City of

District 6

Alder Brian Benford

Image of Alder Brian Benford

Alder Brian Benford

Contact Information

Home Address:

2273 E. Washington Ave #1
Madison , WI 53704

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 Benford’s Updates

D6 Items of Interest Week of June 18, 2018

June 17, 2018 9:33 PM

Highlights:  Please take precautions in this extreme heat- stay cool, stay hydrated and stay connected! On Monday, Plan Commission will review a zoning text amendment to allow food carts as a permitted use in TSS and NMX zoning.  At Council Tuesday, we are appointing the new Transportation Director Tom Lynch, approving alders to serve on the new transportation committees, introducing for referral the Atwood Ave construction geometry and accepting the Blair Street Corridor Study report and proposed geometrics for S Blair/Nolen/Willy/E Wilson intersection from Strand Associates. I look forward to the opportunity to improve our transportation planning efforts, it is hard to approve projects piecemeal when so many of you take a systems approach and expect the city to do the same. We need to be more holistic. 


Monday June 18, 2018

Committee on the Environment

4:30p room 108 CCB

52104 Update on Ash Tree Removals and Treatment: Presentation by Marla Eddy from the City Forestry Department 


52105 Overview of City Recycling Program and Current Practices: Presentation by Brian Johnson from the City Streets Department


Monday June 18

Landmarks Commission

5p room 103A CCB


1. 51825 126 S Hancock St- Exterior Alteration to a Designated Madison Landmark in the First Settlement Hist. Dist.; 6th Ald. Dist. 


4. 52019 1219-1221 Jenifer St - Exterior Alteration in the Third Lake Ridge Hist. Dist.; 6th Ald. Dist.


5. 47837 Landmarks Commission Historic Preservation Plan Status Report


Monday June 18

Plan Commission

5:30p room 201 CCB


3. 52040 Planning Division update on the Milwaukee Street Special Area Plan


8. 51551 Consideration of a conditional use for a restaurant-nightclub at 2262 WInnebago Street; 6th Ald. Dist.

          Note: Item 8 should be placed on file without prejudice at the request of staff; the proposed use has been determined to not require conditional use approval at this time. 


9. 51574 Amending Sections 28.211, 28.032, 28.061, 28.072, 28.082, 28.091, and 28.151 of the Madison General Ordinances to allow free-standing vending as a permitted use in most non-residential districts and as a conditional use in residential districts.

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: This ordinance allows food vending on private property as a conditional use in residential districts, as a permitted use in mixed-use and commercial districts, as a permitted use in employment districts, and as a permitted us in all downtown and urban districts except the Urban Mix Use District (UMX), in which it is a conditional use. This ordinance also creates supplemental regulations applicable in all districts, including that vendors maintain a basic street vending license, comply with specified hours of operation, maintain 25 feet of distance between the vending operation and another restaurant or restaurant-tavern, and have a site plan approved by the City of Madison.

Free-Standing Vending. (a) Hours of operations shall be between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., including set up and take down. Neither the operator nor any part of the operator's free-standing vending operation may remain on the property outside the hours of operation. (b) Operators shall provide the Zoning Administrator with a letter of permission from the owner of the property giving permission to conduct free-standing vending operations on the property. (c) Operators must obtain an approved site plan from Traffic Engineering and Zoning showing the location of the vending operation on the property in relation to existing parking lots, streets, driveways, and public rights of way. (d) Operators shall maintain valid health and vending licenses. (e) No free-standing vending operation may be located within twenty-five (25) feet of a restaurant or restaurant-tavern. (f) In residential districts, free-standing vending requires conditional use approval and may only occur on zoning lots containing non-residential uses.

