the City of Madison to move forward on their development plans at Sanchez Motors. Please keep in mind that this is the same process as any other applicant and regardless of public opinion, they have the right to apply and for the City of Madison to consider their proposal.

I am inviting people to attend the Emerson-East Neigborhood Association meeting on Wednesday, Febrary 5, 2014 to learn more about what the actual application says and the next steps in the development process. 

This will not be a meeting that will involve public discussion or questions and answers about anything other than what the application requests and what the next steps will be.

  • Wednesday Febrary 5, 2014  6:30pm - 7:15pm.
  • Bashford United Methodist Church, 329 North Street

The regular EENA meeting will follow at 7:15pm.


I have also uploaded all the comments, positives and improvements from the January 15 public meeting to the District 12 website. You can read all the information here.


Finally, we are working on scheduling two additional meetings to discuss this propsal:

  • A second public meeting similar to meeting on January 15. Information about this meeting will be send to nearby residents and through the District 12 email list.
  • A smaller, adjacent property owners/residents meeting for them to discuss the project with the Occupy Madison Builds participants. Information about this meeting will be mailed directly to adjacent residents.


I will continue to provide information as it moves forward to the District 12 email list, which if you are not currently signed up for you can do so at

Thank you!


Alder, District 12

District 12 Development/Meetings Update
Posted January 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM


I guess the month of January is about development in District 12! Coming off a quiet 2013, we now have four projects either in or touching the District. I have no updates for the CDA homeless SRO proposal at Rethke which is in Alder Ahrens district, but will get information out if it becomes available.

I want to thank everyone who has sent me an email, attended one of our meetings or attended a city committee meeting. Your involvement has really improved projects and informed public opinion. I know sometimes it might seem difficult considering the complexities of the city process, but observations big and small do mean something to me as your representative.


1902 Tennyson Lane
Last night the Common Council approved three items related to the proposal at 1902 Tennyson Lane:

  • Rezone a part of the property to a higher residential density from SR-C1 (Suburban Residential-Consistent 1) District to SR-V2 (Suburban Residential-Varied 2),
  • Amending the Northport-Warner Park-Sherman Neighborhood Plan to recommend medium-density residential uses on the west-central portion of the approximately 19.46-acre Keller property located generally north of Tennyson Lane and east of a future extension Eliot Lane.
  • Approving up to $795,000 in loan funding from the housing development reserve funds and Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Today's Wisconsin State Journal has a rather sensational article about this project describing it as "low income". I am firmly convinced that this is nothing of the sort and would actually result in some of the most expensive rental housing option in the north part of District 12!

Mathematically, each unit's construction cost would be roughly $160,000 – a substantial investment that will include many modern amenities such as in-unit washer and dryer and heated underground parking. Doing a quick Zillow housing search, only one or two of the houses in this area are at that rate or above.

Monthly rents would be in the $900-$1,000 range. These units would not be eligible for Section 8 vouchers; applying the generally accepted three times housing costs a family must earn a minimum of $32,400-$36,000 a year or $15.58-$17.31 an hour to afford to live in this development.

Madison needs affordable housing for our working residents – our teachers, police officers and sanitation workers. Many know that the cost of living in Madison outstrips a regular worker's income, and it is in the City's best interest to provide housing that would allow people to live within the city instead of trekking out to suburbs and neighboring communities.

The developer would be making an investment of about $11,600,000 here in the Northside, not including the future development of twenty three individual family housing lots. These lots are expected to be sold in the range of $40,000. Coupled with the Independent Living proposal next door and the already under construction Granite Ridge on Londonderry Drive and Packers Avenue an investment is being made right here in our community.
For the record, I invited residents to attend at least two meetings to discuss this proposal, as well as provided information about the various city committees that would be reviewing the project. This project has evolved and changed since first proposed, and as have been made aware of is significantly different than proposals made a few years ago.

Residents who attended the first meeting were significantly concerned about density, safety and low income residents. The addition of a public road has alleviated city staff concerns about access to the building which will allow our police officers and public safety workers to directly access the building. The placement of the buildings has also changed to promote visibility, as well as making some units directly connected to the street.
Separating fact from fiction, I hope you will agree that this is affordable housing, but in no way "low-income". These properties will be a few hundred dollars above existing rental properties in the area, making them in fact a "step above."

Union Corners Proposal
A proposal from the Gorman Company is going before the City's Urban Design Committee (UDC) at their Wednesday meeting 4:30pm at the City-County Building Room LL-110 (lower level).  Here's the complete agenda.

Alder Rummel, the District 6 Alder, shared with me the paper plans for the project which show a two story UW Health Clinic at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street. The proposed plans are now available online for everyone to view. Click on the "2504WinnebagoPlans012214.pdf" hyperlink to access the recent plan.

