3414 Monroe Street updates

Recent developments....

 

On March 2nd, 2015 the Landmarks Commission voted 4-0 the following: "A motion was made by Gehrig, seconded by Rummel, to recommend to the Plan Commission that the development is so large as to adversely affect the historic character and integrity of the adjoining landmark site; however, the stepbacks lessen the visual intrusiveness. The motion passed by voice vote/other." (please see minutes for March 2nd LC meeting in link at top of paragraph)

 

The timeline for this project is as follows: March 2nd, 2015 went to Landmarks Commission; March 4th was submitted to Plan Commission for review; Monday, APRIL 20th will be voted on by Plan Commission at their meeting (5:30pm, Room 201, City-County Building (210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.).

 

On Thursday, Feb. 5th, 2015, Alder Lucas Dailey held the third neighborhood meeting regarding this site.  Patrick Corcoran, the property owner and developer, along with the Cas4 architects presented a new design, including a 4th floor and underground parking, neither included in the last design presented to the neighborhood last September 2014. 

 

The new design (see "3414 Monroe 2-9-15 Landmarks Submission" attachment below to view revised and submitted plans) now includes 19 units of studios, 1B, 2B, 2B+, and 3B (30 bedrooms total), 21 residential underground parking, 8 commercial parking outside plus 1 handicapped, 35,758 sq ft with parking, 25,700 sq ft without, 3000 sq ft commercial space rented to professionals or possible yoga studio (no restaurant/cafe), 4000 sq ft 4th floor with 7-10 ft setback of 4th floor, Arbor House setbacks... 6 ft 1st floor, 15 ft 2nd and 3rd with an additional 7 ft setback in front 30' (25%) of 120' building depth, 25 ft 4th floor setback at AH, and balconies and terraces all around building including three 8'x8' balconies (2nd floor) and French Balconies (3rd floor) along AH side which also has 4th floor building common balcony 8' x 20', off common room (possible exercise room).
 
 
This new design, because it includes a 4th floor and larger square footage, requires a conditional use permit.  All neighbors are welcome to write letters to both the Landmarks Commission and the Plan Commission and to attend either meeting to observe or to speak, either in favor or opposed.

************************

Tuesday, November 4th, Alder Lucas Dailey contacted Lynn Pitman, chair of DMNA Zoning Committee, alerting us that "Patrick is having his item referred at the plan commission meeting Monday, possibly to 10/24, but he's not sure if he'll be ready by then."

 

The project is still on the agenda for this coming Monday, November 10th meeting of the Plan Commission.  There does not seem to be any official notice about the change of plans - maybe that's just not the process.  We, at this time, are unsure if the demolition permit request might still be made after all at this coming Monday's PC meeting, but it seems unlikely. 

 

_______________

 

On Monday, October 20, after several hours of debate, commissioners voted 3-1 that Patrick Properties’ proposed three-story, 22,000-square-foot building at the corner of Monroe and Glenway streets would be large enough to adversely affect the historic integrity of the neighboring landmark site.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/landmarks-commission-reverses-decision-on-monroe-street-project/article_4960e319-c083-560d-8d8e-5fd11a80919b.html#ixzz3Gt6l3dFE

This comes after the October 6 Landmarks Commission meeting where the Commission had decided that the proposed building for 3414 Monroe would not be large enough to adversely affect the historic integrity of the Plough Inn.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/landmarks-commission-oks-monroe-street-project/article_a4816370-b7c2-55fd-826a-c50708b914e7.html#ixzz3Gt6TYaSm

 

Following the Oct 6th meeting, the Landmarks Commission decided to reconsider their decision now that a scaled model for the proposed development was to be provided by John and Cathie Imes, owners of the adjacent Arbor House which includes the historic Plough Inn, and that's when they reversed their decision.

 

Furthermore, on June 30, 2014, the Landmarks Commission voted to advise the Plan Commission that they oppose the demolition of the existing building at this site because it has historic value as it is associated with two masters (William Kaeser, architect, and Marshall Erdman, builder) in their respective fields.  The building, designed by William Kaeser and constructed by Marshall Erdman in 1954 (see pages 2&3 in link), is Marshall Erdman's first prefabricated medical clinic.  The possible demolition of this existing site will come before the Plan Commission but, as of yet, is not on the agenda.

