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 November 26, 2018

November 25, 2018 4:59 PM

Highlights: The Marquette Bungalows begins Round 3 of meetings to discuss possible changes to Madison's historic district ordinances on Monday. The consultant's report is now available. Please read if you are a resident or interested in the update to our historic district ordinances.  Are you a Route 37 and Route 38 Metro bus rider? On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission will be holding a public hearing starting at 6p about possibly changing service, see links to maps and how to make public comments below.  On Thursday I am holding a neighborhood meeting with the owners of the Blue Agave Restaurant and Lounge to discuss their request to change their license conditions. The Staff Street Use Commission held several public information meetings this past year to gather feedback about the impact of events in the central city. The proposed changes will be at the Downtown Coordinating Committee on Thursday. Phase I of these policy changes includes amendments to the Street Use ordinance, MGO 10.056, and development of a "Downtown Zone Event Policy" for the Street Use Staff Commission. These new standards do not include the Isthmus. Pinney Library will be closing Friday November 30 until January 2019 when it reopens across Cottage Grove Rd in the former Ace Hardware, details below.


Monday November 26, 2018

Sustainable Madison Committee

4:30p room 357 CCB


1. 50657 Report Regarding 100% Renewable Energy/Zero Net Carbon Goal Madison

2. 53439 Integrated Pest Management Policy Review Task Force Meeting Materials


Monday November 26

Finance Committee

4:30p room 354 CCB


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. Note: This item will be placed on file without prejudice.


24. 53633 Second SUBSTITUTE - Awarding up to $4.82 million from the Affordable Housing Fund and $1,980,000 in Federal HOME funds to support four development projects, selected through a City Request for Proposals (RFP) process, that will construct approximately 310 units of affordable rental housing in Madison, and authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute loan agreements with the developers of those projects.


The 2019 Executive Capital Budget authorizes $4.5 million of new spending for the Affordable Housing Fund (AHF). In addition, it carries forward the authority to spend $1,220,500 from the 2018 Adopted Capital Budget not yet committed to specific housing projects. In addition, the 2019 Executive Operating Budget also reflects the availability of at least $5 million in 2018-2019 funds under the Federal HOME Program. This resolution draws on both resources to provide up to a combined $6.8 million in direct financial support for four proposed affordable housing developments that will also leverage federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).


One of the four projects is Gorman & Co.'s  Valor on Washington Apartments (the Messner site), it will be awarded $950K if WHEDA selects it next spring.


26. 53822 To approve the 2019 Urban Forestry Special Charge.


28. 53886 Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a Room Block Agreement between the City and Beitler Real Estate Services, LLC.


29. 53902 Water Utility Financial Status Update


The agenda item includes a link to a list of surplus parcels the Water Utility could potentially sell to help pay back the city for $6M borrowed to cover 2017 shortfall. 14 S Paterson is scheduled to be sold to the adjacent neighbor for Employment uses.


30. 53901 2018 Budget: 3rd Quarter Update


Monday November 26

Historic District Ordinance Review -Round 3

5:30p Immanuel Lutheran Church 1021 Spaight St


         Marquette Bungalows


The consultant's recommendations regarding the historic preservation ordinance revisions are attached. These recommendations will be the basis for the upcoming Round 3 meetings.


If you'd like to attend one of the Round 3 meetings, here is the schedule:

         Marquette Bungalows - November 26, 5:30 pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 Spaight St
         Third Lake Ridge - December 10, 5:30 pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 Spaight Street
         First Settlement - December 13, 5:30 pm at Madison Gas and Electric, 601 Railroad Street
         Mansion Hill - December 19, 5:30 pm at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W Mifflin Street
         University Heights - December 20, 6:00 pm at the Best Western Plus Inn Towner, 2424 University Ave




Tuesday November 27

Madison Water Utility

4:30p 119 E Olin Ave, conference room A+B


2. 53816 Resolution Authorizing and Providing for the Sale and Issuance of $30,765,000* Water Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A, and All Related Details Attachments: Body 53816.pdf For discussion and referral to the 12/4/2018 Special Meeting.


