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 August 12, 2019

August 11, 2019 9:38 PM

Highlights: The Winnebago Arts Café proposal to increase capacity increase and add outdoor patio service is at Plan Commission on Monday. If you want to share comments, send them by 3p to Sydney Prusak at Excerpts from the staff report and my comments are below. On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission will take up a motion for reconsideration of Spaight Street speed humps. Due to a procedural error at the July 24, 2019 meeting, the vote to amend the proposal to construct two speed humps instead of the previously approved three speed humps failed to get sufficient votes.


The big news last week was the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for siting F-35A aircraft at Truax. The EIS made a finding that there was a significant and disproportionate impact on nearby low income residents and communities of color and children due to noise levels that exceed 65 decibels and will make 200 acres incompatible for residential use. 


From the Executive Summary  "As a result, the number of households located within the 65 dB DNL (Day-Night Average Sound Level) contour would increase by 1,019 and the number of people exposed would increase by 2,215. One hundred thirty-two of the households and 292 persons would be located in the 70-75 DNL contour where housing is incompatible absent an exception. Interference with classroom speech would remain the same or increase by 1 event per hour" and " There would be significant disproportionate impacts to low-income and minority populations as well as children. The increase in noise exposure to the south of the airport would disproportionately impact low-income areas and the increase in noise exposure to the east of the airport would disproportionately impact a low-income minority population. In addition, the Proposed Action could disproportionately impact children." The draft EIS suggests there would be "up to 64 additional military personnel".


The media has identified Carpenter Ridgeway as the impacted neighborhood .


The Air National Guard is hosting an open house on September 12th at Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center from 5pm to 6:30pm and a formal presentation from 6:30pm to 8pm. Comments can also be submitted on-line until September 27th. This is the time for the public to raise their voices about this proposal. Also consider contacting our federal representatives as all of them have signed on in support of the F-35A program.


The Mayor's office has assigned a staff team to review the draft EIS. Alders Abbas, Baldeh, Foster and I have been invited to tour the facility. If you have questions, please let me know.



Monday August 12, 2019


12p room 153 MMB

The Common Council strives to improve our communication!



Monday August 12

Finance Committee

4:30p room 215 MMB


1.55206 Accepting the final report and recommendations from the Urban Forestry Task Force.


2. 56848 Approving the allocation of up to $47,900 in funding authorized for use in 2019 for senior case management and/or senior activities programming for Madison's South East Asian senior population, and up to $115,000 in 2020 (provided that sufficient funds are authorized in the 2020 budget), to the organizations and in the amounts specified, and authorizing the Mayor and the City Clerk to enter into contractual agreements with those organizations.


3. 56916 Submitting the appointment of Eric M. Knepp for confirmation of a five-year term as the Parks Superintendent.


6. 56886 Authorizing the Mayor and the City Clerk to amend a contract between the City of Madison and Raymond Chi for design, fabrication and installation of a site-specific public art feature for Pennsylvania Park.


7. 56689 Authorizing the Transit General Manager to enter into an agreement with the State of Wisconsin and required terms to accept the Volkswagen Mitigation Program/Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program Award of funds not to exceed $4,798,800 to purchase 10 replacement diesel buses and dispose of the corresponding older fleet in 2020.


The proposed resolution accepts the award from the State of Wisconsin for the Volkswagen Mitigation Program/Transit Capital Assistance Grant in the amount not to exceed $4,798,800 to purchase 10 replacement diesel buses in 2020. This program is structured as a zero-percent loan paid at 75% of the award amount. Should these funds be accepted, the City will see a reduction in the portion of shared revenue over the loan repayment period. By accepting these funds, the lost shared revenue will total $3.6 million over the loan repayment period; this translates to approximately $359,910 annually (beginning in 2021 after receipt and scrapping of buses is complete). Shared revenue is a General Fund revenue source, the loss of this revenue may require expenditure reductions or increases in other revenue sources in Metro's 2021 operating budget and subsequent annual budgets.


