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 January 27, 2020

January 26, 2020 6:12 PM

Highlights: Changes to city regulations for "tourist rooming houses" (AKA Air BnB and VRBO) will be discussed at Plan Commission on Monday. Also Monday, should the Committee on the Environment be eliminated? I've provided their charge below and the charge of the Sustainable Madison Committee. The city is looking at reducing the number of boards, committees and commissions we have as part of the work of the Task Force on Government Structure. Both the COE and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee are being proposed for elimination. There are two city public information meetings on Thursday, one about the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan and the other about the detection of PFAS in city wells, especially Well 9 on Spaanem Avenue. Nearby neighbors are very engaged about both topics.


Last week, the ALRC referred Canopy's application for a Class B and 21+ Entertainment alcohol license for 924 Williamson St to their February 19 meeting. The applicant's request had changed from his original application submitted in December but not all the required information was available for review. The MNA Preservation and Development committee has invited Austin Carl to their next meeting on February 11.


Neighborhood Grant Workshops Jan. 28 and Jan. 29

Have an idea to improve your neighborhood? Need some assistance? The city anticipates awarding approximately $25,000 in 2020 to help neighborhood groups make physical improvements and build organizational capacity. Groups of 5 or more residents, neighborhood associations, business associations, and other organizations working with neighborhoods are eligible to apply. Go to the city's webpage for grant materials in English, Spanish and Hmong:


NEW THIS YEAR – video applications will be accepted. Grab your phone, tell your story and post it. All questions on the application should be answered, but have fun and be creative. Time limit of 10 minutes. Contacts  Linda Horvath 608-267-1131 and Angela Puerta 608-267-8649


1) Tuesday January 28, 6 p.m. at Lakeview Library - 2845 N. Sherman Ave.

2) Wednesday January 29, 6 p.m. at Catholic Multicultural Center - 1862 Beld St.

Language assistance, childcare and light refreshments will be provided!


Public Health Madison and Dane County Implements New Initiative tp Help WIC Client with $40 Vehicle Registration Fee

A $40 vehicle registration fee for City of Madison residents is new in 2020 and was created to support the expansion of Metro Transit bus service, including the future implementation of bus rapid transit. As part of the program, the City implemented new subsidies for low-income bus riders and youth. The Madison Finance Committee also passed a budget amendment in October 2019 to pay for a reimbursement program for clients of the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

Families who participate in the WIC program and live in the City of Madison are eligible to receive a $40 Visa gift card. The program went into effect on January 21, 2020. Families must provide proof that they paid their vehicle registration in 2020. Proof of payment is the Certificate of Vehicle Registration that comes with the license plate tags. Families can receive a gift card for each vehicle they register. The gift cards are available during scheduled WIC appointments and are also available on a walk-in basis during normal WIC clinic hours.

To be eligible for the WIC program you must be a Wisconsin resident, be pregnant or have a child under five years old, and meet income guidelines. To learn more about WIC eligibility, visit or call 608-267-1111.


Snow Emergency and Clean Streets Clean Lakes rules.

I have gotten a few complaints about the how the new rules affect people. Thanks for sharing your concerns. Streets temporarily covered a portion of existing signage so the new parking restrictions could go forward this winter and covered up the holiday exception. Just like before, CSCL will not be enforced on holidays like the MLKing Jr holiday. When the new signs are erected, the holiday exception should be clearly stated. It could happen that the Snow Emergency is declared on the day when your street has the four hour window restriction. According to Streets Supt Charlie Romines, the Parking Enforcement division does not start enforcing the CSCL timeframes until about 9a when a Snow Emergency triggers the alternate side parking requirements so people should have 7a-9a to move their cars. I have shared all the comments I have received with Streets staff so they can address any ambiguity and make sure information on the winter website is clear. Thanks for giving this new approach a chance.