Unfortunately the plan has many deviations from the previous plans. The main building is only two stories as opposed to three or four stories. There is more parking behind this building. There would be three story residential townhouses along Winnebago Street moving to four story multi-family at the back of the property.
If you are interested in sharing your concerns, questions, observations, etc please email Al Martin at in addition to Alder Rummel and myself. Your comments will be added to the Legistar file and provided to committee members at the meeting.

Occupy Madison Proposal
Occupy Madison has not presented at this moment an application to the City of Madison for a development at the Sanchez Motors site. We are still collating information received from the meeting held January 15. There were a lot of comments, questions and observations from the 150 or so people who came. When all of the information is collated, it will be shared with the applicant and I will post it to the District 12 website for the public to review.
We will be looking to establish a follow-up meeting, and if an application is submitted, more meetings will be planned at that time.


Upcoming Meetings

Emerson-East Eken Park Yahara Neighborhood Plan Meeting

January 23, 6:30 p.m.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Basement cafeteria – park in back lot off of Union Street and enter through the courtyard doors. Then go downstairs to the cafeteria.

Open to everyone, this first meeting would be more of a get to know everyone and to plan the next several meetings. So, don't be shy, if you're interested in the future of the Eken Park and Emerson East neigborhoods come to the meeting right at the beginning.

North Street Reconstruction Meeting

The City of Madison will host a public informational meeting regarding the proposed reconstruction of North St., Hoard St.and Commercial Ave., in 2014. The meeting will be held on:

Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
Bashford United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall
329 North Street, Madison WI


The project will include replacement of the curb and gutter, asphalt pavement, driveway aprons, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main. Sidewalk will be replaced as needed for utility construction and to repair any damaged sections. The project will involve special assessments to owners of property adjacent to the project. Construction is planned to take place during the summer of 2014.

Representatives from City Engineering will be available to discuss the project. Should you have any questions regarding the proposed project, please contact Glen Yoerger, City Engineering at 261-9177 or by email,

Yahara River Corridor Planning Public Meeting

Thursday January 30, 6:30 PM
Goodman Community Center
149 Waubesa Street

The City of Madison's Planning Division is hosting a meeting to continue the discussion regarding the Yahara River Corridor. The purpose of this meeting will be to review the community input from the September meeting and further explore implementation of previous planning efforts.

Find out more at the Yahara River Planning website.

North Street Reconstruction Meeting
Posted January 17, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The City of Madison will host a public informational meeting regarding the proposed reconstruction of North St., Hoard St.and Commercial Ave., in 2014. The meeting will be held on:

Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
Bashford United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall
329 North Street, Madison WI

The meeting is being held in order to inform property owners and residents and receive public input regarding the upcoming reconstruction project. A short presentation will be given by City Engineering Staff at 6:30 p.m. to explain the proposed project and traffic limitations and access during construction. The public is invited to attend and offer comments. The proposed project limits are:

  • North Street from East Washington Avenue to Commercial Avenue
  • Hoard Street from North Street to Seventh Street
  • Commercial Avenue from North Street to Packers Avenue

The project will include replacement of the curb and gutter, asphalt pavement, driveway aprons, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main. Sidewalk will be replaced as needed for utility construction and to repair any damaged sections. The project will involve special assessments to owners of property adjacent to the project. Construction is planned to take place during the summer of 2014.

Representatives from City Engineering will be available to discuss the project. Should you have any questions regarding the proposed project, please contact Glen Yoerger, City Engineering at 261-9177 or by email,

Please feel free to attend the meeting and share your thoughts and comments.

The Challenges of Affordable Housing Projects
Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:30 PM

We're not halfway through the first month of the year, and I'm already working with three very different but similar "affordable" housing projects proposed in or near District 12.

Now, unless your net worth is in, say, the top 10% of all Americans, housing costs consume a great percentage of your monthly expenses. Your house, if you're lucky enough to own one, is your greatest asset, something you've undoubtedly worked hard to buy. Over the past few years, you've probably seen the value of your property drop – either below what you've bought it for or less than its peak. You're concerned about the value of your major investment, and you have every right to be.

But if you're in the lowest 10% of all Americans, you're struggling just to put a roof over your head. Even if you have housing, you dream to "move up." But so many don't have access to quality affordable housing. With a Madison rental vacancy rate of under 2%, competition for the little housing that is available is very fierce.

These are scenarios that are playing out all across America, in tiny towns, big cities and everything in between. Madison and Dane County may be late to the reality of the new housing paradigm (hopefully we'll be earlier on the next one, whenever that happens), but the year 2014 really will bring this all into focus.

