9/18 - 9/24 Updates


City meetings continue to be mostly virtual with details listed in City Meetings of Interest below. Common Council meetings are hybrid so the public can attend in person or via Zoom.Stay in touch with your neighbors through either Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc.   or Campus Area Neighborhood Assoc  .***There are three sections to this week's update:

  1. Downtown Updates
  2. City of Madison Meetings
  3. City of Madison Updates

Downtown Updates

Mansion Hill Neighborhood Association 9/28 at 5:30p
At this meeting, the NGC Hospitality  will join us to discuss their adaptive reuse proposal to reimagine the former Madison College site as 126 loft style residential and hotel units. 
We will also hear from the Sottos bar owner who will discuss their new bar on State St

Mansion Hill Neighborhood Meeting


CORE Spaces Johnson and Broom Development
Last week CORE Spaces joined the Campus Area Neighborhood Association in a postcard meeting on their new development. You can watch the meeting here. CORE intends for their official submission to be toward the end of September. Please make comments on the design and anythign else before then. You can submit comments to urbandesigncomments@cityofmadison.com and pccomments@cityofmadison.com

Johnson and Broom

2023 DMI Annual Celebration Sept. 21st 4:30p-7:30p
The event is happening THIS Thursday, September 21 from 4:30-7:30pm on the rooftop of Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center. Spots are still available, so don't miss your chance to attend the largest DMI event of the year. Register now!

DMI Behind the Scenes Bakke Recreation and Wellbeing Center Oct. 2nd 10a-11a
Join us for the next DMI Behind the Scenes featuring a tour of the Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center! The Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center (Bakke) is the second building project of the master plan and the third project overall. The building is named for lead donors Jim (’77) and Sue Bakke. The Bakke Center features spaces dedicated to supporting wellbeing services (such as the Wolf Teaching kitchen, restorative studios, and rooms for massage therapy, peer wellness coaching, and meditation), as well as a 25-yard recreational pool, eight multipurpose courts, Sub-Zero Ice Center, a climbing and bouldering wall, sports simulators, multipurpose studios, an indoor jogging track, a rooftop fitness area, and over 29,000 square feet of fitness space.

Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center exterior image


UW-Madison Homecoming Parade Oct. 6th 6p-7p
The annual homecoming parade  will take place October 6th. Langdon St will close 4p and ends at about 7:30p. Please bare in mind any disruptions or read closures. 

City of Madison Meetings

Plan Commission 9/18 

  • Agenda Item 3: Legistar 79226, Creating a Housing Taskforce (and alternate) 

As some may know from news articles, that the Madison Common Council will be considering a resolution by Alder Latimer Burris (D12) to create a Housing Taskforce addressing the affordable housing shortage and other housing related issues. This resolution would appoint a host of resident members from a host of other committees in Madison, four alders, and potentially a representative of UW Housing, and member of Madison's state legislative staff to a taskforce. The taskforce would review ways the city adds cost to housing through fees, assess the approval process for length and inclusivity, invite developers to testify before the committee, and explore and debate best practices. 

While I do not disagree that the housing crisis needs to be addressed publicly and with a sense of urgency, I do believe that there is a more efficient and effective way to address this issue. For this reason, I proposed an alternate resolution, alongside Ald. Field (D3), Ald. Govindarajan (D8), Ald. Evers (D13), and Ald. Madison (D17). The alternate retains the skeleton of assessing the housing crisis and bringing a wide range of stakeholders to the table, while addressing some of the inefficiencies that may arise from creating a taskforce. The alternate's language drew inspiration from both the Housing Snapshot Report and Director Wachter's memo. In summary, the alternate tasks the Housing Strategy Committee with answering three questions relating to increasing the supply of affordable rental units, homeownership types, and student housing, engaging key stakeholders and subject matter experts, and returning to council with clear recommendations.

I hope to use this space to explain some of the process and rationale of the alternate. 

For any resolution an alder or group of alders can propose an "alternate" at any point before the vote on the Council floor of the resolution. This process is quite common and it allows alders essentially to make amendments to their colleague's resolutions. For the purposes of this discussion, I want to make it clear that the "original resolution" is what Ald. Latimer Burris proposed. The "alternate" is what myself and some other alders proposed. 