Monday January 27, 2020

Sustainable Madison Committee

4:30p room 206 MMB


2. 58222 Repealing Section 33.23 of the Madison General Ordinances to eliminate the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: This ordinance would eliminate the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. The Committee is currently tasked with limited duties, including making studies and recommendations related to solid waste and recycling issues, and reviewing City programs and operations on these issues. However, the Committee has frequently found itself with few referrals or actionable items for consideration. Matters that would otherwise be referred to this committee may instead be referred to other committees or even ad hoc committees depending on the issues involved.


"33.23                     SOLID WASTE ADVISORY COMMITTEE.


(1)                     The Solid Waste Advisory Committee shall act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and Common Council, making studies and recommendations relative to collection and disposal of refuse, composting, recycling, landfills and other solid waste issues. The Committee shall review City programs and operations and staff reports on these matters, and shall report to the Board of Public Works.

(2)                      The Solid Waste Advisory Committee shall consist of nine (9) voting members appointed by the Mayor subject to the approval of the Common Council on the third Tuesday of April for a term of one year each commencing on that date, except that the terms of resident members and of the alderperson shall be two years with each term ending on the third Tuesday of April of the second year of such term. Appointees shall include one (1) alderperson, one (1) member of the Board of Public Works, one (1) member of the Committee on the Environment, and six (6) resident members.

Appointments shall be made with consideration given to expertise in solid waste management, environmental health, public relations, economics or business, hydrogeology, chemistry, environmental engineering and/or other areas related to solid waste issues.

The Street Superintendent (Streets and Sanitation Superintendent) shall serve the Solid Waste Advisory Committee as its nonvoting Executive Secretary. All matters to be considered by the Committee shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary who shall prepare the notice, agenda and minutes of all Committee meetings and perform such other duties as the Committee shall direct."



Monday January 27

Finance Committee

4:30p room 2015 MMB


12. 59154 Submitting the appointment of Robert F. Phillips for confirmation of a five-year term as the City Engineer.


13. 58946 Submitting the appointment of Matthew R. Wachter for confirmation of a five-year term as the Director of Planning and Community and Economic Development


18. 59194 Amending the 2020 Stormwater Utility Operating Budget to fund additional watershed studies for the Willow Creek Watershed and the Yahara River/Isthmus Watershed.


Fiscal Note
The proposed resolution amends the 2020 Stormwater Utility Operating Budget to increase the budget for consulting services by $700,000 to fund additional watershed studies as part of the City's flood mitigation efforts. The 2020 Adopted Operating Budget included $700,000 in funding for watershed studies, with a projected rate increase of approximately 10%. This funding will impact the Utility's rates with a projected additional increase of approximately 3%, resulting in an overall increase of approximately 13% in 2020.


19. 59149 Issuance of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds for the purpose of refinancing the $19,300,000 original principal amount City of Madison, Wisconsin Industrial Development Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2002B (Madison Gas and Electric Company Project) and financing additional capital projects for Madison Gas and Electric Company


Fiscal Note
This is an initial resolution for the purpose of issuing Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IRB) for Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE). An IRB is authorized under state law to meet the public purposes of employment retention, stimulation of the flow of investment capital to benefit the local economy, preservation of the City's industrial base, and creation of a direct benefit to the residents of Madison, given that 70 percent of the rate payers of MGE are taxpaying residents of the City. An IRB accomplishes this public purpose by allowing a corporate entity to secure financing whereby the interest on repayment of principal is exempt from certain taxes, similar to government issued debt. These bonds do not pledge the full faith and credit of the City to the repayment, but rather are secured through a pledge of revenues from the project and the provision of other collateral, such as a mortgage on the facility financed by the revenue debt. These bonds have no impact on either the City's constitutional debt limit nor its bond rating.

The initial resolution is required by state law to notify the electors in the community of its intent to issue an IRB. A petition submitted within 30 days of publication of the notice of adoption of the initial resolution that includes a sufficient amount of electors may call for a referendum on the issuance of an IRB. The business using IRB financing must meet certain job retention and job offer requirements.