I became a member of the Dane County Homeless Issues Committee midyear 2012.  We started out slow and heard from community members what the needs were. We didn't get too engaged in the 2013 City and County budget conversations because of this late start. So we continued our work in 2013 and pushed forward with planning, especially the one project that was in the 2013 County budget: the Day Center.  As the City and County were preparing their 2014 budgets, opportunities to act did arise. City and County funded additional housing and for other services.


That's good. We need more affordable housing. Homeless people certainly need housing they can maintain over the long run. As a city, Madison needs to develop other affordable housing for people who have jobs – maybe even well-paying ones – for whom the "bite" of the cost of housing has grown too big. Maybe the cost of living in Madison has grown larger than a person's salary, or maybe they've started a family and need a larger place. We call this "workforce housing."

So what does this all have to do with three housing projects in different parts of District 12? Well, all are trying to identify and fill a niche on the affordable housing spectrum.

  • Workforce Housing: 1902 Tennyson Lane (Sather/Lutheran Social Services)
  • Permanent Housing for Chronic Homeless: 709/707 Rethke Avenue (Madison CDA SRO)
  • Creative Long-Term Housing Options: 2046-2050 East Johnson Street (Occupy Madison Builds)

I'm not going to go into detail about each project. They will each have their own neighborhood meeting where residents will have an opportunity to learn more and discuss pros and cons, City staff will review and recommend to the Madison Plan Commission and other committees and the Council will approve or deny.  But each is striking in how neighbors have responded and in the challenges that lay ahead of us as a community as we develop necessary affordable housing in a dense urban setting.

Madison has few options to expand into vacant corn fields, developments that traditionally hasn't cause issues with nearby residents. At the same time, downtown Alders have worked with their neighborhoods on protocols and education because infill development is just more complicated. Now, with the potential growth of our economy, other areas of the city are being considered for larger in-fill projects and more neighborhoods will need to learn about the city's planning, zoning and approval process.

To provide the same amenities – proximity to schools, work, libraries and bus lines – affordable housing developers are looking at the very neighborhoods that have attracted renters and homeowners for so long. With nine years of experience, I know that change is difficult. There are no guarantees with any development, and it's never as great or as bad as people think. So I have to walk a fine line: how likely is any one particular outcome? How will it affect community safety, property taxes, traffic and the environment? What new elements will it bring in? Does it fill a need? Does that need trump other factors?

What happens when a community need – affordable housing – bumps up against neighborhood desires? It's all about dialogue and communications. I encourage supporters and opponents to first engage in how a project could be the best that it could be. I've never seen a project get approved that wasn't changed from the original proposal. So if a project were to be approved, what would make it better? Consider its size and massing, location on the property, driveways and exits, landscaping and set-backs, color and materials. How does it function? Could a door be moved to minimize interactions or a balcony changed to offer a better view?

After a "perfect" project is proposed, then go into how that will affect you, the nearby resident. You'll have a stronger argument when you say that constructive concerns haven't been heard and you still oppose a project than starting with "no." Remember, the Madison Plan Commission – the ones who decide most of these items – has a meeting every other week. They have years of experience listening to residents and pulling out their concerns and responding to them. But they're no fools, they'll know the difference between a well-constructed argument and a rant.

I only represent one district – District 12. People tell me projects should happen somewhere else, or that other places don't get these types of projects. I can't tell a developer where else to look, and they have the right to propose developments on private property. I take every proposal seriously, and try to get the residents, developer and community to the best outcome we can. Some projects will happen, some will not. Some residents will be satisfied and others will be disappointed. It's inevitable when we're building in such a close urban environment.

If a project does get built, it will become part of that urban environment. The people who live there will become your neighbors. I'm sure you already like some of your neighbors and don't like others. That will be true here as well. It will be an opportunity to share and learn.

And that's the benefit to our larger community. As we develop more densely, opportunities like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are more viable and help everyone. As we develop up, not out, we don't have to build costly new roads and extend sewer pipes. Residents in these urban areas know this, that's why you moved here in the first place.

The City of Madison is an extraordinary city, but we do have our challenges. Affordable housing for every resident shouldn't be one of them. I'm not suggesting that every one of these projects – or any specific project - needs to be approved, but if you look at a map of the City of Madison and overlays like population, crime, property values and access to bus service, you will find that we're more alike than different and that every area of Madison has their opportunities and issues. We need to work together to make a vision like affordable housing – regardless of your income level – a reality.


I look forward to tomorrow's meeting about the Occupy Madison proposal and Thursday's meeting about the 1902 Tenneyson Lane proposal (a follow-up meeting). If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at 



Occupy Madison Development Meeting Wednesday
Posted January 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Occupy Madison Development Meeting
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 6:30-8:00pm
James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation – 2146 E Johnson St

All area residents are invited to a meeting this Wednesday to learn more about the proposed Occupy Madison Development for 2046-2050 East Johnson Street.

