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District 12

Alder Syed Abbas

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Alder Syed Abbas

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Home Address:

2221 Sherman Avenue #222

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Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
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District 12 Development

Occupy madison builds - east johnson street


Outcome from January 15, 2014 Public Meetings


What do you like about the proposal?

  • Community OM.
  • Lack of detail.
  • Innovative idea.
  • Nothing!
  • An interesting idea to address a societal issue. I support more creative ideas and definitely the intent of this project.
  • A new(ish) solution to an old problem.
  • Only to use the building as building the homes.
  • Building the houses.
  • Creative idea – all for workshop/selling goods.
  • Self-governance, "coop" idea, key values, sweat equity, the opportunity for it to be a model for housing, doing something positive with Sanchez site.
  • Maybe the cause, not the location.
  • That it helps the homeless.
  • Nothing.
  • Tackling a real problem.
  • Creative solution to terrible community problem of homelessness. Like the workshop. Not sure about the density of housing.
  •  Imaginative and community-based, it embraces what I value most as a long-time Eastside resident: our support for a diverse population.
  • Tiny house construction/design, need a new location for them. We already have halfway homes in the area, where we have had police/fire trucks there (multiple times).
  • I am fine with having retail/office/construction on the property.
  • It is a creative and well-planned way for homeless people to improve their lives.
  • Habitat for Humanity model, idea for "Housing First" and providing some privacy, dignity and safety for homeless individuals. They have to go somewhere.
  • It is courageous and creative. Community-building is such a huge part of this concept. I believe that dignity and community-building will help people overcome barriers to housing.
  • Creative community.
  • Nothing.
  • A chance to help.
  • Homelessness is a big problem and needs various solutions.
  • Residents have stake in success and have given sweat equity.
  • Interesting solution/project.
  • Sweat equity, community gardens, housing the homeless.
  • That the residents would have worked on the houses. That the residents will be safer.
  • The workshop, the gardens, the place to live for human beings!!
  • It's an intriguing idea WITH the proper planning and at a better site. This site doesn't feel appropriate for this housing.
  • Taking a step toward reducing homelessness.
  • The concept of affordable housing.
  • Creative approach for the homeless to have meaningful work and more opportunity and housing.
  • The self-help aspect of the proposal.
  • Significant improvement over current use. Fits with EENA focus on sustainability and placemaking.
  • Nothing.
  • Not against using site to build houses.
  • Mix of uses, innovative, reuse/repair of existing building, focus on sustainability (eco-village, gardening, etc.).
  • I like the proposed dozen houses. A good number for creating a small community that can be part of the larger community.
  • I applaud OM for trying to innovate and willing to put new ideas out there.
  • A creative solution to address a serious problem.
  • They have worked hard and explored options – very creative.
  • Zoning doesn't allow OM's plans.
  • Getting homeless people off the street.
  • Clean up the property.
  • Community building, skills sharing, gardens, aesthetics, mission to address a serious need in our community.
  • Workshop, creative fencing, chickens/gardens, store, sense of possibility and connectedness.
  • Pro-human, helping people get out of poverty, cooperative, creative, hopeful.
  • Helps give people a legitimate home that is off the streets. The community philosophy – working together. It gives people a chance to improve their lives. All deserve dignity of life.
  • Providing a place for people to build not just homes but self-worth.
  • Homeless people need a place to stay and this seems to be a good approach.
  • It's a start to helping homeless people.
  • Design is good, getting people into homes.
  • Helping homeless people.
  • Depends on final proposal.
  • Giving people homes! Workshop, garden.
  • Come on – OM Build is trying something new – I am supportive of that!
  • I oppose.
  • This is needed, a good location for a variety of reasons, including proximity to downtown and services, good design.
  • The idea of supporting less fortunate people.

What do you think needs improvement?