Alder comment: I have discussed this ordinance with street vending staff and shared my concerns with the sponsors. I hoped to see an amendment that would require a conditional use process for food cart vending on private property in mixed use corridors, I will request that Plan Commission amend or refer if necessary.  If a restaurant is required to go through a CU permit process to allow outdoor food and beverage service, I don't think it is good policy to allow food carts to provide outdoor service on private property without the same process.  I support the goals of allowing food carts to vend in more locations but don't support that expansion to happen without neighborhood notification and review by the Plan Commission. The ordinance establishes a boundary of 25' from a restaurant but has no prescribed setbacks from residential uses in the TSS/NMX district.  Imagine the parking lots at Struck and Irwin or the former MTI lot with food carts up to 11:30p every night. I think it might be ok to allow food carts in TE districts as a permitted use.  Please let me know your thoughts. If you want to contact the Plan Commission, email Heather Stouder at by 3p and she will make sure Commissioners have copies of emails at their desks.

Upcoming Matters - July 2, 2018 

84 N. Bryan Street - Conditional Use - Convert existing building into arts/technical/trade school (circus arts training). 

212 N. First Street - Demolition Permit - Demolish abandoned Well No. 3 to accommodate street widening

At the April 30, 2018 meeting of the Landmarks Commission, the following motion was adopted: Andrzejewski noted that well houses are disappearing rapidly and photo documentation of the building is necessary. Rummel asked if the Madison Public Market could incorporate the building façade into their design. ACTION: A motion was made by Arnesen and seconded by Kaliszewski to recommend to the Plan Commission that the Landmarks Commission finds that the building at 212 N First Street has historic value related to the vernacular context of Madison's built environment, but the building itself is not historically, architecturally, or culturally significant. The Landmarks Commission recommends to the Plan Commission that they explore ways to retain the building façades for use at the Madison Public Market by referring this to the Public Market Development Committee. The motion passed by voice vote.

Upcoming Matters - July 16, 2018 
1374 Williamson Street - Conditional Use - Construct outdoor eating area for restaurant-tavern.  Grampa's Pizza is proposing an outdoor patio.  I am working on setting up a meeting for neighbors to review their plans.

2901 Atwood Avenue - Demolition Permit and Conditional Use - Demolish five-unit apartment building to construct nine-unit apartment building. Pat McCaughey proposes to construct nine units that would include 4 studios, 4 one bedrooms, 1 two bedroom and would provide 4 parking stalls and 10 bike stalls.  The units would be market rate. I held a neighborhood meeting on February 20. 


Monday June 18
Task Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment
6:30p Sequoya Library 4340 Tokay Blvd

Tuesday June 19
Common Council Executive Committee
4:30p room 108 CCB

12. 51740 Amending Section 3.35(5)(b) of the Madison General Ordinances to prohibit City employees from using City facilities or City time to engage in grass-roots efforts on matters pending before the City. 

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance adds a new paragraph to the Ethics Code, Sec. 3.35, MGO.  In the subdivision on use of city equipment or facilities, it adds a new prohibition on City employees using such facilities to engage in or conduct a grass-roots effort on any matter pending before the City.  It also prohibits City employees from engaging in such activities on City time, and prohibits supervisors from directing employees to do so.  The Council could waive the prohibition for certain employees or certain efforts.  As drafted, the prohibition would cover employees in the Mayor's office and Council office.  This amendment also breaks out the prohibitions in Sec. 3.35(5)(b) into three separate paragraphs.

13. 51818 SUBSTITUTE Creating Section 23.60 and renumbering current Section 23.60 to Section 23.70 of the Madison General Ordinances to prohibit the practice of conversion therapy in the City of Madison. 

14. 51898 Creating Section 1.15 of the Madison General Ordinances to codify the Madison Official City Flag and to repeal Resolution #4408.

Tuesday June 19
Common Council
6:30p room 201 CCB

7. 50758 Creating Section 28.022 -- 00324 of the Madison General Ordinances to change the zoning of properties located at 717-753 E. Johnson Street, 2nd Aldermanic District, from TR-V2 (Traditional Residential - Varied 2) District to NMX (Neighborhood Mixed-Use) District. 