 

On Monday, September 22nd, 2014, a public meeting was held to reveal the design plans for this site.  Owner Patrick Corcoran and Cas 4 architects Marc Schellpfeffer and Paul Cuta presented to the attendants architectural renderings of a 3-story, 22,000 square foot building that meets the zoning code without the need of conditional use permits.  The plan has 16 residential units, 16 ground-level parking places, and first floor commercial space of approximately 3300 sq. feet.

 

The detailed design proposal was submitted to the Landmarks Commission on Sept 22, 2014, and a pdf of that submission can be found below (at the bottom of this page under "File attachments").  On October 6th, the Landmarks Commission voted to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for the proposed plans in relation to the adjacent Plough Inn BUT will reconsider the proposed redevelopment for its Certificate of Appropriateness on this next Monday, Oct. 20th at 4:45pm, Madison Municiple Building (215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd; Room LL-110).

 

 

Also below in File attachments, please find the 3414 Monroe Street Traffic and Parking Analysis - Aug 25, 2014 were traffic was studied from 7-8:30am and from 4:30-pm, and parking was studied 9am-4pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.  No other days or times were studied.

 

Follow this link for the APPROXIMATE! Site Plan ("Site Plan and Building Representation are Approximate", Cas4 Architecture):  https://madison.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=3274423&GUID=4579A96F-9B71-4DD1-B117-ACE44581F99A

 

The above is a misleading image - it makes the distance between the two buildings look bigger than it is.  See image on the assessor's page:  https://accessdane.countyofdane.com/070928224090

 

Several issues were raised in the September 22 meeting on the 3414 Monroe project.  The plans that were presented include many features that are compatible with the neighborhood and contribute to the type of appropriate infill development that we all are working towards.  However,  there are two areas of continuing concern:

 

1. The proposed parking arrangement.

 

The plans included the parking spots that are currently covered by the easement arrangement with Arbor House.  Our understanding is that parking is available for Arbor House customers in the evenings and on the weekend, as the business deems necessary.  

 

While the easement is a private agreement between the two property owners, it is unclear whether this will effect parking in the neighborhood.  An understanding of this needs to be part of the project approval.

 

The Parking Analysis does not address this issue of easement parking, as that analysis only considers one Tuesday, 9am to 4pm.  The concern of evening and weekend parking was not addressed in the analysis, including the Gates and Brovi customers' parking that becomes a concern after 4 pm and on weekends.

 

2. Side setback.

 

The side setback is minimal at 6', and though it meets the technical specs for side setback in a TSS zone, it is completely inadequate for this specific site.  Clearly, this specification was developed within the context of a row of commercial establishments along a street.   The statement of purpose for TSS specifies that the code also:

 

"...(d) Encourage appropriate transitions between higher-intensity uses within TSS districts and adjacent lower-density residential districts.

(e) Facilitate preservation, development or redevelopment consistent with the adopted goals, objectives, policies, and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and of adopted neighborhood, corridor or special area plans.'

(Sec. 28.065 of the Zoning Code).

 

The Arbor House is a type of commercial use that has required residential aspects, a residential component that is required in their PUD zoning.  The property also includes a Landmark status building, and has been nationally recognized for its environmentally sensitive and eco-friendly design.  It would be reasonable to expect that the application of the zoning code would be flexible enough to accommodate the unique aspects of this property, and support the statement of purpose goals.

 

We encourage continued discussion between the developer and the city to address these issues.

 

 

******************************

 

From the beginning....

 

In November 2013, we, DMNA Zoning Committee learned of a potential development project at 3414 Monroe Street (Marshall Erdman's first prefabricated medical clinic, at Glenway, formerly Neckerman Insurance, Madison Opera).  Our then District 13 alder Sue Ellingson informed DMNA Zoning chair Lynn Pitman that owner Patrick Corcoran had shown her preliminary plans for a 4-story mixed-use development.  Sue “told them I would not support this proposal.  City staff is opposed, too.”  Specifically, Sue told Corcoran that the preliminary plans that she saw were not a good fit for the site and for the neighborhood.  She also mentioned that there were issues with parking and the easement with the Arbor House property.  Lynn checked in with her one or two more times that winter, and she was told that she, Sue, was unaware of any other pending plans with the property. 

