Alder Grant Foster
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Foster’s Updates
MLK Observance, Voit Farm, Zion Redevelopment - D15 Update 1/17/22
37th Annual Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance
The King Coalition welcomes Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, as keynote speaker for the 37th Annual Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance on January 17th. The program, which starts at 6pm, will also include performances by the MLK Community Choir and presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Awards by Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and County Executive Joe Parisi. Access the broadcast here. The program will also be livestreamed on Facebook live and on radio at WORT-FM 89.9.
Common Council Meeting on Tuesday
Congratulations to Kirsten Moore, Bernie Hoes, and Russell Knudson for their appointments to Madison Food Policy Council, Overture Community Advisory Council, and Urban Design Commission respectively. They will join other D15 residents in serving on one of the city's boards, committees, and commissions once confirmed by the Common Council. Anyone interested in learning more about what it takes to serve can find current vacancies and an application form here.
Another item of potential interest to D15 residents is a resolution authorizing the Madison Police Department to implement a pilot program for body-worn cameras (agenda item 44). The Public Safety Review Committee recommended to 'Place on File' this resolution at their meeting last week. A recommendation to Place on File is a recommendation to not approve. I have a number of concerns with the resolution, particularly related to the actual costs of implementation. I understand that the resolution sponsors may be asking to refer the item to a future meeting in order to address a requirement in the city's surveillance ordinance.
Not Homeless Enough
On Thursday, there will be an online screening of Not Homeless Enough, the short film by Diane Nilan with followup discussion hosted by the Madison Public Library. Since 2005, Diane Nilan has traveled the U.S. documenting the pervasive and underestimated problem of homelessness. Her film features the story of four families in Madison and Dane County who experienced homelessness, and in particular highlights the struggle of living in doubled-up situations, or self-paying to live in a hotel and how it disqualifies these families for federal HUD homeless programs. After the film there will be an opportunity to learn what you can do to support such families. To register and receive login details, click here.
Voit Farm News
There was an announcement last week from local developers Stone House Development and Threshold Development that they are partnering to develop the Voit site. I will be working with them to engage the community and have encouraged them to reach out to the Save the Farm group that has put in a lot of work to imagine the potential uses for this site.
From the development team: "We're excited to announce that Stone House Development and Threshold Development Group are partnering to develop the Voit family site. We're long-term committed east side residents who bring a range of complementary skills and experience required to develop a site of this size and complexity. We share values of commitment to sustainability, affordability, high quality design, and community benefit. Our preliminary conversations with community stakeholders and the City show there's strong overlap of these values and visions that can form the basis of an exemplary development. The site invites wetland preservation and open space for community agriculture, affordable housing and innovative sustainability features integrated into a comprehensive master plan. We appreciate all the thought and effort that has been put into imagining possibilities for the site and will consider feasible proposals from parties interested in contributing resources and ideas to the site. We understand the significance this site has for the community and anticipate a process that invites further neighborhood input and participation. We look forward to working together to explore the impactful and creative possibilities this site offers."
I have received a number of questions and comments related to the proposal for a new residential development at the Zion Church site on Linden Avenue. Alder Benford provided some context to this proposal and a brief history of engagement between the developer and neighbors in this blog post from December. With this area coming into D15 on January 1st, I have had to quickly come up to speed on the background and next steps. I understand that there are mixed feelings about the proposal that came out of the process and that was supported by Alder Benford and I will make sure to share updates as the proposal works its way through city processes so that everyone has an opportunity to continue to provide their input. Several people have shared their opinions with me already and I encourage others to reach out and do the same.
The land use application was submitted to the city on January 10th and an informational presentation is scheduled at Urban Design Commission (UDC) for January 26th. The proposal is scheduled to return to UDC on February 23 for a recommendation. That recommendation will be reviewed at the Plan Commission, possibly on March 7, after which it will go to the full Common Council for a final decision. All of these dates are subject to change, but I will continue to provide updates. I have also added a new section below called "District 15 Development Projects" where I will share information and updates as they become available.
In the News
District 15 Public Works Projects
(You can find a list of all engineering projects in District 15 here.)
Davies St., Dempsey Rd., Maher Ave. - Design work is continuing following feedback received at the January public meeting.
St. Paul Avenue, Ohio Avenue, Talmadge Street, Jackson Street, Lafollette Avenue Reconstruction - The project will be advertised for bids in early-February with construction expected to begin mid-April. Information on construction schedule will be mailed to adjacent residents and posted to this project page once known.
Eastmorland Sidewalk Installation - Planned for construction in 2022
Starkweather Drive/Garver Path - Much of the work has been completed. Some issues will be fixed in the spring and the final path sections in OB Sherry Park will be finished this summer.
Starkweather Creek Watershed Flood Study - First public meeting held
Atwood Avenue - Awaiting funding
District 15 Development Projects (dates are tentative and subject to change)
- Zion Church Redevelopment (2165 Linden Avenue)
- 1/10 - Land use application submitted - Planned Development
- 1/26 - UDC Informational presentation
- 2/23 - UDC recommendation (subject to change)
- 3/7 - Plan Commission
- 3/15 - Common Council
Save the Date
January 27 - First Public Meeting Set for New Imagination Center at Reindahl Park
January 31 - All potential applicants for the Neighborhood Grant Program must meet with city staff. Applications will be due February 7. Please send an email to email@example.com to request your pre-application meeting, and check the city's webpage for 2022 program materials.
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