City staff and myself have received many emails concerning this proposal. I thank you for your comments and questions. This project has many aspects and there will be many different

If you have a question about city staff, please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate person:

  • Zoning: Matt Tucker
  • Police: Jay Lengfeld, North District Police Captain
  • Parking and Traffic: Scott Langer,

Meeting Details

Please plan to come to the meeting before the 6:30 start time, we only have about 90 minutes to cover everyone. When you enter you will receive two items:

  1. A comment card that will be picked-up at the end. It will include a large area for general comments, a 1-10 overall support scale, a "what is good" about proposal question and a "what the challenges are" question.
  2. A single "talk opportunity" card that will give everyone an opportunity to speak once. When everyone who has spoken has spoken, and we still have time, then we will open it up to anyone.

We'll start with a 15-20 minute presentation from Occupy Madison. Following, we will have our Zoning Administrator Matt Tucker explain the process and existing zoning and our North District Police Captain Lengeld discuss public safety.

Then I will open it up to public questions and comments. I ask that everyone be direct with his or her questions or concise with their comments to keep things moving. I ask that you direct the questions and comments to me, not to individual members of the development group, audience or staff.

I know that many people will have different opinions of the project, I ask you to be respectful of other people's opinions.

After the meeting, if the developer makes an application to the City, I will continue to share information with residents through the District 12 email list and website. You can access both at:

Thank you for your engagement in your community and look forward to seeing you at Wednesday's meeting.

Larry Palm
Alder, District 12

Upcoming January Meetings
Posted January 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM


Happy New Year! I hope this holiday season and new years has brought you something to enjoy.


I would like to bring to District 12 residents several development projects. A lot of things are happening!


Tennyson Lane Project

Thomas Keller is proposing a residential project next to the recently approved Independent Living facility at 1902 Tennyson Lane next to the school. The application is available online on the city's website. It includes two multi story facilities of 72 units and 24 single family home lots. Area residents have been sent a post card inviting the to a meeting this Monday, January 6 at 6:00pm Warner Park Community and Recreation Center to review the project.


East Washington Avenue SRO

You might have seen today's article concerning the development of 50-60 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units on Rethke in the Carpenter-Ridgeway Neighborhood. While this is in District 15, it is of concern of the residents across East Washington Avenue. Alder Aherns and I invite you to a public meeting being held on Wednesday, January 8 at 6:30pm at Hawthorne School.


Occupy Madison Tiny House Construction 

The Emerson-East Neighborhood was recently notified that Occupy Madison has put in an offer for 2046/2050 East Johnson Street, a car repair facility at the triangle of East Johnson, North Third Street and Packers Avenue.

Their intent seems to be two-fold:

  1. Construction of tiny houses on site.
  2. Development of a tiny house community on site.

Both of these would require changes to the zoning and conditional use of the site. It may also require ordinance changes as approved by the Madison Common Council.

This project will be discussed at the monthly Emerson East neighborhood meeting on Wednesday January 8 at 6:30pm at Bashford Church on North Street. I will also be inviting area residents to a special public meeting the following Wednesday, January 15 at 6:30pm at James Reeb Church on East Johnson Street.


If you have any questions about these projects, please do not hesitate to contact me at



Alder, District 12 




Safety Open House
Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Alder Palm and the North District Police invite you to a Public Safety Open House:

  • Thursday, December 19
  • 6:00 - 7:30pm
  • Bashford Church, 329 North St

Recently in the Eken Park neighborhood there have been a couple of unrelated safety concerns that as Alder I wanted to follow-up on.

This is also an excellent opportunity for all District 12 residents to brush up on safety skills and learn more about community policing in our neighborhoods.

Also, many may know that we have a new North District Captain, Jay Lengfeld, replacing Captain McLay. This is an opportunity for you to meet Captain Lengfeld.  

There will be no formal presentation, we encourage you to stop by at anytime to ask questions, provide feedback and say hello.

Learn more about the North Police District at:

Information about Crime Prevention:

Emerson-East Eken Park Yahara Area Plan Members
Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM


The Mayor has introduced for introduction at the Council's 12/3/13 meeting and adoption at our 1/7/14 meeting the following people for new Emerson-East - Eken Park - Yahara Neigborhood Plan Steering Committee.

Many thanks to the many people who volunteered to participate on the committee. Considerable effort was made to balance geography, demographics and community interests. The final selection of members was up to the Mayor for appointment.

Regardless of committee members, I will certainly champion and open process where everyone who has an interest in planning for our area is able to participate throughout the process.