 

Sue Ellingson resigned on March 20th, 2014.  Alder Chris Schmidt of District 11, President of the Common Council (group of all twenty Madison alders) has been acting as our stand-in alder since this resignation.  On April 1st, Alder Schmidt was contacted by and met with Pat Corcoran about 3414 Monroe, asking to set up a public meeting.  Corcoran told Schmidt that they do not have a timeline for submitting to the City for any approvals that they may need. 

 

The technicalities…

Madison’s current zoning code is a set of ordinances that was adopted by the city in 2012, and became effective in January, 2013.  It created a new set of commercial and residential designations, specifies the types of uses and building forms they can incorporate, and establishes some of the design criteria and finish materials suitable for new construction in these zones.  The zoning code also specifies maximum and minimum building sizes, heights, lot setbacks and gross volume of new development.

 

Most commercial zoning along the Monroe Street corridor, including this site, 3414 Monroe, has been designated TSS (Traditional Shopping Street).  It was intended to create a diversity of uses for a property (mixed-use commercial/residential) by allowing larger square footage.  Also, having access to public transportation, minimum requirements for bicycle parking, etc. was meant to encourage urban vitality.  Currently, TSS zoning allows for a 25,000 square foot mixed-use building that can be up to 3 stories or 40 feet in height without further city approval.  Where TSS abuts residential areas, it must be no higher than 2 stories, stepping back away from the residential area before it can become taller.  City approval, in the form of “conditional use” permits granted by the City’s Plan Commission, can allow for higher and/or larger square footage buildings if certain conditions are met.

 

The process of obtaining conditional use permits is fairly streamlined and does not allow too many chances for neighborhood input.  The City of Madison zoning ordinance requires applicants to notice the alder and neighborhood association in writing 30 days before formally submitting an application to the city for demolition approval, conditional use approval, or re-zoning approval.  In all cases, the district alder can waive or reduce the 30-day preapplication notification period.  Otherwise, the 30 days begins on the date the notice is sent (this is usually by email). 

 

There is no requirement that applicants meet with staff prior to submitting a notification, although they typically do so for complex proposals.  Any property owner has the right to submit an application as long as proper notice has been given or a waiver has been granted. 

 

The ordinance does not require a neighborhood meeting, although alders and staff often strongly advise it, and many applicants proactively decide to hold one or more meetings.  For these optional neighborhood meetings, the alder usually determines who will be notified via a postcard, and either pays for the mailing with a small annual postage budget or asks the applicant to pay for it. 

 

When a public hearing is scheduled at the Plan Commission's next meeting (approx. every other Monday, 5:30pm), all property owners and tenants within 200' receive a postcard 10 days beforehand.   Any neighbor is each allowed three minutes to speak at this Plan Commission meeting where the application will then be voted on by the Plan Commission. 

 

No notifications or public hearings are involved for permitted uses that do not involve a demolition.
 

When DMNA Zoning received confirmation from Alder Schmidt that Pat Corcoran was again pursuing a possible redevelopment project at 3414 Monroe, we distributed general information flyers to immediate neighbors, posted information on our webpage (www.dmna.org/zoningcommittee), and met with John and Cathie Imes of the Arbor House.  From the flyers, four concerned neighbors attended our regularly scheduled DMNA Zoning meeting on April 10th (2nd Thursday of each month – all are welcome).

 

 There are several areas of concern about a possible project at this site:

  • Scale and massing of the project.  Preliminary plans described by Sue Ellingson were not aligned with guidelines described in the Monroe St Commercial District Plan, or TSS general guidelines.
  • Traffic.  Another project compounds issues at the intersections of Glenway / Monroe and Glenway / Wyota that exist with the newer Parman Place development.
  • Parking.  Spill-over parking has been a neighborhood problem with Parman's, and would be compounded with a new project.
  • Possible environmental impacts.  on Wingra springs and the Arboretum
  • Impact on the Plough Inn, which is on the abutting property and is part of Arbor House.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a Madison Landmark.
  • Missed opportunity to more sensitively develop this node of Monroe St according to sustainability standards.  The Arbor House has incorporated this into its business model, the Arboretum is across the street, and there is growing interest and enthusiasm to incorporating innovative sustainability features as part of the Monroe St. resurfacing project in 2015-16.  This type of opportunity is also outlined in the Monroe St. Commercial District Plan.