9. 56716 Authorizing the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute an amendment to the agreement with Greyhound Lines, Inc. to help defray maintenance costs for the Dutch Mill Park & Ride lot for an additional year, October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 to be exercised automatically, unless either party terminates, under the same terms as the original contract except as amended.


13. 56868 Seeking Common Council approval of a $25,000 Matching Grant award to Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System on behalf of Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's Science to Street Art as recommended by the Madison Arts Commission.


15. 56846 Amending the 2019 Adopted Operating Budget for the Planning Division - Neighborhood Planning and Preservation to accept $11,000 from the Madison Community Foundation for the Thurber Park Artist Residency.


18. 57003 2019 Budget: 2nd Quarter Update


The report from Finance shows all the deficits and surpluses by agency.


20. 57002 Block 88 Development Agreement Negotiation Status Report

Noticed to go into closed session.



Monday August 12

Landmarks Commission

5p room 153 MMB


2. 56851 1334 Williamson St - Exterior Alteration in the Third Lake Ridge Hist. Dist. - Demolition and reconstruction of storefront facade; 6th Ald. Dist.


7. 54857 1229 Jenifer St - Exterior Alteration in the Third Lake Ridge Hist. Dist.; 6th Ald. Dist.


8. 47837 Landmarks Commission Historic Preservation Plan Status Report



Monday August 12

Plan Commission

5:30p room 201 CCB


5. 55206 Accepting the final report and recommendations from the Urban Forestry Task Force.


6. 56633 Authorizing the update of the South Madison Neighborhood Plan


7. 56127 2262 Winnebago Street; 6th Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a conditional use in the Neighborhood Mixed-Use (NMX) District for a theater, assembly hall, concert hall; conditional use for a restaurant-nightclub (Incidental Use); and consideration of a conditional use in the NMX District for an outdoor eating area.


Highlights from the staff report


"In 2018, the applicant submitted an application to the City requesting conditional use approval for a restaurant nightclub on the subject property. After initial review of the proposal, Zoning staff determined that a restaurant-nightclub was a permitted use in the Neighborhood Mixed Use (NMX) Zoning District, so long as it was no open past 12:00 a.m. per MGO §28.151(a). Given that the proposed hours of operation were 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., the Plan Commission voted to place this item on file without prejudice, and the project continued to operate as a permitted use.


Since that time, the Zoning Code was amended to include all restaurant-nightclubs as conditional uses in the NMX district, regardless of the hours of operation. Therefore, the subject site became a "legal non-conforming use." The property has been operating as a restaurant-nightclub since February, 2019 and due to the growth and popularity of the business, the applicant is looking to increase capacity without increasing the parking supply....


The applicant, Winnebago Arts Café, proposes to establish a theater, assembly hall, concert hall with a restaurant-nightclub (incidental use) and outdoor eating area at 2262 Winnebago Street. As part of this development, the applicant proposes to increase the capacity from 99 persons to 225 persons. According to the materials provided, the applicant foresees that most of the events will serve closer to 100 persons, but wants the ability to attract bigger artists and events. The site has eight vehicle parking stalls and 20 bicycle stalls. There is an additional vehicle parking stall located in the City's Right-of-Way. While this stall is not officially counted by Zoning, the applicant has permission to use this spot until Traffic Engineering or City Engineering needs the space for future projects and/or improvements. In conjunction with the capacity increase, the applicant proposes to establish an outdoor eating area off the southeast side of the building. In terms of service, the patio will be used for brunch during the day and as a space for customers to smoke in a concentrated area during evening performances. The intent is keep smokers off the public sidewalk. As proposed, the outdoor eating area will close daily at 10:00 p.m. The applicant is not requesting any changes in the hours of operation, which will remain as 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. daily, with live entertainment starting around 8:00 p.m. In addition to live music, theater, comedy, film, and civil dialog, the venue has a restaurant and café component with a limited bar.....


The Comprehensive Plan (2018) recommends Low Medium Density Residential for the subject site. However, the Plan allows for a limited amount of nonresidential uses within residential categories. Such uses often serve as focal points for neighborhood activity and are often relatively small, and therefore not always identified at the scale of the Generalized Future Land Use Map. The Marquette-Schenk-Atwood Neighborhood Plan (1994) makes no specific recommendations for the subject site. Staff notes that the site is zoned for mixed-use and commercial development.


