Last week, Brenda blogged the last Plan Commission meeting where they approved the Downtown Plan and sent it on to the Common Council. Brenda was right, I had no idea what changes from the November 2011 draft had been made over the past 7 months, and I despaired a bit when trying to dig into Legistar to figure it out.
Thankfully, City Staff gave me a cheat sheet that makes it much, much easier. I’m not sure if they’re planning on updating the November draft to incorporate the changes before the July 17th council meeting, or if they will work as two documents until the meeting and then unify the changes after the Council votes on it. For now, reading two documents is not too bad, and if you’ve read the November draft and just want to know what’s changed, then this is exactly what you want.
Here’s the email I got from Bill Fruhling with the details.
Yes, the Common Council will consider the Downtown Plan at their July 17 meeting. The best way to understand the proposed changes is to look at Plan Commission Memorandum 6. As you likely know, the Plan Commission is the lead on this, so all of the recommendations from the other boards/commissions/committees were forwarded to them for consideration and Memorandum 6 represents a comprehensive list of all of the changes that the Plan Commission is recommending to the Council. This is the document that the Plan Commission discussed at its June 18 meeting. Although the minutes from that meeting are not yet completed, the Plan Commission did recommend forwarding Memorandum 6 to the Council as their final report with a few minor changes that: 1) added language to recommendation 76 to prioritize the more detailed plan for the Mifflin area; 2) added language to the text that emphasizes the importance of the wide terraces along West Washington Ave. (specifically the 400-500 blocks) as important public space/amenity; 3) Removed from the text that a National Register Historic district for State Street only be considered if initiated by a majority of the property owners (the part about them supporting it is still included); and 4) Created a new “district” for the 400-500 blocks of W. Washington Ave. and removing the descriptions and recommendations for it out of the Mifflin district section, revising the maps to reflect that. So, as you can see, they didn’t change Memorandum 6 very much at all.
The easiest way to see all of the recommendations from the other boards/commissions/committees is to look at Plan Commission Memorandums 1-4. Memorandum 5 is just a precursor to Memorandum 6 in that it only included those items from 1-4 that the Plan Commission wanted to see changed in the Plan. Changes to Memorandum 5 made by the Plan Commission at its June 11 meeting are reflected in Memorandum 6. In other words, you probably don’t need to look at Memorandum 5. Links to all of the memos are included below so you don’t have to go fishing for them in Legistar.
Sorry for lengthy email, but hopefully it answers all of your questions and gives you the information you were after. If not, or if you have other questions, please let me know. Thanks,
William A. Fruhling, AICP
Neighborhood Planning, Preservation & Design Section
City of Madison
Dept. of Planning & Community & Economic Development
Madison Municipal Building, Suite LL.100
215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Madison, WI 53701-2985
Phone: 608.267.8736 ext. 214
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