Alder Zellers and I look forward to working with you.

Larry Palm

Alder, District 12 

Official Legistar File


ARTHUR M. HACKETT (12th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Eken Park Neighborhood Resident.  Mr. Hackett serves as the chair of the Eken Park Neighborhood Association and has been a homeowner in the neighborhood for the past 32 years.

KEELY M. MERCHANT (12th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Eken Park Neighborhood Resident. Ms. Merchant is an active member of the Eken Park Neighborhood Association.

AMY L. KLUSMEIER (6th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Eken Park Neighborhood Resident.  Ms. Klusmeier has a Masters of Science from UW-Madison in Urban and Regional Planning.

ADRIENNE L. SELLA (12th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Emerson East Neighborhood Resident.  Ms. Sella is the Area 2 representative for the Emerson East Neighborhood Association. 

DAVID A. ALBINO (12th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Emerson East Neighborhood Resident.  Mr. Albino is a UW-Madison Urban and Regional Planning Masters student and Chairman of Wisconsin Student Planning Association.

Currently serving on:      Sustainable Madison Committee

DOUGLAS BUEGE (2nd A.D.) - appoint to the position of Yahara Area Resident.  Mr. Buege is a long-term resident of Sherman Terrace Condominiums and a community volunteer.

AARON E. ONSRUD (2nd A.D.) - appoint to the position of Yahara Area Resident.  Mr. Onsrud has experience as an elected official in another Wisconsin municipality and as such has served on numerous committees including Community Development and Housing Authority.

DANIEL S. GRUBB (12th A.D.) - appoint to the position of Business Representative.  Mr. Grubb is a long-time employee of a large business in the planning area.


Committee Creation Resolution

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Madison
Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM

(Madison, WI)  City of Madison officials received confirmation of the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on the north side of Madison near Warner Park. As a result, Dane County will be quarantined. The quarantine prohibits some wood products from being moved out of the county to areas that are not infested.

Madison Parks Forestry officials received a call from a private tree company reporting suspected EAB infestation in a tree they were removing on private property near Warner Park. The Madison Parks forestry staff investigated the site and surrounding areas. Forestry staff sent in the evidence to the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection. Confirmation of EAB was received Friday, November 22, 2013.

"It is unfortunate, but expected to receive confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer in the city of Madison," said Mayor Paul Soglin. "City staff has been working on EAB response plans for several years and we are prepared to implement our plans."

The City of Madison has been working on its tactical response to EAB since 2008. An Emerald Ash Borer Taskforce, including representatives of Madison Parks, Forestry, Mayor's office, City Streets Division, and City Fleet Division, was created to coordinate assessment of the EAB threat, plan various response strategies, review the latest research and act to mitigate impacts on the city's tree canopy, ensure public safety, protect the environment and contain costs.  The EAB Plan was approved by the Common Council in September 2012 and updated in September 2013.

Link to City of Madison Emerald Ash Borer Plan.

The City of Madison has an estimated 21,700 publically owned street (terrace) ash trees, and unknown number of ash trees in parks and thousands more on private property. In the Warner Park area where EAB is confirmed, there are over 2600 publically-owned ash trees.

The following is a summary of the City's plans for public trees is based off the approved EAB Plan:

  • Madison Parks Forestry will continue to do branch sampling in the Warner Park area to find the 'epi-center' of the infestation.
  • Over the winter, Forestry staff will remove publically owned ash trees (street and park trees) that are in poor condition and/or are located under power lines.
  • In the spring the city will implement a chemical treatment program for trees that are in healthy condition and over 10 inches diameter. The city will use the injection treatments versus soil drench treatments to ensure the protection of ground and surface water quality.
  • Madison Parks Forestry will provide an "Adopt-a-Tree" program for private citizens to help save, at their own expense, a publically owned ash tree in a Madison park. The details on this program will be provided later in the winter as the treatment programs cannot start until spring.
  • Madison Parks Forestry will continue with branch sampling in all areas of the city to look for any other infestation locations.
  • Going forward, Madison Parks Forestry will replant publically-owned trees in most locations. If people would like to help support this undertaking, a specific fund has been created with the Madison Parks Foundation

What can Homeowners do about their own privately owned trees:

Visit these websites for detailed information:

  • City EAB Toolkit
  • Wisconsin State EAB website 
  • Keep a close watch on ash trees for signs of possible EAB infestation: thinning canopy, D-shaped holes in the bark, new branches sprouting low on the truck, cracked bark and woodpeckers pulling at the bark to get to insect larvae beneath it.
  • Call a Certified Arborist for expert advice.
  • If you are considering preventative treatment, the city of Madison encourages you to use the injection method rather than the soil drench method in order to protect our lakes and ground water.
  • As Madison officials continue to work on the Emerald Ash Borer infestation, we will keep citizens informed of any changes or discoveries. Please visit the Madison Parks Forestry EAB website
  • District 12 Ash Tree Street Tree inventory.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Alert!
Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM


I am sadden by the appearance of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Madison. The first infestation was found just outside District 12 on the Northside. 