18. 52046 Authorizing non-competitive selection of special outside counsel to assist the Office of the City Attorney in representing the City's interests in Beitler Real Estate Services, LLC v. City of Madison, Wisconsin, Case No. 1:18-cv-03895 filed in federal district court in the Northern District of Illinois. 

20. 52074 Report of the Mayor submitting alder committee appointments.
The Mayor's alder appointments to the two Transportation Committees.


21. 51771 Submitting the appointment of Thomas W. Lynch for confirmation of a five-year term as the Director of Transportation.?


23. 51170 Accepting the report by Strand Associates - Blair Street Corridor Study Report and approving geometry for the S Blair Street / John Nolen Drive / E Wilson Street / Williamson Street intersection. (6th & 4th ADs)

The report recommends many changes to the infamous intersection at Blair/Nolen/Williamson/Wilson as well the Nolen corridor to North Shore. MNA and some neighbors remain opposed to maintaining the "channelized right turn" from Nolen to Williamson. Thanks to everyone who participated in public meetings to provide feedback. 
See page 13 for a map of the intersection with proposed changes which include:

1. Machinery Row driveway relocated and reduced to one entry, future signalization to allow access from westbound John Nolen. More work will be done through Law Park planning process to finalize the bike path route through the parking lot.
2. Enlarge the staging areas, aka the 'porkchops', for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the intersection
3. Tighten curb radius of channelized right from Nolen to Williamson to slow traffic
4. Add a raised lane separator between northbound through lane Nolen>Blair and channelized right turn onto Williamson to reduce last minute lane changes
5. Add space for more sidewalk, wider bike path, and additional green space in front of Machinery Row by reducing the median in the middle of Williamson
6. Remove the turn in front of the Ruby Marie Hotel and create more greenspace
7. Add signal at Blount St, create a diagonal bike crossing like  from Machinery Row to create a connection to the Cap City Bike Path
8. Eliminate parking on E Wilson connection to Cap City Bike path behind Gateway Mall
9. Add signal at E Main and Blair
10. Reconfigure westbound Williamson lanes to allow a Quiet Zone to be installed. Requires two left turn lanes and the elimination of existing through lane to Wilson. There would be one shared through and right turn lane. 
11. Add left turn lanes to Williamson and E Wilson from Nolen/Blair
The project will be phased. The state will help fund the Hwy 151/Nolen/Blair section, it is anticipated to be 2021, and will include the channelized right turn. The other improvements are scheduled for 2019. Both phases will come back to the Council for "plans and specs" approval so there will be more opportunities to revisit the geometry.

25. 51476 Amending Sec. 1.08(4) of the Madison General Ordinances to allow the Traffic Engineer to issue citations for violations of Sec. 10.05, the occupancy of rights-of-way ordinance.

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance amends the citation authority of the Traffic Engineering Division in order to allow inspectors from that unit to issue citations for violating the City's right-of-way occupancy ordinance, Sec. 10.05, MGO.  Sec. 10.05 regulates right-of-way excavations, as well as the use of the right-of-way by utilities.  Under that section, those seeking to excavate in the right-of-way must obtain a Permit to Excavate, and abide by the conditions of that permit.  That ordinance and permit is administered by the City Engineer.  The Traffic Engineer, meanwhile, administers Sec. 10.055, the Street Occupancy Ordinance, which ordinance regulates the short term use of the City's rights-of-ways.  It is not uncommon for a single project site to be subject to both a Permit to Excavate in the Right-of-Way and a Street Occupancy Permit.  By expanding the Traffic Engineer's enforcement authority to include Sec. 10.05, inspectors of the Traffic Engineering Division will be able to enforce not only the requirements of temporary street occupancy permits, but the requirements of right-of-way excavation permits.  This additional enforcement authority will save administrative costs and lead to a more efficient response.