Please note, recent changes to state law requires that conditional use findings must be based on "substantial evidence" that directly pertains to each standard and not based on personal preference or speculation....


First, the Plan Commission must consider the requests to 1) establish a theater, assembly hall, concert hall with a capacity of 225 and 2) approve the existing legal non-conforming restaurant-nightclub, with a capacity of 60 persons, as a conditional use. While the restaurant-nightclub request is incidental to the theater use, it is still a conditional use in the NMX Zoning District. It is important to note that there is no minimum parking requirement for theaters, assembly halls, concert halls in the NMX Zoning District. As for the restaurant-nightclub, the parking minimum is 15% of capacity of persons. As proposed the capacity for the restaurant-nightclub (when no live music or shows are occurring on site) is 60 persons. While the nine existing and proposed parking stalls meet this requirement, the southern stall located in the Right-of-Way does not count towards this calculation. Therefore, as a Condition of Approval, the Applicant shall verify with Zoning staff the basis for the 60 person capacity for the restaurant-nightclub. An administrative level parking reduction may be required.


Conditional Use Standard #3 states that the Plan Commission must find that "the uses, values and enjoyment of other property in the neighborhood for purposes already established will not be substantially impaired or diminished in any foreseeable manner." Given that this establishment is in operation, staff is generally supportive of its continuing use. The Planning Division acknowledges that the current capacity for the venue is 99 persons, and the applicant is requesting to increase it to 225 persons (125% increase). In order to approve this request, staff believes that proper management of the space is critical to minimize impacts. Given the limited hours of operation, closing at 12:00 a.m. rather than bar time, and the fact that many of the events will be ticketed for crowd control, the Planning Division believes that it is possible for the Plan Commission to find that this Standard is met.


Staff's primary concern is with Conditional Use Standard #5, specifically with the adequacy of the parking supply. This condition states that the Plan Commission must fin that, "adequate utilities, access roads, drainage, parking supply, internal circulation improvements, including but not limited to vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, public transit and other necessary site improvements have been or are being provided." The Planning Division recognizes both the neighborhood sensitivity to parking concerns and the options the applicant provided as part of this application, including the alternative forms of transit serving the site. The applicant is proposing a "Traffic Management Plan," which includes several initiatives to incentivize alternatives to driving to the site. The applicant also introduced the "Need No Space Initiative," to encourage alternative forms of transportation and ease the parking strain on the Atwood neighborhood. The applicant has provided a brief outline of the initiative as part of their land use application....


Staff believes that it may be possible for the Plan Commission to find that the Conditional Use Standards are met. Careful consideration must be given to these Standards, including Standard #5 related to the adequacy of parking. Staff acknowledges that this is a big request for a fairly new venue located in a residential neighborhood and that not all the parking impacts can be predicted, especially as the number of full-capacity shows is not known. If approved, staff encourage s the applicant to continue to work with nearby property owners to figure out a shared parking arrangement.


Alder comments:  I asked the applicants Jake and John DeHaven to wait until the final phase of Union Corners is constructed with the hopes that a shared parking arrangement can be secured with Gorman and Co before seeking additional capacity. I support the Café as it currently operates and could support the addition of the patio with the proposed conditions of closing at 10p and keeping doors closed but I am not convinced that the parking impacts from increasing occupancy from 99 to 225 meets conditional use standard # 3 or #5. When the DeHaven's first applied for the restaurant-nightclub and met with the neighborhood, the owner's ideas about the need for a music venue that meets a missing size in the Madison market was not shared with the neighborhood. I understand these ideas have evolved but the proposed use is a larger scale than was initially envisioned. Neighbors who attended the meeting I held last month supported and patronized the Café but not everyone supported the increase in capacity.