There will be a press conference tomorrow at 11am to share more information, but we will begin enacting more of our EAB plan, which has been developed by the Parks Department, our city forester and many of our staff members over the past several years. 

This is a day we have been expecting, but hoping to be able to put off for later. In September 2013 the City updated our EAB Management Plan.

I will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available. Until then, here are some additional resources: article

City of Madison EAB Website



Larry Palm

Alder, District 12

Think Safety This Holiday Season
Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM


The East Police District is reminding people to secure and lock their property, especially vehicles. 

A few tips are provided:



I hope you have a safe and happy end-of-year!



Listening Session - Oct 28
Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM


Join State Representative Chris Taylor, County Representative Heidi Mayree Wegleitner and myself for a listening session on Monday October 28, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00pm. It will be at the James Reeb Church 2146 E Johnson St.

The boundaries that we share are generally Emerson-East, Eken Park and the Sherman Neighborhood south of Whalen Road. 

We invite you to attend to bring to our attention issues at the State, County and City level. 

This is in the middle of the city's budget discussion and I certainly welcome your feedback. You can also always send me an email at


Look forward to seeing you there!




Northside Town Center RFP
Posted September 19, 2013 at 10:56 AM


A few weeks ago, I indicated that the City was going ahead with a Request For Proposals for potential design concepts for a revitalized Northside Town Center. For Northsiders, the Town Center is one of the major landmarks in this area and reimaging the Center could bring new vitality and interest to retail/commercial spaces in the area.

The entire RFP is available online at: Northside Town Center Redevelopment Analysis RFP

There are two product deliverables that are required as part of this RFP:

Work Product One is focused on analyzing the Northside Town Center site and creating concept plans illustrating
alternatives for layout, uses, and density of the site. Specifically, the consultant team will create three different
redevelopment design scenarios:

  • Scenario A: Updated Retail Format – This design would maintain the Center as a traditional retail location, but would redesign the site to improve visibility, access, circulation, and marketability tp tenants. This may include keeping part of the existing structure as well as possible demolition or partial demolition of other sections. However, the overall use of the center as a standard retail destination would be maintained.
  • Scenario B: Higher Density Retail and Potential Residential – This design would involve a more extensive redevelopment project on the site. The retail focus of the center would be maintained but the design may integrate a limited number of residential units as well potentially office uses. The site would continue to use surface parking and would continue to be primarily auto-oriented but would have improved bike/pedestrian access as well. The main objective would be to enliven the Center to improve its marketability as a retail location.
  • Scenario C: Mixed-Use Town Center – This design will be a full scale re-envisioning of the Center. The design would approach the site as a "blank slate" (total demolition). The design would likely re-orient new buildings to the street and would incorporate a mix of retail, residential, and potentially office space. The design would be a more urban, true "town center" development that is dense and active. The project may include underground parking serving some of the uses and the design would emphasize pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access points.

Work Product Two will occur simultaneously with Work Product One to ensure that the two components of the
project are coordinated. The purpose of Work Product Two is to analyze the costs, market viability, and
potential financial performance of the three development scenarios created in Work Product One. The City and
property owner anticipate a consultant team will include an experienced developer, broker, and/or market
analyst who is well-versed in assessing the market potential of development opportunities. This analysis will
consist of the following tasks:

  • Market Analysis – Building from the 2008 Northside Market Study (R.A. Smith National, Inc.), this task will involve using a variety of updated data on demographic trends, competition, comparable projects, and other factors, to assess the potential demand for improved retail space at the site as well as other uses including office and residential space. The analysis will identify likely tenants, absorption rates, and realistic rents for new retail space, apartments, and office space. This analysis will help determine which of the three scenarios (if any) has the greatest potential for market success.
  • Project Cost Assessment – This task will evaluate the costs of each of the three scenarios. The analysis will compare potential projects on total construction cost basis as well as costs per square foot. Obviously, Scenario C would involve substantially higher costs than Scenario A or B. This analysis will help understand the magnitude of these differences
  • Financial performance and gap analysis – Using the information developed in the market analysis and project costs, the financial performance and gap analysis will develop a preliminary pro forma for each of the three scenarios to start evaluating their viability. The analysis will assess the baseline ratio of net operating incomes to project costs to evaluate how each project performs before considering debt costs or subsidies. The analysis also will look at return on investment when borrowing costs are included and identify potential strategies for creative financing. This analysis will provide an understanding of which of the three scenarios has the highest market viability when all factors are considered. Further, for each scenario, this analysis will help identify if there is a gap between the estimated project cost and the justifiable capital investment in the project given its potential revenue.
  • Economic Impact Estimates – Working with City staff, this analysis will provide preliminary estimates of the economic impacts (particularly job creation and tax base growth) that would accrue from each of the three development scenarios. This will help the city gauge the contribution of each potential project to the overall economic vitality of the north side and the city as a whole.