  • Better definition of who will live there. Definitely fewer homes – 4 to 6?
  • Water issue is main concern.
  • More details and answer the questions.
  • Communication/presentation.
  • Everything.
  • Concerned about how property will be arranged, additional traffic and potential impact on property values.
  • How long residency? What is relationship of "owner" to "occupants"?
  • No housing to be used on the property.
  • No one living on the property.
  • No occupancy in a densely populated urban setting/risk to already fragile neighborhood.
  • Smaller, proper answers to concerns.
  • Fewer people/uses on lot.
  • More planning. Less density on site. Must work with police!!
  • Reach out more to near neighbors who oppose the project – often, it seems, on the basis of erroneous information.
  • No campground in my neighborhood.
  • FAQ re: concerns of neighbors brought up tonight. More info about cooperative process and how neighborhood concerns will be addressed once community is built. Info about proposed completed project.
  • Compensation for loss in property value. Where the $ for ongoing maintenance and management? $ had to be scraped together just to make an offer!
  • Location, slow the process down, background checks, must have a manager on-site, too many homes on site, security, trash, noise pollution, abuse, safety.
  • Entire premise. Lack of resident screening, lack of provided services.
  • Having so many live in campers, in a campground setting, is not appropriate for a residential neighborhood.
  • I want to encourage City staff and Common Council to devote sufficient support.
  • The site is FAR too small for 11 houses/occupants and workshop. Zero screening, zero accountability/oversight by any type of authority or staff. Zero.
  • So many challenges, rules, restrictions, hostility. I hope OM can overcome this.
  • Who is accountable for problems within the community?
  • Scratch it.
  • This is in the wrong location.
  • The number of units. The way it has been handled. The lack of real answers and the defensiveness on the part of Occupy.
  • Clearly define rights, responsibilities, consequences, follow-up procedures.
  • Good design and landscaping can make the area an asset. Plus currently is the current business anymore than an eyesore.
  • There needs to be a way to enforce modifications to the use/density of the site after it is built. It is a new concept and needs to have enough flexibility to evolve to address real issues.
  • More communication with neighbors, some specifics on site rules, figure out number of homes people can live with.
  • Less tiny houses, need to leave room for cars for residents and volunteers.
  • Why 11 to start with?
  • The defensiveness is worrisome. Planning. This seems very thrown together and not well thought out at all; timeline is too rushed and this doesn't feel like genuine intent for neighborhood input.
  • The condition of the land and street are not good. Would this be a safe location? Really needs further study.
  • Our governments – federal, state, local – should put more resources into helping the poor and homeless. It should not be left to the "random kindness" of private citizens.
  • City staff attitude towards this innovative idea. This particular use is for formerly homeless people, but tiny houses have appeal to many – let's get this right so we can see more of these.
  • Location.
  • Work with immediate neighbors to design fence. Are there opportunities for brownfields remediation? Do as much enviro cleanup as possible.
  • Ways for the residents to positively interact with neighborhood residents.
  • Everything.
  • Addressing neighbors' concerns as far as maintaining order at the site.
  • Dealing with unruly campers such as panhandlers based on the 3 previous OM sites – learn from past experiences.
  • Build real homes.
  • Density, screening, sustainability (timewise).
  • No services, no food/kitchen, how long are these people going to stay?
  • Need to find a different location.
  • More info/listening sessions with the neighborhood.
  • Would be happier w/build-only and retail use and eco component or only 3 – 4 occupied houses w/very strict screening.
  • A different location.
  • I'd like to see more appreciation from the government and support for this project. Thank you.
  • 11 may be too many units for the site. How about 6 – 8?
  • More information on upper limit of residents at a given time, how long people might stay, etc.
  • Much more info. Another or more neighborhood meetings!
  • Day to day operational process?
  • More detailed info available.
  • I think some of my neighbors should move to the westside.
  • It's unclear to me what kind of turnover is expectd in the occupants. Do you expect tenants to stay for long periods of time? I would like to see if fewer houses could be on-site.
  • Address clearly the main concerns: real estate value; security.