IRBs were issued by the City for MGE in 1982, 1992, and 2002. The proposed 2020 IRB issuance includes $19.3 million to refund the 2002 IRBs and up to $30 million for various capital improvements. Consistent with state law, MGE has informed the city that no jobs have been eliminated as a result of any of the IRBs issued by the City on behalf of MGE.


Monday January 27

Committee on the Environment

4:30p room 103A CCB


1 57098 Small Engine Tool Emissions and Lawn Tool Exchange Program DRAFT Lawn Tool Rebate Program Outline.pdf lawn tool program notes 12-16-19.docx Attachments: Continued discussion regarding shaping the program and funding with Alder Foster.


2 59239 Discussion on Future of COE Attachments: Recommendations from the COE final .pdf Review of letter sent to Mayor and Mayor's response


Letter from COE

"The COE is concerned that dissolving the COE will dilute the focus on environmental quality and an overall strategy on environmental quality will be not be a priority. Protecting groundwater, surface water, air quality, solid waste management, and land use will be dwarfed by priorities in other committees."


3 59138 Repealing Section 33.11, amending Sections 33.23(2) and 33.31 of the Madison General Ordinances to eliminate the Committee on the Environment. Sponsors: Satya V. Rhodes-Conway and Grant Foster


Currently there are five vacancies on COE including the position of alder....


"33.31                     SUSTAINABLE MADISON COMMITTEE.

The Sustainable Madison Committee takes a leadership role in the promotion of sustainability for the City of Madison, the Madison community, and the region. The committee consists of fifteen (15) members plus three alternates: at least one (1) Common Council member, one (1) Board of Public Works member (who may also be a Council member), and thirteen (13) various experts or community representatives with an interest in sustainability (no more than two (2) of whom may also be Council members). Members shall, collectively, represent the following areas of expertise: (1) Air, (2) water, (3) energy, (4) transportation and land use, (5) food, (6) the built environment, (7) finance, economics and workforce, and (8) culture (health, education, arts). The Mayor shall strive to appoint members drawn from the following portions of the community: Neighborhood groups, sustainability activists, business people, educational institutions and the development community. Cross appointments with the Commission on the Environment are permitted but not required. Members and alternates are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council. Members and alternates shall be appointed for a term of two years, with terms expiring June 30 with the exception of aldermanic members and the Board of Public Works member. The term of aldermanic members shall expire with the expiration of their terms as alders and the term of the Board of Public Works member shall expire with his or her term on Board of Public Works."


EDITOR'S NOTE:  Section 33.11 currently reads as follows:


"33.11                     COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT.

(1)                      The Committee on the Environment shall act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and the Common Council in making studies and recommendations relative to water, land and air quality; noise abatement; use control; safety and management of the lakes, rivers, streams and other bodies of water and their shorelands under the jurisdiction of the City of Madison and all drains, outlets and sewers emptying into any such streams or bodies of water, and shall act toward improved quality of land, air and water.

(2)                     The Committee shall be composed of nine (9) members to be appointed by the Mayor subject to the approval of the Common Council on the third Tuesday of April for a term commencing on that date. One (1) member shall be an alderperson whose term shall expire with the expiration of his/her term as alderperson. Five (5) members shall be resident members whose terms shall be three (3) years.

The Board of Public Works, the Board of Health for Madison and Dane County and the Water Utility Board will each designate one member of their respective bodies for appointment by the Mayor to this Committee.

The City Engineer shall act as executive secretary to the Committee who shall prepare the agenda and minutes of the meetings and perform such other duties as the Committee shall direct.

Appointments to the Committee shall be made with consideration given to the expertise and/or interest necessary for proper performance of the duties assigned to the Committee members, and with strong consideration given to membership or participation in recognized environmental groups and agencies. All vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the Mayor subject to approval of the Common Council for a term filling out the remainder of the vacated member's term.

(3)                      The offices of Chair and Vice-Chair shall be filled by majority vote at the first meeting in May annually. The aldermanic members shall be eligible to serve in one but not in both such positions during any year.

The Committee shall adopt rules for the governance of its proceedings not inconsistent with Federal, State or local law. Such rules may include provision for delegation of the powers and responsibilities of the Committee to subcommittees composed exclusively of Committee members.