Consultants will use the adopted Northside Neigborhoods Plan and the Northside Market Study to assist in the visioning. It is not anticipated that there will be public participation in this phase of planning. At the completion, all planning documents will be made available for the public and any actual plans for redevelopment would be presented to residents and business owners.

Proposals are being accepted until October 14, 2013 at 4:00pm CDT. If you know anyone who is interested in participating, please forward them the link.

Time to EEEPY!
Posted September 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

It's Time To EEEPY!


The Emerson-East Eken Park Yahara Neigborhood Plan. Come to the Open House tonight!

Wednesday September 18, 6-8pm

Bashford United Methodist Church, 329 North Street

Learn about the planning process and the existing conditions in the planning area, meet Alder Ledell Zellers and Alder Larry Palm, apply to serve on the Steering Committee, sign up for future discussion groups and other activities, and share your ideas for the area's future.

(Note: Map contains an area around Oscar Mayer, but this is not part of the EEEPY process but was included in the Northside Neigborhood Plan done previously)

Learn more and stay updated at our plan webpage:


I hope to see you there!



District 12 Alder Larry Palm 2014 Budget Requests
Posted August 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM


Today, I had a meeting with Mayor Paul Soglin to discuss the 2014 budget and priorities. Below is the list that I submitted to him. As a new Alder to District 12 , I am still getting to know the needs of the various neigborhoods and areas. Keep in mind many programs are already in the city budget and it's too early to know what the Mayor is proposing to move.

As a member of the city's Board of Estimates (BOE), I will have the opportunity to review the Mayor's proposed budgets and offer amendments at both BOE and on the Council.

Over the next few months the City will increasingly be looking at our 2014 budget. During this time you are more than welcomed to provide me with suggestions, comments, or ideas. A lot of work has already occured with the recent budget disucssions and Idea Scale website. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to use much of this discussion to craft is Executive Budgets.


Capital Budget (Long-term budget, funded primarily through borrowing)

  1. North Street reconstruction from East Washington Avenue to Commercial Ave, including Commercial from North Street to Packers Avenue and Hoard Street from Seventh Street to North Street (included in the 2014 TIP).
  2. Continue improvements to E Washington Avenue (money allocated in 2013 budget, but additional works needs to be done). Improvements such as replacing pedestrian crossings, repairing broken concrete and median maintenance.
  3. Demetral Park bike path. There is currently a bike path through East playing fields but it ends at North Sixth Street. Construction of a path through the parking lot would link North Sixth Street to existing paths (currently used by bikes) enabling a complete connection and allowing signing to assist bikers for direction.
  4. Support for Pinney Branch Library relocation to Royster Corners. As a member of the Library Board, continued reinvestment in our libraries is essential to keeping the system going. In addition, I do not support a significant move of Hawthorne Library. Keeping Pinney in the revised Library Construction queue will also allow the Library to continue to replace existing branches in an appropriate timeline.

Operating Budget (Yearly budget, funded primarily through tax dollars)

  1. Make permanent DAIS LEAP funding (included in MPD Supplemental).
  2. Establish summer work partnership with Madison Mallards for area youth. Currently the Mallards hire many area youths. Would like to promote this activity and assist Mallards in creating new opportunities especially in the Brentwood and Woodlands neighborhoods.
  3. Expand Out of School Time (OST) support in the Brentwood neighborhood. Currently there is a part time position that should be made full time. (See NRT input in Operating Budget).
  4. Targeted emerging needs funds. Currently the plan is for city-wide competition. Adding a NRT allocation would use existing infrastructure to allow smaller grants with great impacts to occur.
  5. Expansion of Services at Hawthorne Library. Two D12 neighborhoods – Emerson East and Eken Park are served by Hawthorne Library and are used frequently by residents. Data presented by the Library indicate that many on the East Isthmus actually use Pinney Branch library meaning that many of the lower income residents are using the facility. It is important that all residents have equal access to resources and materials and the library remains a safe and inviting place.
  6. Continued support for Northside economic development. Initial investment was made in 2013, however only through sustained support will any progress be made. Economic Development and Office of Business Resources staff has begun conceptualizing a stronger engagement with outreach, marketing and planning development.
  7. Currently there is a Yahara River planning process, but after that is complete I would like a City Fleet Services site-specific planning process to determine what specifically can be done with the site at First and East Johnson including any costs for environmental remediation.
  8. Homeless Services. Serving on Dane County's Homeless Issues committee I know the need. I would have originally pushed for more city funding of the Day Center, but given the recent changes by Dane County alternative assistance must be found.