32. 51848 Approving plans and specifications and authorizing the Board of Public Works to advertise and receive bids for DWSC Starkweather Creek Improvements. (6th AD)

34. 51850 Awarding Public Works Contract No. 7450, Darbo Drive to Webb Avenue New Street Connection Assessment District - 2018 (Richard Davis Lane). (6th AD) 

38. 51856 Awarding Public Works Contract No. 8172, 2018 Park Playground Improvements - Group 2. (6th, 12th, 14th, 16th & 17th ADs)

Elmside Circle Park playground and Reger Park playground improvements will be underway soon.


60. 51623 Amending the 2018 Capital Budget and Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a development agreement to fund a $2,600,000 Tax Incremental Finance Loan, funded by GO Borrowing, to University Research Park, Inc. or its assigns to assist in the renovation of approximately 48,316 gross square feet of existing office, construction of approximately 137,874 of new office and approximately 472 parking stalls located at 501 Charmany Drive Place to be occupied by Exact Sciences Corporation as an office headquarters and innovation laboratory within the boundary of TID #46 (Research Park).

61. 51821 SUBSTITUTE - Authorizing the Madison Police Department to accept a Center for Children's Law and Policy grant for technical assistance, training and $10,000 to support the planning and implementation of strategies to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in arrests of youth; and amend budgets accordingly 


62. 51861 Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute loan agreements associated with affordable housing development projects selected as part of the 2016 Affordable Housing Fund Request for Proposals process.

The proposed resolution authorizes execution of Affordable Housing loan agreements, totaling $1.8 million, with Gorman Holdings, Inc. for GrandFamily Apartments and MSP Real Estate, Inc. for Normandy Square. The loan amount to Gorman Holdings will be $950,000 for a 60-unit rental housing development with 56 affordable units. The loan amount to MSP Real Estate, Inc. will be $850,000 for a 58-unit rental housing development with 48 affordable units. Adopted RES-16-00854 (File ID 44932) authorized allocation of $3.15 million from Affordable Housing Funds, part of which was to support the aforementioned developments. The proposed loans will be covered by $10.7 million of available appropriation in the Affordable Housing Fund capital project in the Community Development Division.


64. 51872 SUBSTITUTE - Authorizing the Acceptance of a Brownfields Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and amending the 2018 Adopted Capital Budget to accept and appropriate the total grant amount of $472,000. 

The proposed resolution authorizes acceptance of a $472,000 Brownfields Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The 2018 Adopted Capital Budget includes $1,825,000 of funding for Garver at Olbrich Botanical Complex project within the Parks Division, these funds will serve as the required matching funds. No additional City appropriation is required. If adopted, total funding for the project will be $2,324,000.


65. 51875 Approving Facade Improvement Grant to Holly Alexander for a project located at 308 S. Paterson Street. 


75. 51586 Amending Section 12.138(11) of the Madison General Ordinances to increase the fees for residential parking permits


Fiscal Note: The proposed ordinance change increases the permit fee for a residential parking permit from $28 to $42 annually and increases the fee charged for the issuance of duplicate permits from $7 to $11 annually.  The amended ordinance will take effect beginning with the purchase of 2018-2019 residential parking permits (August 2018). In the 2018 budget, the Parking Utility's salary and benefit expenses increased $395,000 to reflect the cost of the Parking Enforcement Officers (Police employees) enforcing the Residential Parking Permit Program and other time restriction parking regulations. These costs had historically been reflected in the Police Department's budget.


The Parking Utility's 2018 adopted budget includes $130,000 in residential parking permit revenue and $85,000 from a transfer from the General Fund to offset a portion of the Parking Enforcement Officer's salaries.  It is anticipated the increased fee will generate $57,000 in additional revenue, bringing the total to $272,000. The annual expenses of the program are $540,000. To fully fund the program by permit revenue, the Parking Utility has estimated the annual permit fee would need to increase to $105. The anticipated annual revenue increase of the ordinance change is $74,000.




78. 52042 Creating Sec. 12.177 of the Madison General Ordinances to establish a City of Madison motor vehicle registration fee.