(4)                      It shall be the function of the Committee to make recommendations on matters pertaining to environmental quality as above-mentioned, including measures to:

(a)                      Further the maintenance of safe and healthful conditions;

(b)                      Prevent and control water, land and air pollution;

(c)                      Protect spawning grounds, fish and aquatic life;

(d)                      Preserve shore cover and natural beauty;

(e)                      Control nuisance conditions;

(f)                      Maintain and improve flow and navigation channels;

(g)                      Influence development or use of recreational areas;

(h)                      Control excessive noise.

(5)                      The Committee shall, in conjunction with the Mayor and appropriate City departments, also take steps to open lines of communication with residents, as well as with other municipalities, the County, the State, and the Federal government in order to better coordinate efforts at improving the quality of the environment. It shall also take steps to encourage creation of an intergovernmental council on the environment of officials from all units of local government in the Madison area.

(6)                      The members of the Committee shall serve without compensation."



Monday January 27

Landmarks Commission

5p room 153 MMB


Special Meeting of the Landmarks Commission

  1. 57047 Draft Historic Preservation Plan



Monday January 27

Plan Commission

5:30p room 201 CCB



1. 59195 2019 Planning Division Annual Report


Read the staff report on zoning text amendments #3 and #6 here:


3. 58804 Amending Sections 28.072(1) and 28.127(2) of the Madison General Ordinances to add tasting room as a conditional use under the use group "Food and Beverages" in the DC (Downtown Core), UMX (Urban Mixed Use), and as a prohibited use in the Alcohol Overlay District.


6. 58895 SUBSTITUTE Creating Section 9.29, amending Section 28.151, amending and creating portions of Section 28.211 of the Madison General Ordinances to create an annual permit for tourist rooming houses, to amend the supplemental zoning regulations applicable to tourist rooming houses, amend the definition of Tourist Rooming House and Bedroom, and create a definition for Primary Residence.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance creates a new requirement that individuals operating a tourist rooming house (TRH) obtain an annual TRH permit from the City. In the years since the City permitted tourist rooming houses the tourist rooming house agency has expanded and changed.  With this expansion, staff has experienced challenges enforcing TRH regulations, including specifically the requirement that TRH operators obtain a public health license, pay room tax, and comply with applicable zoning regulations.  Moreover, prospective TRH operators have expressed confusion over what regulations apply and who is responsible for enforcing them.  By creating an annual permit requirement, this ordinance centralizes TRH requirements in one ordinance.  Moreover, it requires TRH operators to submit documentation confirming compliance with applicable regulations and requires TRH operators to update this information on an annual basis.  Under the ordinance, failing to do either of these things can result in permit denial or revocation.  Further, this ordinance specifically provides for TRH inspections so that the Zoning Department can ensure that a TRH is being operated in a manner that is consistent with the documentation the operator has provided.  In the event that the operator violates any of the requirements in this permitting ordinance, the ordinance contains a process for revoking the TRH operator's TRH permit.


This ordinance also makes several changes to existing TRH supplemental regulations contained in Sec. 28.151, of the Zoning Code.  These amendments are necessary because as the TRH industry in Madison has expanded, it has become increasingly difficult for staff to enforce certain key provisions of the TRH regulations.  For example, two critical provisions of the current TRH ordinance are that 1) the TRH must be the operator's primary residence, and 2) a TRH operator may only rent the TRH for 30 days per calendar year if they are not present at the time of the rental.  The combined purpose of these two provisions is to ensure that the TRH operator is on premises the majority of the time a dwelling unit is being rented as a TRH and to prevent investors from purchasing properties for the sole purpose of renting out the entire unit as a TRH.  However, increasingly, staff is encountering situations where TRH operators either do not understand or purposely mislead staff with regard to whether a specific dwelling unit being used as a TRH is their primary residence.  Other TRH operators have either failed to keep a guest registry or have been reluctant to share the required guest registry, making it difficult or impossible for staff to determine if TRH operators are exceeding the 30 days of rental days per year when the TRH operator may be absent from premises. Finally, other TRH operators appear to be purchasing or leasing properties in Madison for the sole purpose of renting it as TRH.