Not included in this request was for a Northside Fourth of July event. Alder Weier and I are still engaging with residents and area businesses about what type of event we are having and it is too early to determine how much is necessary. Therefore, I expect that this will be introduced as a budget amendment to the 2014 Operating Budget.

June Notes
Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Make Music Madison

Washington Manor Park – 801 North Oak Street 6-9pm
Join the Eken Park Neighborhood for a picnic and the Stay Tuned and Jill and the Jax at the end of the Aberg Avenue bike/pedestrian bridge.

Demetral Park Shelter – 601 North Sixth Street  4-8pm
Join the Emerson East Neighborhood for a picnic and Austin Lynch and Sweet Delta Dawn at the Demetral Park Shelter.

Rowan Manor – 2450 E Mifflin St 6-8pm
Listen to the sounds of Postmortem Resurrection and sikfuk.

Lakeview Brank Library – 2845 N Sherman Ave 4-7:30pm
Hear Blair Clark and Kristin Scheeler at the Library!

Dane County Airport – 4000 Internation Ln 11am-9pm
Even if you're not taking off, you can hear a full day of music from Bluegrass, Irish and a chorus.

See all at

Emerson East/Eken Park/Yahara Neighborhood Plan

We're still planning the advancement of the revised Emerson East/Eken Park/Yahara Neighborhood Plan.  Thanks to former Alder Rhodes-Conway for initiating this process.

There have been some changes to the concept for the plan – adding the "Yahara/Fordem" are around Sherman Avenue and Fordem Avenue. This area has never had a city plan and is in multiple municipalities. The future re-use of the Sony facility on Sherman Avenue is one area of concern.

We're also including the "Great Lakes" area by Sherman Avenue at Commercial Avenue. This small residential area also hasn't been part of any previous neighborhood plan.

A revised resolution will shortly be introduced at the Council to change the composition of the committee to reflect these new areas and composition by population.

Sherman Avenue

Much continues to be discussed about the changing of North Sherman Avenue from two lanes in both directions to one lane with a center turn lane. The Madison Common Council approved these changes in March and the Village of Maple Bluff followed up in May. Changes will begin beginning in August.

Northside businesses have proposed hiring a consultant to study the proposal. City Traffic and I look forward to the outcome of this study, but have made no further commitments.

Alder Weier successfully added an amendment for Traffic Engineering to create a report in eighteen months to document any changes of traffic patterns, impact to neighborhood street, traffic counts and the like. Obviously at this time we will review this report and determine if any changes are necessary at the time.

Rhythm & Booms

This year's Rhythm & Booms will occur on Wednesday July 3 at Warner Park (event will not take place on July 4 this year). The thirty-minute firework show synchronized to music will begin at dusk. As always, large crowds are expected so please plan accordingly.  More information is available at:

Alder Weier and myself will host a post-Rhythm & Booms public meeting at the Warner Park Community Center on Thursday July 18 at 6pm. This will be an opportunity for everyone to offer suggestions, comments or concerns to the City, Alders and producers about future Rhythm & Booms. I hope to see you there!

East Washington minor reconstruction

You might see some East Washington Avenue construction near the Capitol but what you might not notice is the minor curb and gutter repairs, plant replacements and (soon) crosswalk resurfacing. Thanks to a 2013 Capital budget amendment, now that East Washington Avenue is finally finished it's time to get it all back into shape. Maintenance on the street should keep it in good condition for the future.

Meet & Eat Food Carts – Northside

Come join your friends to a Meet & Eat Food Carts event on the beautiful Northside! Every Tuesday in August, join us at the Saint Paul Lutheran Church at 2126 N Sherman Avenue from 5-7:30pm. Tables will be available, but bring a chair or blanket and enjoy a culinary food cart journey.

There is also a seperate "Let's Eat Madison" Food Cart vendor program that is stopping on Trailsway on Monday nights beginning at 5pm. More information is available at:

Greetings from Alder Palm!
Posted April 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Dear District 12 Residents-

It is with great honor that I greet you as Alder in District 12! Today we held our first meeting of the new council.

I know there are many issues that are of concerns to residents and I would like to hear from you. In the coming months I intend to attend many neighborhood associations meetings, host Listening Sessions and conducting a district-wide Survey.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or issues. Please use my city email address at:

In addition, you can sign-up for the District 12 email list at

I look forward to working with you!