General/Overall Comments

  • I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered about how the occupants will be selected. I think 11 houses is way too dense. I am definitely in favor of supporting the manufacture of the homes and a small community of homes on the property.
  • I love this proposal and hope for it to succeed. Let's work together.
  • Too high of a density and no rules are in place. Feel it will attract more people that are homeless to the property to use bathrooms and showers. Will disrupt the neighbors with noise and odor from the toilets that compost in the summer. How will they stay cool in 100+ degree heat? Etc., many concerns.
  • 11 seems/feels too much at this time.
  • NO PLAN! NO PLAN = Problems! ZERO HOMES! Too many people. Moving too fast! Home value going down!
  • When PDQ made a bid for this same property, I felt it was too close to the neighborhood. PDQ at its current location is appropriate. I have similar concerns about the proximity of this project, but I am very open-minded. I live at 218 N. 3rd (13 years).
  • At a 4 – 5 person/house density this could work, with support. 11 is too many. If a "first step"/"one small solution," why not start small to make sure it works? What if OM folds?
  • I am against the project. I believe the noise and the people will disturb the neighborhood. If workshop, ok. No one to live there. It needs to be more accountable to all the neighborhood needs.
  • Questions: Temporary status (of occupancy) was not mentioned – is this now permanent? Who would insure this? Who would be held liable? Can there be a thorough discussion on the 4 similar projects with feedback (direct) from neighbors and law enforcement?
  • Are there qualifications that occupants will need to meet to live there? I am concerned about the type of occupants, near a high school and elementary school. Close to convenience store, easy access to alcohol at PDQ. Unhealthy food choices available at PDQ. Will there be access to adequate food? More information is needed. As to how this development might impact our neighborhood, I would have liked more information prior to the purchase and moving forward with the project. I live at 2322 E. Mifflin St.
  • Good luck!
  • My house backs up on Demetral, so I have experienced some of the problems there. I do not think all homeless are a problem, most are doing their best in difficult circumstances. But there are issues with some people, so my biggest concern is how the property will be managed and issues dealt with. Wish police were more behind it. I do support the idea of people investing in building their own community. I also have a problematic housed neighbor so don't think problems are all only homeless. Not necessarily opposed but enough concerns are not addressed and not enough info about how it will function once established.
  • Please don't allow this. We moved here six years ago because of the school and PDQ being close for our two boys. We own our house and were aware of the garage. Now to rezone this for homeless. I don't want to allow our children out. Also PDQ sells alcohol and this seems like a huge police matter.
  • Sanitation, security are major concerns. Yes, you assure the compost won't be stored on site, but you don't have definitive answers to the concerns. Security – by the high school, elementary. Screening – I was screened before I moved into my house, why aren't they? Property value? How is that fair? How long does a tenant stay in the home?
  • I agree with the police department. Property values dropping is a problem. Environmental issues. Schools and children nearby.
  • Who will live there? (How chosen, how many per unit, etc.) Mobile mission? Is this temporary (2 years) or not for living part? Why must houses be on wheels? Too many for space/lot size. I have no problem with the building/workshop, no problem with smaller number of permanent tiny houses.
  • I am quite influenced by the police who do not think this is a good location for this project – we are already close to East High, Emerson, Demetral, an apartment building for individuals with special needs. Who will be responsible? I agree that the process seems backwards – "dog park has received more input than this." Too dense, too many people living here perhaps.
  • I wholeheartedly support this project. My four children are all past their years as students at East High, but had it been in place then, I would still have applauded it. Tiny House residents will have a
  • clear stake in being good neighbors – let's help them build stable lives rather than shunning, demeaning or marginalizing them.
  • Will there be a limit to the number of small homes or will the number continue to be increased? What becomes of the small home if and when the owner moves on?
  • Thank you for working on this project. I am excited for this project and what it will bring to our community.
  • In favor of 5 or less – more info re: "screening" is needed.
  • I am very concerned for the safety of my child. Also, we have been trying to sell out hour – with much difficulty. This will make it more difficult and will (likely) greatly reduce the value of our home and land. We will already likely take a loss when we sell. ? Also, the area floods pretty severely; how will this be handled? I can't imagine that compost toilets will deal well with this. Why aren't they screening for mental health and criminal histories???
  • I'm open to this project, but there needs to be more information. Is there a way for several realtors to address the property value concern?
