Jenifer Reconstruction Prompts Second Public Meeting, More Questions

Jeni_ThumbA second public meeting is scheduled tomorrow (January 21) after the City of Madison officials faced numerous questions at a public meeting earlier this month regarding reconstruction of Jenifer Street which could dramatically remake a four block section of the historic thoroughfare.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) submitted to the City and District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel additional formal questions regarding the reconstruction and it’s scope, the extent of planned tree removals, bus stop changes and construction equipment use.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and will be attended by City representatives. The MNA questions can be seen below.


MNA Jenifer Reconstruction Questions

 Related: One-third of Jenifer Trees to be Replaced in Reconstruction Zone

Related: Dramatic Changes Coming to Jenifer Street

Dramatic Changes Coming to Jenifer Street

Project to narrow roadway, eliminate bus stops, but could damage historic homes

The 800 block (foreground) thru the 1100 block will be entirely rebuilt beginning this spring.

The 800 block (foreground) through the 1100 block of Jenifer Street will be entirely rebuilt beginning this spring. Jenifer’s notable tree canopy could be significantly degraded by the project as well.

The City of Madison hopes to begin a large reconstruction of several blocks of Jenifer and adjoining streets this spring that will impact both residents and transients that use the street daily during and after the project is completed.

The sweeping project will narrow Jenifer from Spaight to Few Street, install bump-outs to facilitate easier pedestrian crossings, move two Madison Metro bus stops and eliminate six others. Sections of Paterson Street and Brearly will also be rebuilt and portions of Few Street will be resurfaced.

While neighborhood leaders are encouraged by the traffic calming aspects of the project, there are concerns about the changes to the bus stops, the loss of tree canopy and for owners of historic homes, possible damage from construction vibrations.

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MNA Membership Meeting Thursday

Board elections plus Good Neighbor Award, Yahara corridor planning on tap

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) holds its annual Membership Meeting Thursday October 15, at 6:30 p.m. with an open house at 6 p.m. The gathering, held in the Marquette Elementary School Cafeteria  accomplishes several goals for the year.

It allows members to pay annual dues, vote on new Board members, hear the yearly state of the neighborhood address from the  President and approve the yearly budget. The Board also presents the Good Neighbor Award to two individuals who have made positive impacts on the community.

The Marquette neighborhood runs from Blair street on the west end to Division Street and portion of Dunning on the east. Its northern border is East Washington Avenue and then winds its way toward the lake along First Street and then along Eastwood Drive.

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1018 Williamson Demolition Delayed

Landmarks gives owner a year to sell or tie property to Petinary expansion

1018 Williamson (right) is spared from demolition for now. Owner Mike Kohn who also owns the Petinary (left) wanted to convert the property to greenspace.

1018 Williamson (right) is spared from demolition for now. Owner Mike Kohn, who also owns the Petinary (left), wants to convert the property to greenspace.

When Petinary owner Mike Kohn purchased 1018 Williamson in 1992 it was in sorry shape and he planned to tear it down. A year later the City of Madison Landmarks Commission granted him permission to demolish the property but it never happened.

Now 22 years later, after restarting the process, Kohn will have to wait another year to try for a demolition permit. Landmarks has suspended his application for demolition until next fall, a move that one person close to the process says may be nearly unheard of in Madison.

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CommuniTree Vandalized by Cowardly Art Critic(s)

Graffiti mark applied to tree was pathetic attempt at protest


Courtesy: Caffeinated Politics.

The iron tree sculpture that welcomes those traveling eastbound on Williamson to the neighborhood was dedicated Friday (September 12) in a ceremony at Bandung restaurant due to rain.

Named the CommuniTree, the 32-foot tall sculpture stands in the median of Willy street adjacent to Machinery Row and the Gateway Shopping Center.

The tree was erected on August 3, garnering some praise and some comments of disdain; such as describing the tree as akin to a toilet brush, according to the Caffeinated Politics Blog.

In the days before it was dedicated last Friday, someone or several painted a yellow dot on the side of the tree. The dot was likely meant to mimic the City of Madison’s method for identifying trees that need to be removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Greenspace Possibly Returning to Willy Street

Neighborhood examines dearth of open space and benefits of demolition

1018 Williamson  may be demolished and turned into greenspace.

1018 Williamson may be demolished and turned into greenspace.

Petinary owner Dr. Mike Kohn has has applied for a demolition permit for 1018 Williamson Street, a circa 1895  home that has not been occupied since he purchased it in 1992. The application will be discussed at the Marquette Neighborhood Association Preservation & Development meeting Tuesday September 9 at 5:30 p.m.

