It’s been a while since a Mayor has done this . . . or the County Executive . . . what issues was it? (NOTE: I was also reminded that he is upholding a committee decision instead of overturning it!)
Commercial parking in residential areas! My first foray into an issue that wasn’t housing, was backyard parking, an issue where the mayor appointed me to a backyard parking committee . . . and he may be responsible for getting me started in politics many years ago . . . the last time he was mayor. I applaud him for his efforts here! And it makes me think how different the council was when Robbie Webber and Ken Golden were on the council. I don’t think this would have happened with them there!
Pursuant to section 62.09(8)(c) and section 3.03(2), MGO, I return to you Legistar Item, 30952, Rezoning 210 South Brooks Street, which I have vetoed and disapproved.
It is widely recognized that the automobile has a profound impact on urban spaces. I do not believe it is necessary to repeat the documentation of the impact of the automobile on the environment and the economics of parking on land development. For fifty years the city of Madison through its policies, ordinances and zoning practices has attempted to accommodate the automobile but minimize its impact on the urban landscape.
This is reflected in a recent finding by the Zoning Administrator, September 19, 2013:
We looked at the codes form 1965, 1966, 2012 and the new code, effective January 2, 2013. In all cases, the codes that were researched did not include any provision where a residential development could allow for the lease of parking in the development to nonresidential users (non-accessory parking for employees or customers not associated with on-site residential use)…
…We looked at approximately three dozen exclusively residential Planned Developments. Of these PD’s, none appeared to have permission to allow for rental of accessory parking to off-site employees or customers
This matter is the first time that anyone knows of where the city of Madison allows commercial parking to occur where the use is residential.
We talk a good deal about placemaking, freeing ourselves from the automobile, and new urbanism. We should not mock the people of Madison who are committed to balanced transportation. Clearly moving the needle this dramatically to accommodate the automobile, if it was needed 50 years ago, it is not needed today. Perhaps the city of Madison would have approved this type of land use in the 1950’s or 1960’s but after all we have been though it is difficult to believe that a progressive city would approve such an incursion in the 21st century.
If the economics of Madison downtown development have changed so drastically in the past three months that this project only works with this parking arrangement, I suggest there is something wrong with the development, not this veto.
The valet vehicles can be parked in the Meriter ramp. If there are insufficient spaces for them, then Meriter needs a new transportation plan.
Dated this 25th day of September, 2013.
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