  • Putting a trailer park in the middle of an established neighborhood disregards both the social fabric and context of the surroundings. Occupy Madison has stated that prospective residents will not be screened to ensure no sex offenders live on-site. Occupy Madison has stated that it will not provide social/mental health services to residents. This is a disservice to the needs of this at-risk population and to the community at large. This is an attempt by Occupy Madison to solve a problem with another problem.
  • I live very close to the property, and I do not want to live close to a campground, which this would be. I have concerns about the noise level, the sanitation and the number of people that would be living on the property. I am fine with the property being used for retail, office and construction, but I very strongly oppose having the large number of people living in trailers/campers on the property.
  • I am truly delighted about this project. I have followed tiny houses since the project began in Madison. Dignity Village is fantastic. City support and services should be devoted to help make this project a success. I will be volunteering on the garden and fence team. This will be a boost to our neighborhood and city!
  • You're asking for a lot of trust and faith from neighbors. We have a lot on the line, too – I've lived here 10 years. I already lost 20% of my home value in the 2008 crash. Maybe 10% has recovered. That equals zero equity for me. I can't re-side, I can't remodel. I can't sell because I couldn't afford a realtor or buyer's agent. None of this is your fault. Buy why wouldn't I lose property value again and just allow the house to be foreclosed? It's too small, it's drafty and now I have a child living in it. It's full of lead paint. It's sided in asbestos, etc., etc. Why can't this be located in an industrial area?
  • I would be happy to see this creative approach to housing the homes attempted in my neighborhood. People are already living rough in our neighborhood – car camping, sleeping in doorways – this project seems to be an attempt to create some positivity out of this reality. Please let OM try this. I am sure that the occupants will be on a short leash.
  • Brings down property values for commercial and residential. It will just bring troubles to the neighborhood. It's not fair to the people in the neighborhood.
  • There has been a tendency for both sides of this issue to vilify each other. Homeowners have a right to answers regarding their concerns. The process needs to be slowed down and more discussion needs to happen. This is a chance for Occupy Madison to help educate and for Occupy Madison to learn how to work within the neighborhood. My main concern is that this area is already under strain.
  • I was discouraged by some of the lack of openness to discussion on display by some of my neighbors. Obviously, there are concerns to be addressed. Please keep the conversation going. You have my vote!
  • It sounds like you did a lot of planning already without neighborhood input. You need to PLAN FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.
  • Lived at xxxx E. Dayton for over 20 years. I would like to donate $ and time. Maybe start with less density at first.
  • I support moving forward with the project and hope it can be structured in a way that problems can be addressed if they arise.
  • I really do think this will decrease the value of my home – even if everything works perfectly. If a lot of trailers went in, the same would happen - ? home value. We are trying and hoping desperately that
  • our home value will go back up to what we owe. 11 houses is too many for 1 – 2 lot size. Too many people in such a small place.
  • I moved into the neighborhood in May 2013 and live on the 2100 block of E. Dayton. My husband and I have 2 young kids (4 and 1), and we are very supportive of this project. I hope someday to involve my kiddos with this project and to meet and work alongside the volunteers and occupants of the tiny homes... Thank you for your hard work.
  • How long is it anticipated the occupants will remain? Who owns the units? How do new occupants earn equity? How many people can live in a unit?
  • Thank you for having this meeting.
  • I think the immediate neighbors who are very concerned should be taken more seriously than others. No business plan or long-range sustainability plan ? perhaps if there were, there'd be broader support. Again, planning is the key to any successful project. Intent versus impact are two different things. I appreciate the good intent but I don't know that they've addressed impact concerns adequately.
  • I have very conflicted feelings about this project. While I am generally in favor of such projects, it will directly affect me (my house is kitty corner). I am not at all sure this is a safe location for the project. The corner floods at least 5 times a year. The lot is toxic. The crime rate is higher than average. If the project was approved, I would do everything I could to make it work. I just think there has to be further study regarding the overall impact for the neighborhood and potential new residents.
  • I love the concept, but the issues are this: I have donated time and materials to the existing homeless camps here in Madison, and there is violence and alcohol involved in these camps that exist. The question is, is that violence and drug use going to be present in this place? If not, then good, I support the proposal. If it will be present, then no. And I am afraid that, based on past history, the proposal may not work.
  • We should be giving better services to the homeless, including the opportunity for a place to live and meaningful work. This project could be part of the solution.
  • The project will start with a few units, with every incentive to build trust with the neighbors. There is also an exit strategy – the units will be on wheels.
