Triangle -  aerial view (copy)

The Triangle neighborhood, looking northeast from the intersection of South Park Street and West Washington Avenue, covers 26 acres on the southwest edge of Downtown.

JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL

To kick off a significant neighborhood planning process, residents of Madison's Triangle and Monona Bay neighborhoods are invited to a cookout Thursday to share their input on what the future of the area might include.

Earlier this month, the Madison City Council approved the creation of an 11-member steering committee and a neighborhood plan for more than 400 housing units on the area known as the Triangle, bordered by South Park and Regent Streets and West Washington Avenue, and the adjacent Monona Bay neighborhood.

The purpose of the plan will guide future investment in housing, additional services for residents and how to address the area’s “isolation” from the rest of the city, according to Ald. Sara Eskrich, District 13. She also emphasized that the redevelopment process will reinvest in existing housing and not take housing away from residents.

“The idea of doing a plan is to make sure we are conscientious and accountable as we move forward with those investments that are needed, but we’ll do them in the way that will best serve the residents of the Triangle and the residents of the future,” Eskrich said.

The kickoff cookout will take place Thursday in the Triangle green space on Braxton Place, just off South Park Street, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Linda Horvath, an urban planner with the city of Madison, characterized the process as creating a plan for a “strong and complete” neighborhood. She said residents have multiple ways to share their input from writing on placemats at the cookout to giving tours to city planning staff.

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The city’s Community Development Authority owns a majority of the Triangle’s units, while the Bayview Foundation owns about 100 units and a community center. Many of the residents in CDA housing live with physical and mental disabilities and are using stopgap solutions for their needs, such as Meriter Hospital’s emergency room, on a frequent basis, Eskrich said.

Eskrich said the planning process should illuminate what services and programs residents need that could help eliminate challenges connected to the Triangle’s isolation.

“As we’re doing this planning, I think more and more of those community needs are going to become apparent and the way that people are Band-Aiding those solutions,” Eskrich said.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.