Staff believes that the combination of the permitting ordinance and changes to existing zoning ordinances will lead to more effective enforcement of TRH regulations.  


 This substitute ordinance was created to delay the effective date of the ordinance until April 15, 2020 and to set a compliance date of July 1, 2020 for the permitting process.  This will allow staff and operators time to administer and comply with the permit requirements contained in Sec. 9.29.  This substitute also requires condominium owners who propose to use a condominium as a TRH to get permission from their condominium association before doing so.  In this way, the ordinance treats condominium associations similarly to renters, who are required to provide proof that their lease allows them to use their apartment as a TRH.  In addition to these two changes, this substitute also makes a number of typographical and stylistic changes. 


The ordinance shall be effective April 15, 2020.


13. 58670 19 N Hancock Street; 2nd Ald. Dist.: Consideration of a conditional use in the Downtown Residential 1 (DR1) District for a housing cooperative.


Upcoming Matters - February 10, 2020

- 944 Williamson Street - Conditional Use(s) to convert multi-tenant commercial building into credit union w/vehicle access service window


Upcoming Matters - February 24, 2020

- 1209-1313 Fish Hatchery Road - TR-C2 to CC-T, Demolition Permit and Conditional Use(s) to demolish 11 single-family residences to construct five-story, 180,000 square-foot medical clinic

- 1213-1313 South Street - TR-C2 to CC-T, Demolition Permit and Conditional Use(s) to demolish four single-family residences and a two-family two-unit residence to construct private parking facility

- 849 E Washington Avenue - Conditional Use(s) to convert office space in multi-tenant building into a restaurant-tavern with outdoor eating area in Urban Design Dist. 8

- 126 Langdon Street - Conditional Use(s) to construct seven-story, 88-unit apartment building

- 216 S Pinckney Street - Amended PD (GDP-SIP) and Conditional Use Alteration - Amend Block 88 Planned Development to construct nine stories above the podium to contain 162 residential units and a request for a conditional use alteration for projections into the Capitol View Preservation limit

- 202 N First Street - TE to PD(GDP-SIP) - General Development Plan-Specific Implementation Plan (GDP-SIP) to convert the City's 43,500 sq. ft. Fleet Services Building into the Madison Public Market to include vendor stalls, kitchen/food processing space, event space, etc.


Tuesday January 28


4:30p Madison Water Utility- 119 E. Olin Ave. Conference Room A&B


5. 59233 Sustainability Monitoring Report



Madison Kipp Corporation/UW #8 Sentinel Well

The Madison Kipp Corporation (MKC) continues to operate its groundwater extraction and treatment system at its Waubesa Street site. The remedial system is being utilized to remove volatile organic compound (VOC) mass and hydraulically contain VOC contaminated groundwater present in the upper bedrock aquifer beneath the site. The Utility continues to work with MKC, their consultant, the WDNR, and the WGNHS on the area's groundwater contamination issues. Groundwater at and adjacent to the facility continues to be monitored routinely for VOCs. The most recent groundwater results from the April and October 2019 samplings indicate that PCE levels in the groundwater between the site source and UW 8 remain relatively constant. The southeastern extent of the plume appears stable with the edge approximately 600 horizontal feet from UW 8. Levels within the extraction well's zone of contribution are stable or continue to decrease (improve). Internal Monitoring Report Page 3 of 7 Policy # O-2E Sustainability January 28, 2020 The sentinel well planned for the UW 8 area has been postponed because of budgetary constraints. This deep monitoring well was to be installed at a location between the Madison Kipp Corporation groundwater contaminant plume and UW 8. Initial sampling would have provided MWU with deep groundwater quality information immediately north of the unit well. Subsequent routine sampling would have provided an early warning for any migrating contaminants. It is hopeful that this well can be installed in the near future.