  • I think this is a GREAT idea. I love the focus on sustainability (Bees! Chickens!) and community engagement (public art!). I also appreciate the focus on housing first and restorative justice. Potential concerns – brownfields issues because old gas station, making sure City staff allow the innovative sustainability features (e.g., composting toilets).
  • I feel this is a really bad idea.
  • Great idea! This would be a huge improvement on the current property. The developer has clearly done research – I love that they visited other similar projects – and the concept seems well thought out. It seems like the properties across the road on Packers are industrial/manufacturing so the use doesn't seem out of character for the neighborhood. I hope the City works with them on rezoning.
  • I think EENA is a great neighborhood for it. Folks here are tolerant of differences. There are a number of questions still to be discussed.
  • Are these little houses built to code? i.e., manufactured house or house. Will they fall under the City of Madison and WI Statute for renters? Are the little houses mobile? Are they built to a standard from transportation, i.e., DOT cert? Emptying toilets will bring more trade traffic? Liability insurance will cover what for OM, Inc.?
  • I'm active in the Eken Park Neighborhood, 33 year resident, and am a leader with James Reeb UU Church 1 block from this site – I strongly favor it because it builds on previous effort addressing earlier problems in a constructive matter. This program has already attracted positive national attention to Madison. If it is stopped, it will further brand Madison a "can't do" city.
  • Wonderful idea. I live down the street and would like to help.
  • Will the houses be rented or owned? Why will the tiny houses be on trailers? I do think that there are better options available already supported by the City and County, such as new housing on E. Washington. Will OM or the people own the tiny houses? Why doesn't OM accept social services? Sanchez Motors is an eyesore.
  • This does not get to the root of homelessness – the City is developing 40 – 60 apartments – why isn't this sufficient? No services.
  • I don't feel that this does anything to solve homelessness, a symptom of the real problems. The City doesn't currently allow most of their proposal, and I don't feel that should change. OM does not have a long-term plan, which is critical when dealing with peoples' lives.
  • Where is all the funding coming from? What if it dries up?
  • The concept needs a lot of work. I do not like the "wait and see" approach some people were advocating.
  • I am concerned. Dignity Village, Quixote Village and Opportunity Village are all located in industrial areas – not residential. I would venture a guess that these were seen as improvements, whereas here it seems a dis-provement. If I were looking at my house (to purchase today), I would not buy it if the tiny houses were there. And fear that if I ever need to sell – that will be the case... Our property values will fall – our homeowners insurance will go up! We are a diverse and welcoming neighborhood, but this is asking too much. Churches and other locations are being asked to take 1 – 3 houses on. Concern – we are being told "trust us" for the residents' backgrounds, trust us for our own safety. Ah, ok. No! I will not trust OM with 3 failed encampments to screen for my safety. As the number of houses increases, will the high degree of investment/ownership continue? 32 hours of investment is not enough (for me). What happens when/if OM runs out of money? I don't want to feel unsafe in my neighborhood – I am concerned that I will. I have read all info on OM website. Current behavior does not account for REAL problems like mental health/substance abuse. No police calls since OM Build started? So what? No one lives at OM Build. OM representatives would be keen to not talk to comm. Members/neighborhood members like we're idiots. We're not. We are trying to protect our homes, investments. This is not a wealthy neighborhood. Imagine I speak for many when I say – if I lost 20% of the value of my home, I'd be in trouble.
  • Raising my daughter in a neighborhood where there is a high concentration of people with mental/drug issues/alcohol issues. Having the need for a "security detail" implies an inherent issue. Major concern on resale value.
  • I feel that the project needs to be changed. Most neighbors share my concern that a 'campground' is not an appropriate use of this site. A compromise that I find acceptable would be for the manufacture of the units, but no camping! I agree completely with Capt. Lengfeld and in addition the apartment building across the street is also an 'at-risk' population.
  • I am very excited about the social, community and aesthetic value this project will bring to the neighborhood. I've been very impressed with all the thought and effort that's already been put into the proposal and welcome its location, 2 blocks from my house.
  • Please clarify how long people will be staying on site. Dispersing to church parking lots around town would address many neighborhood concerns, so why was this reported as not starting up for 1 – 2 years?
  • The manufacturing will add unwanted noise and activity to the neighborhood. Not a good location near schools and parks. I don't see this positively affecting my property value – most likely negative effect. I don't want to be the guinea pig where I've invested my time, money and family.
  • I am thrilled to welcome a cooperative ecovillage of tiny houses, gardens and a workshop close to where I live in Lakewood Gardens – between Fordem and Sherman Avenues, maybe a mile away or less. I believe it will be a great opportunity for our neighborhood. I thank the people working on making our society better!
