Hi Everyone,

After a late start, I've finally started getting my hands in the dirt with my garden. It feels great -- after a fitful few months of winter stubbornly holding on, this fine weather is most welcome. Let's hope it continues and ushers in a glorious summer.

Here are this week's updates:

Activities at The Glen

Volunteer Day, Saturday, May 20 - The Glen Golf Park is establishing an ongoing volunteer program that helps volunteers learn, grow personally and gain professional experience. Projects vary and include land management of natural areas - weeding, planting, seed collection, woody plant removal; Horticultural detailing - maintaining landscape beds, mulching, weeding; and more!

Movie at the Glen, Moana, Sunday, May 21 - Grab a blanket or bring a lawn chair and head over to The Glen for yard games and a movie! All are welcome!

Affordable Housing on Regent St

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. is proposing a mixed-use, mixed-income housing project at the Jensen Auto site on Regent Street. Though the neighborhood plan calls for four stories, WHPC is seeking an additional story to offer greater affordability. This makes good sense to me in that we need density and affordability in tandem. Regent St. is now within the new Tax Incremental District (TID) #48. It’s my hope the increased development along Regent St will spread to Monroe St as well. With more housing comes more retail options, more restaurants, and more amenities in general, qualities that make neighborhoods more walkable and therefore more desirable. It's also my expectation that the tax increment generated by TID 48 will enable more affordable housing to be built in District 13.

Regarding the profound need for affordable housing in Madison, check out this recent article in the Cap Times by Allison Garfield. Our housing shortage is an indisputable fact.

Farmland Preservation Task Force - Final Report

While I support more development to address Madison’s housing crisis, I don’t believe it should come at any cost. For the last several months, I’ve been serving on the Farmland Preservation Task Force. This task force was set up last fall  to make recommendations to policy makers about ways to balance the need for more housing with the need to maintain available tracts of arable land for urban agriculture. We found during the pandemic that locally produced food is of critical importance. Moreover, the ecological value of these parcels in terms of stormwater management, carbon capture, and pollination should not be ignored. Lastly, there is a demand for more parcels suitable for market farming on the part of local growers of color, often from marginalized communities, so this is an issue that combines equity, economic development, and ecological sustainability.

The task force has completed its work and our final report is being referred to various committees for review, including Plan Commission, Parks, Economic Development, Food Policy, and Sustainable Madison, after which Common Council will vote on whether to adopt the report. I’m confident we will do so as it’s a very solid report that will provide policy makers with sound guidance as our City continues to grow.

Alcohol License Applications

There are two District 13 liquor license applications before the Alcohol License Review Committee this Wednesday. 

Kettle Black is looking to expand their operation at 1835 Monroe St and in accordance with their expansion have requested a Class B license to allow for cocktail service.

Tricky Foods is moving into the first floor retail space at the redeveloped VFW site at 121 E. Lakeside St. They have requesed a license to sell wine along with their charcuterie boards.

There is another license application bordering D13 at 1134 Regent St, which is in D8 as it's on the north side of Regent -- D13 captures just the south side of Regent. The owners of the very successful Harvey House on West Wash are opening a new restaurant called Butterbird. While I'm confident the owners, based on their prior track record, will run a responsible establishment, I share the concerns of those who note the high number of liquor licenses already in this area. That said, we need more restaurants and bars on Regent St that cater to the broader community, not more sports bars chiefly connected to Camp Randall and nearby student housing.

Food Scrap Recycling Returns to the South Side

The City of Madison in partnership with Sustain Dane  and Neighborhood Food Solutions  is happy to announce the return of our second food scraps drop-off location for this market season.

Our second location will open on Tuesday, May 23 at the South Madison Farmers’ Market .

Once the market location opens next week, individuals will be able to drop off certain allowable food scraps for composting at a designated booth. There is no charge to drop off food scraps.

South Madison Market Details
The market is located at 1602 South Park Street at the corner of South Park Street and West Wingra Drive. The tents for the market are along W. Wingra Drive.

Food scraps drop-off will be available from 2:00pm until 6:00pm during the Tuesday evening market.

The appropriate scraps will be accepted every Tuesday starting on May 23, 2023 and ending on October 31, 2023.

What food scraps will be accepted at the market drop-off site?
The food scraps acceptable in this program are the same materials that would be suitable for a backyard compost bin.

Coffee grounds, egg shells, raw fruits and vegetables, and other similar scraps are allowed.

The scraps we cannot accept include meat products, bones, compostable plastics, paper products, grease, cooking oil, dairy products (including cheese), and others.

Additional details about what can, and cannot, be accepted at the food scraps drop-off site can be found on the Streets Division’s Food Scraps website.

That's all for now. Take care, stay safe, and enjoy this fine weather.