Alder Grant Foster
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Foster’s Updates
Dog Park Survey Results, CGR Proposal Denied - D15 Update 10/12/20
Dog park survey results - The results of the East Side Dog Park survey were posted to the project website last week. You can see the full results here.
While 63% of respondents supported an off-leash dog exercise area at either O.B. Sherry or Eastmorland park. 46% of respondents opposed the Eastmorland location and 42% opposed the O.B. Sherry location (with 36% or respondents opposing both locations). The most significant concerns with both locations included potential environmental impacts, potential disruption to existing park uses, and pet owners not picking up waste. Concerns with a potential increase in parking and traffic and the proximity to existing homes were notable concerns for the Eastmorland location.
While the survey results do show general support for an off-leash dog exercise area from respondents, Parks staff and I agree that the objections to both potential locations are significant and we do not recommend proceeding with either location. While other locations were suggested by survey respondents, most have already been evaluated (Hargrove greenway, Olbrich Park) or are not currently controlled by the city (Voit Farm).
The recent change to Parks policy that allows on-leash dogs in most city parks has provided an opportunity for dog owners to enjoy city parks with their dogs without the need for a separate, fenced off-leash area. I have asked Parks staff to look at opportunities to add additional walking paths in some park locations that could serve as amenities for all residents to enjoy our parks with or without dogs, rather than focusing on creating exclusive use space within our parks for off-leash dog use.
Thank you to all that took the time to take the survey or write or call in with your feedback on this project. I also want to recognize the significant work invested by Parks staff in identifying the proposed locations and in creating and sharing the presentation and survey. Public engagement was especially difficult for this project due to COVID-19 and I appreciate the dedicated work of staff and in particular project manager, Mike Sturm.
Zoning change for Cottage Grove Road proposal rejected - On Monday, the Plan Commission reconsidered their earlier vote rejecting the proposal to demolish three commercial buildings on Cottage Grove Road to build luxury apartments. Upon reconsideration and after seeing the updated proposal, 5 of the 9 commissioners voted in favor of approval.
That recommendation for approval was forwarded to the Common Council the following night (Tuesday) where I asked my colleagues to join me in voting no to the proposed zoning change needed for the project to move forward. Several area residents including Emily B., Gila Shoshany, Stuart Glosser, and John Martens registered and spoke eloquently at the meeting against a proposal that they felt was not in the best interest of the neighborhood. You can watch their testimony and the subsequent discussion here. Thank you to all the residents that wrote in and registered at the Plan Commission and Common Council meetings on this issue.
Decision on ban on use of tear gas postponed - Also at Tuesday's Common Council meeting was debate on a proposal to ban the use of tear gas effective in February of 2021. While I did not support a different proposal that would have banned all use of tear gas, mace, and impact projectile devices, I did and do support the proposed ban of tear gas in Madison. Tear gas has been banned from use in war for nearly a century (UN Geneva Protocol of 1925, Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993) and should not be used in our city and by our police department for crowd control. Ultimately, a majority of alders (11) voted to modify the proposal to ban its use, to one that would instead first study alternatives. I am hopeful that following the study, a majority of the council will agree to prohibit the use of tear gas in Madison. You can watch the discussion here.
2021 Executive Operating Budget released - Also on Tuesday, the mayor introduced her 2021 Executive Operating Budget. This will be reviewed at Finance Committee this week (see below for details) before going to the full Common Council for debate in November. I welcome any feedback or ideas for changes you'd like to see in next year's operating or capital budgets.
Part-time or Full-time council? - The council met a second time last week as a Committee of the Whole, to discuss a recommendation from the Task Force on Government Structure that would change the shape of the Common Council from a part-time, 20 member body to a full-time, 10 member body. The council will vote at an upcoming meeting on whether to put this question to the people as a referendum vote at the spring election. You can watch the nearly 4-hour long presentation and discussion here.
Other city updates
- Voter Registration Online and By Mail Ends on Wednesday
- Brush Collection Over for 2020 & Raking Season Begins
- Autumn Ridge Path update
- Back-to-School support from Madison Public Library
- Drive-thru flu clinic for people without insurance
- Nominations Open for Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility In Public Discourse Award
- Walk-tober Promotes Health, Safety and Fun
Vision Zero: City to Lower Speed Limit on Milwaukee Street - Beginning Monday, October 12, the City of Madison will move to the next stage of speed changes in this city-wide effort for the Vision Zero initiative.
Budget Meetings at Finance - On Monday and Tuesday, city agencies will present their proposed 2021 operating budgets. You can find the details including a link to register here. Detailed budget documents can be found here.
Police and Fire Commission - The PFC will also meet on Monday and will continue its review of feedback and planning on recruitment of a new police chief. Residents are encouraged to take this brief survey to share your priorities in this process. You can find meeting details here.
Eastmorland Area Antiracism watch party - Also on Monday, tune in to watch a presentation on the Crisis Restoration/Triage Center model being considered for Dane County. The invitation is extended to all whether you're an Eastmorland resident or not. Details here.
Eastmorland Community Association Meeting - The ECA's monthly meeting is on Tuesday at 7p. Topics include: Fall leaf raking (socially distant!), Strategies for Trick or Treating, East Side Dog Park, Update about the Plan Commission and CGR, and whatever else YOU want to talk about! Virtual meeting link here.
Metro Public Hearing - Tune in to the Transportation Commission on Wednesday to give input on the recent Metro bus route changes. Feedback will be used to look at modifications of service in the future. You can find a link to the agenda and registration form here.
Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail (MadBAT) Network Virtual Meetings - The City of Madison Parks Division has engaged the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) - Trail Solutions Program to complete a citywide feasibility study and planning exercise. Join in one of several scheduled virtual meetings this week Tuesday and Thursday - details here.
Other city meetings - There are a number of other city meetings of possible interest this week and you can find a full schedule here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/meeting-schedule
Save the Date
Presidential Election - November 3, 2020
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