  • Please add me to email list regarding project. I am willing to help volunteer some.
  • I live on the 2100 block of E. Dayton Street. I am in support of this project – exploring innovative ways to deal with homelessness seems imperative.
  • This is a proposal for a campground in a residential neighborhood. Call it tiny house, call it a's still a campground in the middle of town. I cannot support this proposal.
  • I think that this community will have great relationships with the local police force and assist with community issues with addictive people.
  • WAY TOO DENSE LAND USE! Is this a neighborhood in a neighborhood? Or a part of the existing neighborhood? Way too late to be doing outreach – after an accepted offer. I like workshop – I like tiny homes in neighborhood, I don't like having a "ghetto" (concentrated) land use – way too dense of land use.
  • If we keep waiting for the "perfect" spot, people will be homeless forever. It's (homelessness) a problem. I want to part of the solution. Not part of the problem. I would be proud to be part of this,
  • even if that just means being welcoming and supportive. I'm so disappointed w/my neighborhood's reaction.
  • The success of this project will be affected by our attitude. If these people move in and feel others' negativity, it won't be the same as if they're met w/support and love. How many opportunities do we have/take advantage of in our lives to really change peoples' lives in such a big way? Thank you – all of you – for already doing it. I hope we all have a chance to help.
  • I support the rezoning needed for OM Build to be able to continue their hard work. I live in the 2400 block of Mifflin Street. Re: property values going down in my neighborhood – my property value hasn't gone up for years – OM Build isn't going to change that.
  • I just moved back to Madison after 8 years in Seattle working for a housing and homelessness nonprofit. Please let me know if I can help with this project – fundraising/marketing/etc.
  • Address better the main concern: Use of land; security; noise; real estate value.
  • Thank you for taking the time to organize last week's meeting with Occupy Madison and the neighborhood. I would like to weigh in with my opposition to having a Little Homes encampment on this site for the reasons listed below: Complete lack of plan: Occupy Madison staff was unable to answer simple questions like "how are tenants screened," "what will the eviction process be for unruly tenants," "how long will each tenant be allowed to live in a little home--is this a temporary solution or a more permanent one?" A lack of answers to even these most basic questions left me feeling this plan is well intentioned but will be poorly executed.
  • Current zoning: As explained by the zoning commissioner, this property is zoned to draw neighborhoods together by light use, non-residential and non-heavy construction. I see this as an excellent spot for another Milios-type structure to go up. Something that will engage the community. I don't see the Occupy Madison organization creating a large draw from the neighborhood, despite their best wishes (the storefront doesn't seem to be a compelling proposition to bring the neighborhood together). An example: people move to the Willy St. or Atwood neighborhoods because of the vibrant retail and restaurant establishments. Locations like Wil-Mar center are offset by the desirable conveniences of living near places like Willy St. Coop or all the restaurants within walking distance. Conversely, our neighborhood doesn't have an abundance of these establishments to compensate for what Occupy Madison has proposed.
  • Property Devaluation: As brought up in the meeting, this plan has a significant possibility to devalue the single largest investment of many of the residents: our home value. We all work very hard to be homeowners and it would place a huge burden on us if/when we do decide to sell. This is not fair to those of us that are contributing to the tax base of the neighborhood. This relates to point #2, where more desirable retail/food establishments will increase the draw of our neighborhood--we need more of these types of locations.
  • Other housing options nearby: I don't claim to be an expert on the homeless problem in Madison. But I do know that Madison and Dane County provide a host of solutions that help people like the proposed OM tenants out--if they want it. The OM location will be filled with people that do not want help from established programs, and I'm concerned that there will be mental health issues, drug and alcohol issues, etc. And the proposed 22 people is probably the population of my block alone!!!
  • Occupy movement: The simple selection of the name brings major concerns. The Occupy movement was started as an antagonistic, divisive group. Their angry protests in New York set the stage for Occupy demonstrations elsewhere and outwardly vile encampments here in Madison (they build a spaceship in the parking lot on East Wash in what appeared to be an 'FU' to whomever they were protesting at the time...). The selection of the name Occupy Madison signals they want to operate outside of the system, without accountability and without concern for the wellbeing of those around them. We don't need an organization like this in our neighborhood.
  • I have a growing family: On a purely emotional level, I have an 11 month daughter. I have another on the way. My wife and I want a safe environment for our children. We chose to live here--not State St or Langdon St or elsewhere in Madison--because we felt it to be safe. Let's not jeopardize that. For these reasons I encourage you to not support this proposed plan.