UW 14 - Chloride Study

The investigation into the elevated chloride levels at Well 14 continues. The monitoring activities of the two water table monitoring wells located in Spring Harbor Park were concluded in 2019. The data collected to date, which includes chloride and sodium concentrations, was compiled and potential sources determined. The Utility is planning to conduct some bore hole sampling at the well site later this year. Water from the bore hole will be sampled and analyzed at various intervals or depths utilizing a packer and pump sampling system. If the chloride entry points can be determined, a remedial option might be devised to restrict these areas within the well. A project page and email distribution list have been developed to keep neighbors and customers up to date on any future progress.


UW 15 – PFAS Removal

Unit Well 15 has been out of service since March of 2019 because of PFAS concerns. The Utility is reviewing possible remedial options that might be applicable at this site. This well is a very important component in our system as it supplied approximately 1 million gallons per day to Zone 6E.


Wednesday January 29


3p 1402 Wingra Creek Parkway Goodman Maintenance Facility


5 58574 Public Art in Parks

6 59003 Bird and Bat Houses in Parks


Wednesday January 29

Urban Design Commission

4:30p room 153 MMB


1.58761 Report of the Facade Grant Staff Team - 828 E. Main Street, The Tinsmith in UDD No. 8. 6th Ald. Dist.


9. 58753 3817 Milwaukee Street - Redevelopment of the Woodman's East Gas, Lube and Car Wash Facilities. 15th Ald. Dist. Owner: Woodman's Food Markets, Inc. Applicant: Philip Weightman, FoxArneson, Inc. Informational Presentation


10. 58757 100 N. Hamilton Street - Addition to Madison Children's Museum to add New Workshops, Design Studio, Staff Offices, Storage & Assembly, Mechanical Spaces, a New Elevator, Climbing Structure and Outdoor Exhibits. 4th Ald. Dist. Owner: Deborah Gilpin, Madison Children's Museum Applicant: Lou Host-Jablonski, Design Coalition, Inc. Informational Presentation


Wednesday January 29


6p 1402 Wingra Creek Parkway Goodman Maintenance Facility


5 58296 Community Engagement and Input

6 59057 Capital Needs Assessment

7 59058 Park and Open Space Plan Overview

9 59229 Partnership Presentation -- Change Golf Instruction

10 59227 Task Force Deliberation, Discussion, and Possible Recommendations


Thursday January 30

Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan Open House
6p at OM Station, 910 Oscar Avenue


On Thursday, January 23, the City released a draft of the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan PDF .  The plan provides a vision and a framework to guide the evolution of the Oscar Mayer site and surrounding area into a unique and vibrant northside destination.  The plan incorporates a variety of new housing options, employment opportunities, open space and recreational options - all integrated with an enhanced transit system, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and a more connected street network.

The plan is the result of a two-phase planning process that began in 2018.  In the first phase, a 13-member City-appointed Committee developed the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment PDF  that set the vision for the future of the area.  The Special Area Plan builds on that work and serves as a detailed guide to inform future development and infrastructure investment in the area to achieve the vision.

City of Madison staff and the consultant team (Vandewalle & Assocciates and EQT By Design) will host at a Public Open House on the draft plan on January 30 at the newly renovated 910 Oscar at OM Station (the former Oscar Mayer office building).

The draft plan is available on the project webpage:
If you have any questions, please contact Dan McAuliffe, City of Madison Planning Division at or 608-261-9676.


Thursday January 30

Public information meeting about PFAS drinking water testing and Well 9 with Madison Water Utility and Public Health staff

6:30-8p Sennett Middle School, Dowden Auditorium, 502 Pflaum Rd


In 2019, Madison Water Utility tested all Madison municipal wells for a widely-used class of chemicals known as PFAS. The utility detected low or trace levels of various types of PFAS in 14 of the city's 23 wells. The recent Isthmus news reports left many residents concerned about those detections, especially in Well 9 on Spaanem Avenue. Water utility and public health staff will be on-hand to provide testing details and discuss what we know -- and what we don't know -- about these unregulated compounds.

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