 

Tuesday, April 22nd, a committee of eight Madison alders (the CCOC) interviewed nine candidates for District 13 alder appointee, to serve until the April 2015 election.  They unanimously voted to recommend Lucas Dailey for appointment.  On Tuesday, April 28, the Common Council (all twenty alders) unanimously voted to appoint Dailey who was then sworn in and seated as our Distric 13 alder.

 

Four members of the DMNA Zoning Committee and John Imes of the Arbor House met Thursday, April 24th with Lucas Dailey (before he was officially appointed and sworn).  We wanted to bring Lucas up to date about all Dudgeon Monroe zoning projects, including 3414 Monroe Street.  We have invited Lucas to our Wednesday meeting with Corcoran, but his schedule will not allow.

 

On Wednesday, April 30th, four members of DMNA Zoning, four immediate neighbors, Patrick Corcoran and his architects Marc Schellpfeffer and Paul Cuta (Cas 4 Architecture), and Heather Stouder of city zoning staff met to begin a dialogue.  Corcoran and architects presented a basic schematic of a 4-story building that represented the maximum height/massing configuration described by the TSS zoning code.  The schematic included a configuration of the first floor commercial and ramp to underground parking, the entrance/exit for which would be through the existing curb cut on Glenway.  The schematic covered most of the lot.

 

They asked for our feedback.  Questions from the neighborhood group concerned basic issues of height/massing, the transitions and spacing between the project and the house behind and to the Arbor House property, traffic, number of units, parking, sustainability features, and the opportunity for developing this site so that it lives up to its "gateway to the Arboretum" status.  We also had a brief discussion about the look of the building, and the potential for greenspace. 

 

We also were able to hear from Heather about basic zoning and conditional use regulations as it relates to this site.  She also mentioned that the Landmark status of the Arbor House may bring up different requirements related to the side setback in the zoning code, which is currently only 6 feet. 

 

We were glad to have the opportunity to listen and provide preliminary feedback to some general ideas.  The implication is that they are willing to adjust that maximum up to some point, but that financial considerations will come into play.  We are expecting the same approach will be used at the neighborhood meeting Monday, May 5th, 6:30pm at the Wingra School library.

We will be looking to see how sensitively the actual plans will address massing/height and other issues,, and whether they go beyond the minimal zoning requirements for setbacks along the side and back of the property.  The request for a conditional use for 4 stories is of concern, and sets a precedent for this stretch of Monroe Street. 

 

Corcoran and architects say that they do not have a schedule at this point.

 

All neighbors were invited to attend and participate in a discussion on this proposed development on Monday, May 5th in the Wingra School library.  This meeting provided an opportunity for residents to discuss the project with the developer and meet our new District 13 alder, Lucas Dailey.  City zoning staff Heather Stouder, Alder Lucas Dailey, Alder Chris Schmidt, Patrick Corcoran, and architects Marc Schellpfeffer and Paul Cuta were present to answer questions and to hear neighborhood feedback.

 

DMNA Zoning then hosted a neighborhood meeting on May 20th to review all concerns and questions raised at the May 5th public meeting and to organize a 3414 Project Group.

 
Neighborhood concerns and questions that were raised at the meetings on May 5 and May 20 and in neighbor communications with DMNA Zoning Committee are summarized below.

 

Traffic and Parking

There were many concerns voiced about the impact of an additional, over-sized mixed-use development at the corners of Glenway and Monroe and Glenway and Wyota would have on traffic, safety, and parking.

Specific issues included:

  • Increased traffic from another development at that location, which are difficult intersections already;
  • Limitations of the city traffic study performed as part of the Parman Place development in adequately forecasting the problems that did arise;
  • Lack of turn lanes from Monroe onto Glenway and Glenway onto Wyota to accommodate increased traffic;
  • Poor visibility around a building without appropriate setback when making a left turn from Glenway onto Monroe or a right turn from Monroe onto Glenway;
  • Congestion from the proximity of 3414 building entrance to both problematic intersections and to Parman Place, with resulting pedestrian and vehicle safety risks;
  • Increases in the already problematic on-street parking in residential areas from Gates and Brovi patrons as a result of changes to Arbor House easement;
  • Impact on Arbor House business as a result of changes to Arbor House easement;

 

Scale and Massing

The many concerns expressed about the scale and massing of a three- or four-story building, built to the maximum allowable zoning, reflect an assessment that it negatively affects the residential and public aspects of the neighborhood.  This balance between residential and commercial is reflected in the statement of purpose for the TSS zoning designation:

“The TSS District is established to encourage and sustain the viability of Madison’s mixed-use

corridors, which sustain many of the City’s traditional neighborhoods. The district is also intended to:

(a) Encourage pedestrian, bicycle and transit use as a means of accessing and moving through these corridors.