Independent Living facility - tennyson lane

9/9/13 Update from Independent Living

It's time for a quick update about our plans to build a new senior living community on Tennyson Lane in Madison.  I hope you will be as pleased as we are with our recent progress. 

The first draft of the site plan for a new senior living community in Madison was presented for informational purposes Aug. 28 to the Urban Design Commission, and their feedback was encouraging.  We followed up with refinements, and submitted a request Sept. 4 to approve our General Development Plan (GDP).  The site plan will be sent to you as an attachment in a separate email.  If you don't receive it, please check your "junk" folder; if it isn't there, please let Sue Berg know.

It will be a bit of time before the next steps happen.  We will make a formal presentation of the GDP when the Urban Design Commission meets Oct. 23.  If approved, the Urban Design Commission will forward and recommend the GDP to the Plan Commission for review Nov. 4.  If approved by the Plan Commission, the GDP goes to Common Council Nov. 19 for final approval. Now that will be a special day!

The new senior living community will consist of 270-300 independent apartments, assisted living units and memory care units to be designed and built in phases during the next five to seven years.  The design and construction of the project are in capable hands.  We selected Engberg Anderson and CG Schmidt as a team with an extensive senior living portfolio, and experience working together.  They embrace our mission to build independent futures for seniors.

Engberg Anderson is a full service architecture, planning, and interior design firm with offices in Madison and Milwaukee.  Current or notable local projects include Clearview Long Term Care and Rehabilitation in Juneau; University of Wisconsin-Madison Dejope Residence Hall and Hiram Smith Hall; ongoing projects at Mitchell International Airport, and the Barbara Hochberg Center for Jewish Student Life.

CG Schmidt, a family-owned company since 1920, is a leader in quality construction management with offices in Madison and Milwaukee. The company serves the markets of healthcare, senior living, corporate, industrial, education and religious facilities.  Recent or notable projects include Newcastle Place Continuum of Care Campus in Mequon; the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Union South and Carson Gulley Commons; Monroe Clinic Hospital in Monroe, and Rock Haven Assisted Living in Janesville.

As you know, Independent Living, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we are organizing fundraising efforts to keep the project affordable for seniors.  When we raise the first $2 million, we will celebrate with a groundbreaking ceremony, hopefully by summer 2014!  If you would like to receive a visit about how you can support this project, just give us a call at 274-7900 and ask to speak with Nicole Schultz, our fund development director, or me.  

Thank you for your friendship, for your patience with this project, and for sharing in our vision of making a better future for all.

Sincerely,  Rita Giovannoni, CEO

3302 PAckers avenue (at londonderry drive)

A multi-story apartment/commercial building has been proposed at 3302 Packers Avenue across from the North Police District called "Granite Ridge Apartments".

You are invited to an information meeting:

Monday, May 6  6:00pm  Lakeview Library in the North TowneCenter on Sherman Avenue.

The developer will be on hand to discuss the project, and answer any questions. We will also review the process for city approval.





alder rhodes-conway projects (district 12 historical)

Information on the proposed realignment of Johnson St. and the new bike path between 2nd and 3rd Sts:

Project desciption


Basement Drainage Guidance - How to deal with wet basements, from City Engineering

Flood Response Guidance - What to do in the aftermath of a flood, and how to deal with mold - from Public Health

Information on the redesign and reconstruction of the Warner Park parking lot

Click here for a pdf that shows existing condition and the new design.


Information on the resurfacing of Pennsylvania Ave, Packers Ave and Northport Dr.

The most up to date information is here

Detailed maps of the project are here (Pensylvania to Packers) and here (Northport).

A powerpoint about the project is here.

The pavement design report (long and technical) is here.

Other resources include The City's Road Construction Survival Guide for Businesses, the Office of Business Resouces and City Engineering. Information about temporary business signs is here, and the application form is here.


Letter to the Parks Commission on Goose population management in Warner Park

Information on the resurfacing of Sherman Ave between Trailsway and Northport

You'll recall that we didn't include this stretch in the previous project because we thought the Warner Park stadium would be under construction. With that project delayed, we decided to move this one forward.

Handout from 3/9 meeting - contains a project description and timeline


Landscaping plan

For more information or to comment:

Glen Yoerger

(608) 261-9177