A question that may arise is what is the difference between creating a Housing Taskforce and giving direction to Housing Strategy Committee. Let me start with explaining the role of Housing Strategy Committee. Madison General Ordinance on the Housing Strategy Committee reads:

MGO 33.34 - The Housing Strategy Committee shall serve as a forum for discussion & communication about housing strategies; shall establish a schedule for the Dept. of Planning & Community & Economic Development to prepare and submit a biennial housing report to the Mayor and the Common Council, which will include the following: current data on Madison and regional housing supply and trends, strategies for maintaining a broad range of housing choices for all households and income levels; and strategies for maintaining & increasing affordable owner-occupied and rental housing in Madison and the region.

As you can see, the Housing Strategy is literally tasked with hosting discussion about housing strategy and submitting recommended strategies on maintaining housing choices of all types and increasing affordable owner-occupied and rental housing. As such, the Housing Strategy Committee is a natural forum for the content of the resolution. Creating a Task Force that would essentially do what Housing Strategy Committee is tasked with doing is duplicative. 

Beyond the process issues with a Housing Taskforce, there are some other considerations that make sending this to Housing Strategy Committee a better forum. 

  • Staffing Issues

City staff is already strained to the maximum. Staff has practically said that they can either spend the next year staffing a Housing Taskforce to discuss the affordable housing issue or they can spend the next year implementing strategies that we have already identified to alleviate the issue. To me, I'd rather have staff work on solving rather than talking about our housing crisis.

  • Impact of the Efforts

Both the original and alternate resolution have similar aspects. The main difference is the impact. The original resolution focuses more on having a conversation, while the alternate focuses more on end product. When evaluating the original versus the alternate, I hope that the public and alders will consider what is the purpose and goal of these discussions and recommendations. 

Shockingly, there are many solutions that staff and the Housing Strategy Committee have already identified to alleviate the burden of the housing crisis. We already know that modest rezoning of single family neighborhoods, eliminating parking minimums, removing owner-occupied requirements for ADUs, reducing fees and cumbersome approvals processes will reduce the costs of housing. We don't need a taskforce to reinvent the wheel to tell us something we already know. My hope is that sending this issue to Housing Strategy Committee will reinforce to my colleagues on Council the importance of implementing the bold and audacious strategies, whilst developing new strategies that we have not yet considered. 

In all, I hope that members of the Common Council and the public realize that none of this matters unless Council takes action. We can develop the best strategies in the world, but until Council has 11 votes to pass these strategies, we will still be in a housing crisis. 

Common Council

  • Agenda Item 2: Recognizing Sept 15th through Oct 15th as Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Agenda Item 4: 2024 Executive Capital Budget
  • Agenda Item 5: Appeal of the Plan Commission action on the conditional use request for 314 Junction Road

This is essentially because neighbors are upset about a doggy daycare in their condo. We've received many emails about this. Honestly, I struggle to understand why such a dog-friendly city like Madison would have such great opposition to a doggy daycare. 

  • Agenda Item 9: Supporting initiatives that improve access to high-quality, affordable child care for all families in Madison
  • Agenda Item 11: Amending Madison General Ordinance to allow miniature pigs bred as companion animals to be kept as pets in the City of Madison. 

This is a result of Rudy the Pig that some may have heard about. #MadisonLovesRudy

  • Agenda Item 43: Repealing Madison General Ordinance to remove associated references (Panhandling)

Please refer to Alder Figueroa Cole's blog about this. 

Alcohol License and Review Committee

  • Agenda Item 17: Public Hearing for Red Shed

Thankfully, the owner's of Red Shed where able to find a new location - 508 State St, below the 7 Iron. I am supportive of the license transfer to the new location. I wish Lynn and the entire team at Red Shed the best of luck in their continued adventure. 

City of Madison Updates and Events


  • Public Hearing – Proposed December Service Changes, Wednesday, September 27 – 6:00 pm: We’re holding a virtual public hearing with the Transportation Commission to discuss possible service change adjustments for December.

Like the adjustments that we recently made, these are not large-scale adjustments. A few of our routes have struggled to stay on time and others still need adjustments to better connect to other routes.

We still haven’t seen how the new service operate on a full service day when UW, MMSD and other schools and campuses are all in session. With that first day coming on Tuesday, we may see a need for other adjustments that we’ll either try to work into service changes in December or else during our next driver pick in March.