Fiscal Note: This ordinance authorizes a local vehicle registration fee as allowed under state law. A $17 fee is anticipated to raise $3.3 million on an annual basis (based on information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that there are approximately 194,000 eligible vehicles registered in the City of Madison). Proceeds from a local vehicle registration fee must be used for transportation purposes. Use of the revenues from a local vehicle registration fee requires appropriation by the Common Council through a resolution (e.g., the budget). The state vehicle registration fee is $75 annually. Dane County recently enacted a local vehicle registration fee of $28, effective October 1, 2018. The County fee applies to all eligible vehicles in the county, including eligible vehicles in the City of Madison. A $17 fee levied by the City of Madison would result in a total vehicle registration fee in the City of $120.

Nineteen municipalities and eight counties in Wisconsin have adopted a local vehicle registration fee. Amounts range from $10 to $30 annually. The state Department of Transportation must receive notice of enactment of a local vehicle registration fee at least three months prior to its effective date. As such, a January 1, 2019, effective date for the fee would require adoption of this ordinance by the Council by its September 4th meeting.


88. 52035 Approving roadway geometry for the Atwood Avenue Reconstruction (Fair Oaks Avenue to Cottage Grove Road). (6th & 15th ADs)


91. 52068 Authorizing a Request for Proposals for professional architectural and engineering consultant design services for the Madison Public Market.


Fiscal Note: The proposed resolution authorizes a Request for Proposals (RFP) for architectural and engineering consultant design services and construction administration services for the Madison Public Market and authorizes City Staff to evaluate responses to the RFP and recommend a professional architectural and engineering consultant design team to the Common Council for approval. No additional City appropriation is required.


94. 52071 Amending the "City of Madison TIF Loan Underwriting Policy" and "City of Madison TIF Goals, Objectives, and Process" dated February 25, 2014 with changes to the "Jobs Project" section (aka Jobs TIF); and, directing staff to prepare program guidelines for a new "Small Cap" Business TIF Program targeted at small businesses.


Fiscal Note: The proposed resolution amends the City of Madison's "TIF Policy" with changes to the "Jobs Project" section and authorizes Economic Development staff to prepare a "Small Cap" Business TIF Program to assist small businesses with expansion projects in healthy Tax Increment Districts. The Jobs Project section will be amended so that the current 60% net present value and 40% net present value options for a Jobs Project are consolidated to include only the 40% net present value Gap Analysis Waiver underwriting standard to qualified Employers. A "Jobs TIF - B" Program will also be created to assist medium-sized employment expansions. The Small Cap Business TIF Program is anticipated to have lower job creation/retention and qualification requirements and would involve smaller dollar values of TIF investment. Common Council approval of the program guidelines will be required prior to program implementation.

The proposed resolution only includes policy changes to the City of Madison TIF Loan Underwriting Policy, City of Madison TIF Goals, Objectives, and Process, and Jobs Project section (aka Jobs TIF). No projects using TIF funding in the 2018 Adopted Capital Budget are affected by this resolution and no additional City appropriation is required.


Wednesday June 20

Economic Development Committee

5p room GR 27 CCB (enter at 211 S Carroll St)

1. 52071 Amending the "City of Madison TIF Loan Underwriting Policy" and "City of Madison TIF Goals, Objectives, and Process" dated February 25, 2014 with changes to the "Jobs Project" section (aka Jobs TIF); and, directing staff to prepare program guidelines for a new "Small Cap" Business TIF Program targeted at small businesses.?


Wednesday June 20

Alcohol License Review Commission

5:30p room 201 CCB


Agenda not in legistar yet, check Monday in Weekly Meeting Calendar


Upcoming meetings


I am working on setting up the following neighborhood meetings-  with Red Caboose about their proposal for Union Corners, Vintage Brewing proposes to open a restaurant brewpub in the new Cosmos building on E Washington, and the Winnebago Arts Cafe at the former Sons of Norway building. I am also working with the downtown alders who are proposing a Task Force on Downtown Violence with an emphasis on the contribution of alcohol to the violence to see if it can be broadened geographically and policy-wise. Stay tuned.






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