3. 53817 Resolution Authorizing and Providing for the Sale and Issuance of $9,605,000* Taxable Water Utility Revenue Notes, Series 2018B, and All Related Details Attachments: Body 53817.pdf For discussion and referral to the 12/4/2018 Special Meeting.


11. 53585 Financial Update including Rate Case


Wednesday November 28

Transportation Commission

5p room 354 CCB


F.4. 53594 Authorizing the Transit General Manager to file an application for a Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program Grant with U.S. Department of Transportation and authorizing the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the associated grant agreement with USDOT and the associated 13 (c) agreement with Teamsters Local No. 695, approving the associated Program Management and Recipient Coordination Plan and authorizing Metro Transit to pass through funding as approved in the Program of Projects.


G.1. 53853 Public Hearing on proposed Metro service changes to routes 37 and 38


Proposed changes


Send your comments to


Public comments received so far:


Thursday November 29

Urban Forestry Task Force

12:30p 103A


This committee will be releasing recommendations soon. Thanks to the work of D6 residents on this important project.


51042 Status of Task Force

53168 Formulating Recommendations, Action Plan, and Long-term Departmental Strategy


Thursday November 29

Downtown Coordinating Committee

5:30p room CCB


4. 53818 Creating Section 10.056(2)(f), amending Sections 10.056(6)(a), (b), (d), (i), (o), 10.056(11), and 10.056(12)(a) of the Madison General Ordinances creating and modifying the standards of issuance for street use permits, creating the Downtown Zone and authorizing policies for permits in that zone, and allowing a permit to be cancelled prior to an event in case of emergency.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance amendment creates a geographic area called the Downtown Zone for purposes of reviewing Street Use Permits for street closures for events, festivals, races, etc., in that zone. The Downtown Zone includes the core of the isthmus extending roughly from Blair to Park Streets, but excludes the Capitol Square, the 100 blocks off the square, and 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where events are encouraged.  This amendment will allow the Street Use Staff Commission to create rules for street closures in the Downtown Zone to consider impacts on traffic patterns, Metro Transit service, and residential, business and government occupants within that zone. This amendment also elaborates on the criteria for approving a street use permit, allowing the Staff Commission to consider the overall number of permitted events and other activities happening in the City when considering an application for a street use event. Currently the ordinance allows consideration of traffic impacts and the ability to provide police and other emergency services, and impacts on residents.  The existing ordinance does not explicitly mention impacts on public transit, overall strain on city services, nor does it speak to the overlap of events over the course of a weekend. This amendment makes it explicit that the Commission may consider the following factors:  size, location, route, duration of an event, as well as safety concerns articulated by the Police or Fire Department, significant impairment to traffic flow, Metro Transit service, or the provision of police, fire, or other emergency services. Those factors can be considered based on the proposed event itself or the combination of events or activities known to be occurring on the same day or same weekend. This amendment also clarifies the requirement for a Traffic Management Plan for closures of State Street that include closing Gorham, Johnson and Dayton-Fairchild Streets, and creates a new rule that John Nolen Drive cannot be completely closed for a Street Use Event unless it is a City-Sponsored event. Finally, this amendment clarifies that a permit for an event that has not yet started can be terminated by the Police or Fire Chief, upon consultation with the Superintendent of Parks, if termination is reasonable and necessary in the face of imminent danger or threat to public safety.


A City staff team has been looking into the impact events have on City resources and services, with an emphasis on the downtown/isthmus area where a majority of the events take place. This has included a Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI) analysis, which is ongoing.  As part of this process city staff held facilitated public feedback sessions, attended conferences and community meetings, conducted research and had discussions to determine the best means of addressing these issues.  From the process, staff has developed policy and procedure changes that will allow the Street Use Staff Commission to review applications, make decisions and establish conditions for events that address when, where and how many events can be held in the area.  The new policies allow the Commission to more directly consider such factors as the number of other events in the city on a day or weekend, police and fire staffing issues related to those events, impact on residents, businesses, traffic and Metro Transit service.