Official public hearing feedback can be submitted ahead of time by calling (608) 266-4466, emailing mymetrobus@cityofmadison.com, or by filling out an online form at mymetrobus.com/feedback. All feedback submitted ahead of time will be considered in the same way as feedback provided at the hearing itself.


  • East Side Farmers' Market, Tuesday, September 21, 2023: The Eastside Farmers' Market is Madison Wisconsin’s finest weekday farmers' market. Our goal is to bring the freshest Wisconsin grown food direct to the heart of the East side. Our vendor members are agricultural producers and food artisans who make value added products from Wisconsin's agricultural bounty.
  • Fall Financial Empowerment Series with ULGM Part 1 of 4 (Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, and Oct. 10), Tuesday, September 19, 2023: Part 1 of 4 in the Fall Financial Empowerment Series. Empower Your Path to Financial Success: Elevate Your Understanding of Key Financial Concepts like budgeting, navigating debt, credit and saving for the future. Sign up HERE!

    • Part 1 of 4: Budget Basics with ULGM
    • Part 2 of 4: Navigating Debt with Johnson Bank
    • Part 3 of 4: Improving and Building Credit with UW Credit Union
    • Part 4 of 4: Retirement and Homebuying with Thrivent
  • Movin' Out Financial Literacy Series (#4 - Credit Scores), Tuesday, September 19, 2023: The City of Madison, in partnership with Movin’ Out, invite South Madison residents to participate in Movin’ Out’s financial wellness series! This six-session financial literacy program covers a range of topics to provide a solid understanding of the fundamentals of personal finance. In between sessions, interested participants can work with Movin’ Out’s Counseling staff on their own financial goals toward homeownership.
  • Dane County Farmers' Market - Wednesday Market, Wednesday, September 20, 2023: The Wednesday Dane County Farmers’ Market is located on the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, in between the Madison Municipal Building and the City County Building. While more intimate than the Saturday Market, you will still find many of your favorite Dane County Farmers’ Market members, as well as a full array of fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, bakery items, cut flowers, plants, and many specialty items.
  • Jeff Erlanger Accessible Playground at Rennebohm Park Ribbon Cutting, Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Madison Parks Foundation and Madison Parks invite the community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Jeff Erlanger Accessible Playground at Rennebohm Park. Jeff Erlanger was an amazing person who seemed to connect with everyone he encountered. He met Fred Rogers, his childhood idol, when he was just 5 years old and in 1980, at the age 10, he was invited to appear on the award-winning television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Jeff went on to graduate from Memorial High School and Edgewood College. After graduation, he interned for Representative Tammy Baldwin and Senator Russ Feingold. He became very active in Madison politics and served as a member of the Economic Development Commission, chair of the Commission on People with Disabilities and chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Living Alliance. He also played a major role in gaining accessible taxicab service for Madison. Jeff died at just 36 years old in 2007. Upon his death, the Mayor and City Council created the annual Jeff Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award in honor of his commitment to community-building advocacy. Join us for a short program and ribbon cutting as we officially open the new accessible playground at Rennebohm Park!
  • Cyclocross Practice Ride | Olbrich Park, Wednesday, September 20, 2023: We've partnered with Capital Off-Road Pathfinders in offering a free, temporary cyclocross course to practice your biking skills. Each event is open from 5-7pm at the designated location. You will need a bike with knobby tires, such as a mountain bike style and a good-fitting helmet. Some parks do not have restrooms, please plan accordingly. Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing similar to cross country running but on a bicycle. Courses feature wooded trails, grass, pavement, steep hills, and obstacles. See Cyclocross for more information.
  • EASTSIDE NEIGHBORS: LET'S BUS TO THE FARMER'S MARKET!, Saturday, September 23, 2023: Driving to and parking for popular downtown events can be a hassle. Have you checked the new bus route and schedule? Join your Eastside Alders (D3, D15, D16 & D17) on a little adventure exploring the new bus routes and learning more about the Metro resources available to help you with planning your trips! The meet up spot will be at the Dane County Farmer's Market at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and W Main St. at 10am! Attendees must have a Madison Metro bus pass or will need $2.00 for bus fare.


Was this page helpful to you?
Alder Juliana Bennet

Alder Juliana Bennett

District 2
Contact Alder Bennett