The Zoning Administrator has determined that the proposed use should be a theater, assembly hall, concert hall with a restaurant-nightclub as an incidental use and no longer requires any parking minimums. The applicant does not need to apply to reduce parking requirements but staff may need to grant an administrative reduction for the restaurant-nightclub as part of the conditional use approval. Because of this, conditional use standard #10 does not directly apply but the language is still relevant:  "10. When applying the above standards to an application for a reduction in off-street parking requirements, the Plan Commission shall consider and give decisive weight to all relevant facts, including but not limited to, the availability and accessibility of alternative parking; impact on adjacent residential neighborhoods; existing or potential shared parking arrangements; number of residential parking permits issued for the area; proximity to transit routes and/or bicycle paths and provision of bicycle racks; the proportion of the total parking required that is represented by the requested reduction; the proportion of the total parking required that is decreased by Sec. 28.141. The characteristics of the use, including hours of operation and peak parking demand times design and maintenance of off-street parking that will be provided; and whether the proposed use is now or a small addition to an existing use."


I appreciate the applicant's innovative multi-modal traffic management plan to provide alternatives to driving and hope they reach out to other nearby businesses to create a neighborhood program as they offered to do but I remain concerned that many people who do not live nearby will choose to drive to attend live music events and since very little parking is provided and no shared parking options are available, patrons will seek street parking.


I appreciate SASY's letter in support. They make the case that we shouldn't let parking concerns control decision-making and cited the Barrymore as an example of an important focal point to the Atwood neighborhood that doesn't provide parking for all of its 971 patrons. I agree the Barrymore has been a catalyst but would also point out that the Barrymore has a parking lot (35-45?) and patrons can also use the United Way lot and often use Trinity Lutheran's lot. Joe Krupp's new building currently under construction on Atwood between Schenk's Corners and 1st Street will replace some of the shared parking that was previously part of the Monona State Bank accessory parking lot in recognition of the importance of providing sufficient parking to serve business uses in the neighborhood. The Winnebago Arts Café does not have the same nearby shared parking arrangements. The UW Clinic is not willing to share its lot and the Carbon at Union Corners is under parked.  Phase 3 of Union Corners may have structured parking that could be shared but that development is a couple years out. In the meantime, the spillover from larger music events, will likely, in my opinion, diminish the uses, values and enjoyment of other property in the neighborhood.


10. 56396 828 E. Main Street; Urban Design Dist. 8; 6th Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a conditional use in the Traditional Employment (TE) District for a reception hall.


Staff report: The applicant proposes to establish a reception hall in an existing, roughly 7,150-square-foot Tratche warehouse building, which, according to City Assessor records, was originally constructed in 1935. It currently sits vacant. The space's interior will be completely remodeled while the applicant plans to preserve as much of the existing metal façade as possible. The shorter, roughly 2,000-square-foot portion of the building, which fronts on E. Main Street, will be converted into a ceremony/small reception space, while the taller, roughly 5,100-square-foot portion at the rear of the site, will be converted into the main hall. It is in the later where the bathrooms, bar, storage room, and catering/kitchen space will be located. It will also have a partial mezzanine located at both the front and rear of the space and both will be accessed by stairwells located within the main hall.


The existing building occupies all of the site, save for the eastern quadrant which is currently paved over. Here, the applicant plans to locate a roughly 1,000-square-foot, four-season solarium up against the exterior of the ceremony space and main hall (please see the submitted materials for renderings of this space). The solarium will be accessible from both of the interior spaces while also providing ingress/egress to the exterior. While the solarium will be primarily glass, the glazing of its eastern elevation will be set atop a roughly eight-foot brick wall, painted white, to provide privacy from the adjacent parcel to the east. (Note, during the applicant's presentation to the Urban Design Commission, they pointed out that this wall would no longer be brick but a more finished, cast concrete to retain the texture and character.) This wall will continue towards E. Main Street where, along with other screening panels and gates, it will create a series of semi-private enclosures which will serve as the entry sequence to the facility from the E. Main Street sidewalk.


The proposed total occupancy of the facility is 610 persons though the applicant notes that the facility is unlikely to reach that number due to the format of the space (i.e. it being divided into smaller, interconnected spaces) which the applicant believes naturally promotes smaller gatherings and events.


