Madison Council OKs two building proposals over neighbor complaints

2013-02-26T22:48:00Z Madison Council OKs two building proposals over neighbor complaintsJEFF GLAZE | Wisconsin State Journal | jglaze@madison.com | 608-252-6138 madison.com

A pair of development proposals can move forward despite attempts from neighbors to sway the Madison City Council’s opinion.

Council members on Tuesday denied 16-1 an appeal from neighbors to rescind a conditional use permit granted to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County, which wants to build a $6.4 million, 36-unit, mixed-income housing project at 1360 MacArthur Road.

The council also approved plans from bicycle distributor Pacific Cycle to expand its Southwest Side headquarters, despite opposition from members of a neighboring condominium association.

Neighbors who appealed Care Net’s conditional use permit argued the Plan Commission was negligent in its approval and the proposed development would bring too much population density and traffic to the area.

“This is not about the organization. It’s about the neighborhood. This is a single-family neighborhood and a 36-unit building is too large,” said neighborhood resident Craig Yapp.

Ald. Joe Clausius, whose 17th District includes the site, said while he sympathizes with the neighbors, the city’s need for affordable housing is too great.

Funding for Care Net’s proposal remains uncertain after a $550,000 affordable housing loan to the anti-abortion, faith-based organization lost all of its sponsors on the City Council.

But Kevin Page, a member of the project’s development team, said the project was designed to be competitive for Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority tax credits, and its close proximity to public transit, grocery stores and Madison Area Technical College would benefit potential residents.

Pacific Cycle’s request to demolish a single-family home and have the property rezoned to make way for a 10,000-square-foot addition at 4902-4908 Hammersley Road received unanimous support from the council, despite complaints that the project would alter views from the condo owners’ properties and change an existing easement.

“I’m struck that there isn’t a little bit — maybe one or two of you, a small fraction — that would be on the side of these people. ... All these people’s views — they’re all going to change out their patios,” said Joseph Vasquez, who doesn’t live at the adjacent Whitcomb Village, but spoke Tuesday on behalf of his autistic brother Ricardo Vasquez, who does.

Neighbors said they received inadequate representation from 10th District Ald. Brian Solomon, who they allege failed to return phone calls and messages before supporting Pacific.

Pacific said Tuesday that after moving the proposed addition 16 feet east, it believed it had achieved a workable solution for all parties that would allow the company to stay in the neighborhood and in Madison.

“Madison is our home. ... About 12 years ago we came to the neighborhood, moved into the old (WISC-TV) building and then added onto that. … Now we need the space,” said Robert Silvis, general counsel for Pacific.

In its application to the city, Pacific said it anticipates adding more than 30 jobs over the next two years at its Madison headquarters.

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(3) Comments

  1. kashka-kat
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    kashka-kat - February 27, 2013 9:12 am
    You got it, onefor. It's all about money, who's got it and who doesn't - applies to politics on the local level as well as national.
  2. Onefor
    Report Abuse
    Onefor - February 27, 2013 8:36 am
    Ald. Joe Clausius too is a horrible council person. He did not represent his constituents at all! Upcoming election I will campaign against him and tell the entire district that he made the motion against us in this vote. The other thing about Section 42 housing is: why are there twice as many on the eastside of Madison than on the westside? Why not equally distribute these or better yet, build them directly across the street from the Common Council members home?
  3. jgvertigo
    Report Abuse
    jgvertigo - February 27, 2013 7:06 am
    Not surprised about Solomon, he is a horrible council person. Doesn't listen to his constituents, and is arrogant. With his history, he shouldn't be in any position of authority in the city. Vote him out.
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