In the application, Jim Glueck, of Glueck Architects who represents Kohn, outlined several seemingly fatal flaws with the building that render it unusable an impractical for restoration. Glueck noted in the application and also confirmed to Willy Street Blog that the site will be restored to greenspace with no further plans to develop.

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Orton Fest to Celebrate Survival

Park continues to triumph over tornados, boulevards and development

Anders Osborn during last year's Orton Park Festival.

Anders Osborn during the 2012 Orton Park Festival.

In its long history, Orton Park has had to survive many threats. In 1924 the City of Madison proposed a boulevard with a 12-foot median that would bisect the park. Proponents argued this would improve traffic flow from King Street to the Eastside following the recently opened Rutledge Street bridge across the Yahara. It seems that this route had become a very popular artery for “far” Eastsiders who wanted to avoid railroad crossings at Williamson Street and Atwood Avenue.

The opposition to that project ninety years ago echoes the same reasons why today’s residents guard the tranquility of Madison’s oldest park: its too popular with children. The festival, begun in the middle 1960s, is in its 49th year and grew out of general neighborhood organizing against various development schemes and for neighborhood strength and cohesion.

In the last days of spring, despite rabid stewardship over the years by park lovers including the Friends of Orton Park, Mother Nature also attempted to remake the land when an EF-1 tornado barreled through the Marquette neighborhood early on June 17. While some trees were lost, the park never lost face with even the fallen trees repurposed in a resourceful way.

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MNA Stands Behind Red Caboose

Neighborhood association board votes statement of support for license appeal

MNA voted to affirm Red Caboose's importance to the community as the center appeals its license revocation.

MNA voted to affirm Red Caboose’s importance to the community as the center appeals its license revocation.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association Board has voted to issue a statement of support for Red Caboose Day Care Center which is appealing last week’s revocation of its license to operate by the State of Wisconsin. The statement, introduced at last night’s meeting (July 24) by Board member Lynn Lee, is intended to affirm the institutional importance of the child care center in the neighborhood but not pass judgement on specific matters raised by the Department of Children and Families.

“The Marquette Neighborhood Association would like to affirm the special place that Red Caboose Daycare has in our neighborhood and for many in the city of Madison,” the statement begins.

Lee, who serves on the center’s board and his daughter attends the center’s after school program, felt the statement was needed because of the concern among parents over the future of the facility in light of the sudden revocation which he felt was a severe reaction.

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Orton Park May Be Seen In Softer, Cooler Light

Reworked electrical projects for the park up for a vote at MNA Thursday

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park  gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) has significantly reworked two electrical projects it proposed last winter to improve lighting as well as new electrical service to the gazebo in Orton park. Marquette Neighborhood Association President Michael Jacob said park neighbors had objected to the original proposal and because they were not consulted at the outset.

The first project will move the utility light pole 10 feet west (towards Ingersoll Street) and replace it with an LED light that according to the utility will “cast a cooler blue light, giving truer colors compared to the yellow light cast by a high pressure sodium fixture (HPS).” The light is the only illumination in the central portion of the park. 

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Rummel Appeals Rifken Development Approval

Sixth District Alder wants more neighborhood review of design process

The proposed six-story multi-family and commercial development at 702 Williamson. Courtesy: The Rifkin Group, LTD.

The proposed six-story multi-family and commercial development at 702 Williamson. Courtesy: The Rifkin Group, LTD.

City of Madison Alder Marsha Rummel is appealing the Plan Commission’s approval earlier this month for a conditional use permit for a development at 702-706 Williamson Street. The Rifken Group, Ltd., is proposing a six story multi-family development to replace the current one-story building.

In a letter to the Marquette Neighborhood Rummel cited her right as an alder to appeal a Plan Commission ruling within 10 days of a decision. She said the appeal will be introduced August 5 and receive a public hearing before the Madison Common Council on September 2. Rummel is concerned that the neighborhood is being cut out of the design review process.

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