In between the primary entry gate and sidewalk will be six bicycle stalls as well as a temporary loading space for one vehicle. The corridor located to the east of the solarium and patio spaces will serve as a secondary egress route from the main hall as well as the location for 12 more bicycle stalls and a trash enclosure. No onsite automobile parking stalls will be provided....


Staff believe the proposed reception hall can be found to meet the conditional use approval standards and recommends that the request be approved by the Plan Commission. Regarding the Supplemental Regulations, there is only one for Reception Halls: "Service of food and intoxicating beverages allowed when licensed." The applicant has stated that food will be provided via off-site catering and a Class B liquor license will be applied for to sell alcohol on site at events. The Planning Division also points out that this proposal, because the site is located within Urban Design District #8, was reviewed and unanimously granted final approval by the Urban Design Commission on July 31, 2019. The Urban Design Commission staff report has been included in the Plan Commission's packet of materials.


At the time of report writing, Staff has received a letter of support from the Marquette Neighborhood Association. The letter, which is included in the Plan Commission's packet of materials, notes the Association's approval of the project as proposed with no concerns or restrictions.


Alder comments: I love the fact that the applicants propose to save and rehab an historic Trachte building!


14. 56545 2817 E. Washington Avenue; 6th Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a conditional use to allow limited production and processing at food and related goods sales business in CC-T zoning.


16. 56288 2ND SUBSTITUTE Creating Section 28.022 - 00390 of the Madison General Ordinances to amend a Planned Development District Specific Implementation Plan at property located at 223 S. Pinckney Street, 4th Aldermanic District.


17. 55916 223 S. Pinckney Street, 4th Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a demolition permit to demolish the Government East parking garage


18. 56121 223 S. Pinckney Street, 4th Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a conditional use pursuant to MGO Section 28.134(3) for projections into the Capitol View Preservation Limit to allow construction of a 13-story, 253-room hotel.


19. 55921 Approving a Certified Survey Map of property owned by the City of Madison Parking Utility located at 223 S. Pinckney Street; 4th Ald. Dist.


20. 56690 Amending Sections 28.098(6), 28.151 and 28.183(8) and (10) of the Madison General Ordinances to exempt the installation of solar energy systems from the conditional use and planned development alteration requirements.


Upcoming Matters - August 26, 2019

- 2219 Monroe Street and 1000 Edgewood College Drive - Repealing the CI zoning master plan for the Edgewood Campus (College, High School and Campus School) on their request

- Zoning Text Amendment - Create Secs. 28.097(2)(d) and (e) to require institutions in CI zoning without an approved master plan to get conditional use approval for open or enclosed Stadiums, Auditoriums, Arenas, Indoor or Outdoor Sports Recreational Facilities, and Agricultural Uses and for the installation of stadium lighting, amplified sound, and the establishment or expansion of outdoor seating over a specified capacity



Tuesday August 13


6p room 206 MMB


5. UPDATE FROM THE BCC SUBCOMMITTEE REGARDING: a. Discussions pertaining to a possible Office of the Resident Engagement and Neighborhood Support (ORENS); and b. Discussions pertaining to possible alternative structures for the City's Boards, Commissions, and Committees.


6. UPDATE FROM THE COMMUNICATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE REGARDING: a. Status of resident surveys, including an update on the total number of surveys received from each community liaison and whether to allow liaisons to exceed 200 surveys; and b. Preparations for the August 28, 2019 Open House at the Atrium on South Park Street, including an update on providing transportation, childcare, and food for participants.





Wednesday August 14

Board of Park Commissioners

4p Penn Park 2101 Fisher St.


Bus Tour


7 57006 Superintendent's August 2019 Report


Future Commission Items

• Urban Forestry Taskforce – The Urban Forestry Taskforce's recommendations are being entered into the legislative process at the July 2nd meeting (File #55206). At this point, it is likely the report and recommendations will come to the BPC in September.

• IPM Taskforce – The IPM taskforce is working to extend its work throughout 2019 to better inform recommendations. Staff will present on the current status as a part of a land management update in November.