Email comments to Rebecca Cnare if you want to share your thoughts with the Committee,


Thursday November 29

Neighborhood meeting Blue Agave proposed license change

6p 117 S Butler

Sandra Alamilla Lopez has applied for a change in the conditions on her Entertainment License for Blue Agave Restaurant & Lounge.   She is currently restricted to having acoustic performances only, except on Cinco de Mayo and New Year's Day, and she is requesting to have that restriction lifted to allow her to have a live DJ at the establishment.  She is also requesting to extend their hours on Thursdays from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

You're invited to join Ms. Alamilla Lopez and me when she holds the required information session on Thursday, November 29, at 6:00 p.m. at Blue Agave Restaurant & Lounge, 117 S. Butler Street, to learn more about her proposed plans.  The Alcohol License Review Committee will consider the application at its December 19 meeting.


Friday November 30


Task Force on Structure of City Government

2p room GR 27 CCB (enter at 211 S Carroll St)



5. DISCUSSION OF TOPIC AREA 2 IDENTIFIED IN THE CC SUBCOMMITTEE WORK PLAN A. On November 30, the subcommittee will be discussing Topic Area 2 on its work plan. i. At-large v. Geographic Districts or hybrid or number districts. Coterminous boundaries with County districts. ii. Term limits. iii. Redistricting considerations including diversity representation.


7. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS At its meeting on December 7, the subcommittee will take up Topic Area 3 on its work plan. i. Compensation levels. ii. Compensation and term of Council President and Vice-President. iii. Support staffing levels and training for Council members. iv. Alders serving on BCCs.


Friday November 30

Pinney Library update

The current location will close at end of day on November 30 and reopen in a temporary location in early 2019 while the new library is under construction.

Madison Public Library's Pinney Library, currently located at 204 Cottage Grove Road, will close to the public at 9pm on Friday, November 30, 2018 and reopen at an interim space at 209 Cottage Grove Road. The library is moving to an interim space as the new Pinney Library is being constructed at 516 Cottage Grove Road, which will open in the spring of 2020.

The interim library at 209 Cottage Grove Road, former site of an Ace Hardware store, is expected to open in January of 2019, with opening dependent on construction and technology installation timelines. "Multiple project delays meant that we reached the end of our lease at our current Pinney Library before the new Pinney Library was completed, leaving a significant service gap between having to vacant the current site and relocating to the new library." said Library Director Greg Mickells. "Using the space at 209 Cottage Grove Road during that gap will help diminish the impact on the neighborhood, and allow the library to continue to provide much-needed library service in the meantime."

Holds will be available at the Pinney Library until 9pm on Friday, November 30.  They will move overnight to the Hawthorne Library (2707 E Washington Ave.) and be available at 10:00am on Saturday, December 1.


More details here


Upcoming Meetings and Events


Wednesday December 5

Cap Times panel: What Should Madison Commemorate that it hasn't Already?

6:30p Goodman Community Center


The Capital Times is hosting a community panel focused on the histories of underrepresented communities, and Oscar Mireles, who serves on the city's Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee, is one of the panelists. After the panel discussion, City staff will hold small group discussions and gather input from attendees about what they would like to see preserved in Madison.


Here is the Cap Times article about the event:


Saturday December 8

Madison Municipal Building Grand Opening



See the newly renovated building! This is a free family-friendly event. There will be behind-the-scenes-tours, music, performance, circus acts, food carts, screen printing, kids activities, and art and participatory projects. We are collecting stories about the building through the living history/oral history project.  Living History Project.


Monday December 10

Historic District ordinance meetings – Round 3

         Third Lake Ridge - December 10, 2018, 5:30 pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 Spaight Street


Wednesday December 12

Bus Rapid Transit Kickoff meeting

6-8p Madison Central Library room 302


Help define the future of public transit in Madison. Visit the project website to stay engaged in this process: + Sign up for project updates. + Be notified when the online survey is ready. + Learn more about the project background and goals. Project website:


Thursday December 13

Historic District ordinance meetings – Round 3

         First Settlement - December 13, 2018, 5:30 pm at Madison Gas and Electric, 601 Railroad Street



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