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District 15

Alder Grant Foster

Image of Alder Grant Foster

Alder Grant Foster

Contact Information

Home Address:

3930 Anchor Dr

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Foster’s Updates

Karmenta, CGR Proposal Final Action - D15 Update 11/16/20

November 16, 2020 12:51 PM

latest cgr proposal
Modified redevelopment proposal for 3900 Monona Drive and 109 & 209 Cottage Grove Road

Last Week 

4502 Milwaukee (former Karmenta site) - Last week the Plan Commission recommended approval of two ordinance changes that would permit the former Karmenta property to be used as a 'mission house'. These proposed changes were initiated in order to permit the Salvation Army to provide shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Prior to March of this year, those families were housed at the Salvation Army's E. Washington facility. In March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these families were moved to a hotel and the E. Washington facility was reconfigured to continue to provide shelter for women. Prior to COVID-19, the Salvation Army had applied for and was granted land use approvals to build a new shelter at the E. Washington location.

On Tuesday of this week, the Common Council will be asked to approve the ordinance changes as recommended by Plan Commission that would allow for the use of 4502 Milwaukee as a family shelter operated by Salvation Army. In addition to these ordinance changes, the Salvation Army will also need to secure a lease and will need to complete some repairs and remodeling before opening the former Karmenta building for use as a family shelter. If all of this comes to pass, the site could be opened as a shelter sometime late winter/early spring of 2021.

In order to provide more information to neighbors and to answer questions and address concerns, I am working with Alder Lemmer, city staff, and the Salvation Army to organize a neighborhood meeting, tentatively scheduled for December 15. I will provide more details about this meeting in a future update.

In addition, the city has also entered into negotiations with the current property owner on a potential purchase option by the city. This would allow the city to lease the building to Salvation Army until the new shelter is constructed on E. Washington. This would also give the city control of the site and allow for public input into how it would be used or redeveloped in the future. A budget amendment to this effect is being introduced at Tuesday's Common Council meeting and will be taken up at a future meeting for action.

Cottage Grove Road Redevelopment - Last week, several members of LENA joined me to meet with the developer and city staff to review their updated proposal for redeveloping 3900 Monona Drive and 109 & 209 Cottage Grove Road. As part of ongoing discussions, the developer has agreed to two additional conditions on top of the modified proposal that was approved by Plan Commission. These conditions add a second commercial unit on the east end of the development and restrict the commercial space of the proposed live/work units to non-residential use. While I continue to have some reservations about the impact this development could have on the overall commercial viability of the corridor, I also believe that the additional conditions of approval and commitments from the developer do give the project a fighting chance and I do plan to support the updated proposal with the additional conditions.

E. Dean/Allis Project - The first public information meeting on the E. Dean reconstruction project was held last week where staff presented preliminary information about the project including proposed design alternatives and information on stormwater management controls. Staff is reviewing feedback received and is working on finalizing the design alternatives that will be shared out with residents living within the project limits for additional feedback. You can find additional details about the project timeline here.

2021 City Budget Approved - The Madison Common Council took up the proposed 2021 Capital and Operating budgets on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and passed both after several amendments. You can read a summary here: City Passes 2021 Budget with Lowest Levy Increase in Five Years

OB Sherry Park Expansion - Parks recently purchased three properties along Milwaukee Street that will be added to OB Sherry park. Madison Fire Department would like to use the houses for training after the asbestos is removed and before demolition. They will not be burning them down, but rather intend to use them for entry and exit training including the use of fake smoke. I have asked to get notice before either the training exercise or demolition happens in the spring so that I can share here.

OB Sherry Map
3457, 3461, and 3465 Milwaukee Street have been acquired by the Parks division and will be added to OB Sherry park. Domolition of the structures is planned for spring of 2021.

Other City Updates:

This Week

LENA November Meeting - You can find a link to the agenda and virtual meeting for Monday's meeting here.

Bus Rapid Transit - There will be a BRT meeting focused on some proposed changes to the E. Washington segment on Monday beginning at 6:30p. You can find the details here.

Common Council Meeting 11/17 - There is a long agenda for this week's Common Council meeting including the zoning changes related to 4502 Milwaukee mentioned above (items 17 & 18) as well as a final decision on the Cottage Grove Road redevelopment proposal (items 81 & 82). Other items of interest to D15 residents include allowing for early attachment of the Voit farm area into the City of Madison (items 71 & 72) and Cannabis decriminalization (items 74-76). You can find a link to the full agenda as well as a link to register for comment here. As always, please reach out with any questions or comments you'd like to share.

Freymiller's Liquor License - There will be a virtual neighborhood meeting on Thursday at 6:30 pm to hear about a proposal for a new bar (Freymiller's) to take the place of the current Jo Beck's. You can register for the meeting here. The liquor license request for this proposal will be at the Alcohol License Review Committee in December.

MPD Chief Interviews - The Police & Fire Commission will be interviewing candidates for MPD chief position this week. The names of candidates have not been released and the interviews appear to be planned for closed session. The Police & Fire Commission is an independent body from the Madison Common Council that has oversight for the hiring, firing, promotion, and discipline of all police and fire personnel.

Other City Meetings: Other items of possible interest at city meetings this week include: presentations on the status of encampments and the eviction moratorium from community organizations (details here); a presentation from the Madison and Dane County Public Health Violence Prevention Unit (details here); a proposed ordinance banning use of face surveillance technologies (details here);  and possible body-worn camera policy considerations (details here). You can find a full schedule of city meetings here.

Save the Date

Metro Public Hearing Route 38 - 12/9/20 at 6p - 

Dempsey/Davies/Maher PIM - December 2020 date TBD 

Salvation Army Family Shelter Meeting - December 15

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