Introduction . In the spring
of 2005 the First Settlement neighborhood held meetings
for its residents to discuss proposed development of
a substantial portion of Block 115. An advisory statement
was developed at that time that was a summary of significant
This document updates those concerns
for future development proposals. The predominant
sentiment of the neighborhood is that these concerns
need to be addressed by any developer, the neighborhood,
relevant city commissions and the common council, as
any project proceeds
- Summary of Major Concerns
Building Heights and
Massing . The most significant concern for
First Settlement residents is the height and massing
of buildings. Block 115 is presently comprised of
one-to-three story buildings (excluding exposed basements)
with the majority having two stories. The neighborhood
does not want to see development that would double
and quadruple these heights with buildings of four
to eight stories. Of particular interest to the neighborhood
+ Maintaining the integrity and scale of facades
along Wilson Street .
+ Scaling buildings at the
corners of Wilson and Franklin and of Main and Blair
in a way that is consistent with the adjoining neighborhood.
+ Including setbacks and breaks in the massing of
the proposed buildings that provide a pattern consistent
with the adjoining historic neighborhood.
+ Paying particular attention to the relationships
between any proposed buildings and grades to those
on all adjacent properties. Having the opportunity to
review a three-dimensional model of any proposed project
and its immediate surroundings to assist in evaluating
these and other massing issues.
Historic Districts. Neighborhood
residents are determined that the First Settlement
Historic District ordinance be honored in both substance
and spirit. Particular concerns are that:
+ New construction is compatible with the height
of the older buildings in the "visually-related
area" within the First Settlement Historic District.
+ Infill of buildings is compatible with the scale,
footprints and massing of the existing structures
in Block 115 and contributes to the First Settlement’s
+ Alternatives to demolition of 19 th and early
20 th century structures within the historic districts
are thoroughly evaluated with the neighborhood and
other interested parties.
+ No precedent is established that would adversely
affect the First Settlement Historic District or
adjacent historic districts.
Traffic and Safety. Neighborhood
residents are concerned that the significant traffic
and safety consequences of any project receive serious
study. Neighborhood residents would like
to see a detailed review of traffic flow and volume
generated by any proposed project, which includes:
the consequences of the traffic flow from the project
into Franklin and Main Streets and possible alternate
+ Modeling the effect the project would have on
left-turning vehicular traffic, pedestrian crossing
and bicycle traffic at the intersection where John
Nolen Drive , Williamson Street, East Wilson Street
and Blair Street converge, including consideration
of turn signals at the Wilson-Blair crossing.
the effects of the development on the personal safety
of children, the elderly and residents in general.
Settlement residents desire a development that is
both well-designed and offers a range of affordable
housing options. While the developer’s assessment
of economic feasibility is important, the neighborhood
suggests a larger definition of goals and an approval
process that could include:
+ Shared agreement between
the neighborhood and the developer to seek a community
diverse in income and residential composition that
is desirable and affordable for all types of residents,
from singles to families with children.
+ Establishment of a fixed number of affordable
units consistent with a TIF application.
+ Availability of financial information similar
to that furnished to the city with a TIF application.
For the most effective neighborhood input, this financial
information should be made available for neighborhood
evaluation at an early stage.
+ Consideration of TIF funding for improvements
to the Crowley Station Madison
Water Utility facility, located on the Southeast side of Wilson Street between
Franklin and Hancock Streets.
+ Serious attention to the amenities in the
project and the neighborhood to enhance
the historic character of the First Settlement district through building
design, period lighting, landscaping, and open space.
Process. The First Settlement Neighborhood
has learned a great deal from developer interest in
Block 115. We are committed to improving the process
for neighbors and developers. We will:
+ Clearly articulate our needs and concerns as they
+ Strive to thoroughly engaging all interested parties
+ Advocate more strongly for our interests and hold
the development team accountable.
Conclusion: The First Settlement
neighborhood is at the intersection of two of Madison
's five local historic districts and a National Register
Historic District. While we welcome development in
Block 115, we will continue to be discriminating as
we seek a high standard for developments within our
neighborhood and particularly within the historic districts.
Back to top