• Golf – The Common Council adopted a resolution (File #56004) to establish a Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks at its June 18, 2019 meeting. The Task Force will begin meeting in September and will focus on making recommendations on the multiple systematic issues related to golf.

• Dog Policy – The Long Range Planning Subcommittee has started work on reviewing the policy related to dogs in parks. LRP and staff have done substantial public engagement on this issue and are continuing to work on policy recommendations.

• Off-Leash Dog Parks – Staff is continuing to work on potential off-leash improvements in the main remaining priority area (after West/Odana School and East/North Star projects) of Atwood/East Isthmus. This is a particularly challenging location and staff hopes to have additional concepts for discussion in the coming months.

• Performance Excellence Initiative – Staff is working on an informational presentation to share with the Commission on the City's Performance Excellence Initiative. This is anticipated to be ready for the Commission at the September meeting.

• Alliant Energy Center Master Plan / Destination District Plan – Parks staff is working with Planning staff to prepare a presentation to the Commission on the County's work and plans for the Alliant area. This is anticipated to occur later this year.


Operations  Forestry • Began preemptively removing 800 street ash trees in the central (Isthmus) and western parts of the City. These are the final preemptive ash removal areas outlined in the approved Emerald Ash Borer Plan. Tree replanting at these sites will be completed over the next year and a half (starting in fall 2019).


Planning and Development Law Park Preliminary Report of Parks staff and SmithGroup have announced the community engagement workshop dates for Law Park. Three workshops will be held over the next two months with a general open house scheduled for October. In addition to the larger workshops, the public outreach includes on-site intercept interviews, tabling at community events, user group meetings and an on-line survey. The technical and regulatory investigation has begun as well with initial meetings with WDNR staff, UW School of Limnology representatives and WDOT staff. The final report is scheduled for completion in late 2019. o Workshops and Open House Dates (all are 6:00 to 7:30 PM) § Thursday, August 15, Workshop at the Atrium on Park Street § Wednesday, August 21, Workshop at Warner Park Community Recreation Center § Wednesday, September 18, Workshop at Madison Central Public Library § Tuesday, October 1, Open House at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center



Wednesday August 14

Transportation Commission

5p room 215 MMB


F.4. 56995 Motion for Reconsideration of Item G.1. Legistar #56722 "Reconsideration of Spaight Street Speed Humps" from the July 24, 2019 Transportation Commission Agenda


Apparently at the last meeting, the Commission voted to amend the approval of three speed humps but did not have the correct number of votes. Here is an email I received from the Chair Ann Kovich August 8 explaining the error:


"Hi, Marsha.  Here's an update on the Spaight Street Speed Humps.  As you know, this was on the agenda at the July 24th Transportation Commission meeting.  After much discussion, the following motion was made: "To proceed with two speed humps between Baldwin and Dickinson, and placing a hold on the speed hump east of Dickinson until other traffic calming measures are evaluated, including but not limited to 4-way stop and street narrowing."  This motion was deemed to have passed with a vote of 4 to 3 in favor and the Chair not voting.  There was some discussion about how many votes were needed to pass the motion, and after consultation with an Assistant City Attorney who happened to be at the meeting, we agreed that the motion had passed.  After the meeting and some additional research, it was determined that 5 votes would have been needed in this particular instance for the motion to pass.  So after the fact, it has been determined that the motion did not pass with the vote recorded.


As a result, the Transportation Commission has on its agenda for the August 14th meeting a potential Motion for Reconsideration of the Item regarding the Spaight Street Sheep Humps.  If there is an appropriate motion to reconsider made and passed, we would be taking another vote on the Spaight Street Speed Humps.  Tom Mohr from Traffic Engineering will be reaching out to the neighbors who provided email feedback regarding the speed humps.  He will let them know this will be on the agenda for the August 14th TC meeting; and that another vote may be taken.  If another vote is taken, all feedback from the neighbors will be reviewed and considered in order for Members to reach an informed decision. "


At Wednesday's meeting, what will be before the Commission is the underlying motion for the three humps that passed in February.  I plan to attend the meeting.


Thursday August 15


5:30p room 215 MMB


  1. 23672 Discussion and editing of recommendation rationales

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