(b) Encourage diversification of uses, including residential, commercial, and civic uses, in order to enhance the vitality and appeal of these areas.

(c) Maintain the viability of existing residential buildings located within or adjacent to these corridors.

(d) Encourage appropriate transitions between higher-intensity uses within TSS districts and adjacent lower-density residential districts.

(e) Facilitate preservation, development or redevelopment consistent with the adopted goals, objectives, policies, and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and of adopted neighborhood, corridor or special area plans.”

Specific issues include:

  • The TSS zoning sets a maximum 3 stories; there are no other four story buildings in that commercial node.
  • The original Commercial District plan that was submitted by the neighborhood to the city for approval called for two stories maximum at this node, reflecting the proximity to the Arboretum and the low density at that location.  The city adopted a plan that specified 2-4 stories, with a note that the neighborhood felt that the lower end of that range was more appropriate.
  • Another four-story building could set this height as the norm for new developments along Monroe Street.  This would change how the commercial coexists with the residential parts of the neighborhoods, in a negative way.  
  • Impact on residential property at rear of site: the required 20 foot setback from the rear property line, and 45 degree line for upper-story setbacks, do not adequately mitigate the impact on the typically–sized house in the neighborhood;
  • Impact on Arbor House landmark property on side of site: the required six-foot setback from the side property line assumes a development will be next to row-type commercial buildings such as those in the Commonwealth commercial node.  As a “green” bed-and-breakfast and primary residence, the Arbor House is a commercial property of a unique character, and is more in keeping with the area’s low density and proximity to the Arboretum.  A six-foot setback would have substantial negative impacts on that property.
  • Minimal green space requirements increase buildings’ impact on surrounding areas.

 

Environmental

Since this part of Monroe Street runs along the Arboretum, the environmental impacts are a concern.  Specific issues include:

  • Potential negative impact of underground parking on Wingra springs: as more underground parking is built along the western stretch on Monroe, the effects of the pumping systems on the springs that feed the lake and the Arboretum should be assessed;
  • Loss of a heritage tree, other trees, and green space in the current site, at a time when the neighborhood is losing numerous trees and green space;
  • Storm water management concerns;
  • Willingness to use this unique site to creatively set a standard for green, sustainable development, in accordance with the Madison Sustainability Plan.

 

On June 30, 2014, the Landmarks Commission voted to advise the Plan Commission that they oppose the demolition of the existing building at this site because it has historic value as it is associated with two masters (William Kaeser, architect, and Marshall Erdman, builder) in their respective fields.  The building, designed by William Kaeser and constructed by Marshall Erdman in 1954 (see pages 2&3 in link), is Marshall Erdman's first prefabricated medical clinic.  The possible demolition of this existing site will come before the Plan Commission but, as of yet, is not on the agenda.

 

On Monday, September 22nd, 2014, a public meeting was held to reveal the design plans for this site.  Owner Patrick Corcoran and Cas 4 architects Marc Schellpfeffer and Paul Cuta presented to the attendants architectural renderings of a 3-story, 22,000 square foot building that meets the zoning code without the need of conditional use permits.  The plan has 16 residential units, 16 ground-level parking places, and first floor commercial space of approximately 3300 sq. feet.

 

This design was submitted to the Landmarks Commission also on September 22nd.  On October 6th, the Landmarks Commission voted to approve the proposed plans for this development as related to the adjacent Plough Inn.

 

The DMNA Zoning Committee has a protocol that is used to collaborate and facilitate communication with developers.  Upon learning of a potential development, the committee will notify the immediate neighbors near the proposed project to enlist an interested core group, the “Project Group”.  One (sometimes two) standing committee member will chair this Project Group.  There are two DMNA Zoning members that will lead the 3414 Monroe Street Project Group: Julia Billingham (jaymaycat@aol.com, 608-957-6923) and Craig Brown (craig@scenic-interiors.com).  You may email or call with any questions or comments and please feel free to forward this communication on to other interested parties and to refer to our webpage http://dmna.org/zoningcommittee for updates.