MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Overcast
Collapse Photo Bar

Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:35 am

snoqueen wrote:Example. The block between Francis and Lake has the mix I think Duca's approach will yield:

You've talked about my concept, now "Duca's approach." What on earth do you think my approach is?
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:48 am

Stu Levitan wrote:We are now up to almost two score comments on this thread, from several posters. Did any of you who have felt the need/value of expressing yourself in this chat room also come to the related Landmarks, Urban Design or Plan Commission meetings?

That's awfully pompous, even for you. And that's saying something.

But fair enough; the only planning meetings I've sat through in the past few years were for the Edgewater, the Central Library, and for a liquor license for the relocated (and now departed) Savoir Faire. I followed the MATC culinary ed plans with interest, and was happy to hear of the UDC approval this fall, but didn't attend meetings.

I post here because the "Oh, no, it's tall!" boilerplate, especially from drive-thru observers (sorry, sno), frustrates me. It's a facile response to the complicated reality of my living, working neighborhood. Then again, I don't like the pack-em-in profiteers any more than I like the acrophobic chorus. They're both impediments to smart, attractive, enduring growth.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:30 am

You've talked about my concept, now "Duca's approach." What on earth do you think my approach is?


That's what I've been trying to figure out for three or four days now.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11616
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Gibe » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:53 am

Stebben84 wrote:Those buildings that they want to tear down look like garbage. Does it include that historic looking house on the right side of the second picture? That one would be a shame to loose. Why the hell would anyone want to keep the other ones. Just cause they're old, doesn't mean they're worthy.


They're NOT worthy...

I lived at 145 Iota Ct in '89-'90 and it was a complete dump then. I can imagine what they are like now. Back then, I lived on the ground floor and we constantly had to have maintenance done to fix the heat, which was comprised of loud, banging radiators wrapped with foil and styrofoam insulation that covered everything with what was likely asbestos dust.

The bathrooms were "clean" when we moved in, but within the first month the walls and ceiling grew a thick covering of mold. The water stunk of sulfur often times and I'm guessing it may not have been safe to drink.

While the kitchen appliances did all work, there was no ventilation over the stove and the disposal shook so violently that water would stream from the pipes below the sink.

We shared the apartment with ants, roaches, mice, squirrels, raccoons and bats.

Our maintenance guy, Carl, always smelled of booze and had a nice raccoon tail as an antenna decoration on his pickup truck. We always thought it came from the raccoon he trapped in the apartment.

The "studio" apartments in the floors above were a sight to see. The "bathrooms" consisted of a tile floor with a drain in the middle and a shower head sticking out of the wall. I recall at the time thinking it was cool that you could sit on the toilet and shower at the same time - would have saved me 5 minutes in the morning before class.

I recall seeing years later that the property and the management company were voted the worst of Madison:
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-69500322.html

Yeah, I know you are probably asking, "So why did you live there?", young, dumb and a poor college student is the best excuse I can come up with...
Gibe
Member
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:01 pm

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:45 pm

snoqueen wrote:Example. The block between Francis and Lake has the mix I think Duca's approach will yield:
Ducatista wrote:You've talked about my concept, now "Duca's approach." What on earth do you think my approach is?
snoqueen wrote:That's what I've been trying to figure out for three or four days now.

You don't know what it is, yet you link me with an outcome that sounds like the architectural equivalent of Pottersville?

Your desired outcome and mine aren't so different on principal, though we diverge on aesthetics. One of my favorite things about living at One East Gilman, besides living in the Greatest Building Ever, was my view of the National Guardian building and grounds. You have a visceral reaction to the word "tall" that I don't, and your "continuity of the shore" reads to me like "nothing poking up above anything else," which could end up as a shorter form of your dystopian vision of Duca's Wall of High Rises— a boring cop-out, an up-north-wannabe lake shore lacking the energy that stretch of urban shoreline deserves.

But we share a desire for carefully planned growth that adds to the livability and aesthetics of the neighborhood. My livability requirement is probably higher than yours, given that I live here. But I realize this area serves as a postcard as well as a neighborhood. My ideal Mendota shore postcard isn't a wall of tall, but welcomes the occasional well-designed taller building. It also includes as much tree space as possible along the shore (not just green space, which could mean featureless lawn, feh).

I believe that sort of growth can happen with strong stewards (Stu-ards?) holding developers to a high standard. (Apparently that kind of neighborhood advocate either didn't exist or had no power when the Round House and its 12-story neighbor were inflicted on the campus lakeshore.) It's tougher, I think, when developers who give a shit about aesthetics and context are met with a wall of resistance any time they trip an arbitrary height trigger well below the legal limit. That's my biggest gripe with hard-line heightists.

We may never agree on height, sno. But I'm no less interested in attractive, enduring development than you are, and if you could decouple me from your vision of a shoreline full of Round House apartments, I'd be much obliged.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:43 pm

Done.

The Round House was a cute idea that should have been built, well, in Kansas. Total agreement. I believe it precedes today's planning committee sequence, and is evidence of the necessity for that sequence.

Thanks for articulating what you want in a way we can encapsulate in a paragraph or two.

Trouble is (and you know this), developers want (and deserve) clear guidelines before they put a of money into the planning process. I can understand this: "My ideal Mendota shore postcard isn't a wall of tall, but welcomes the occasional well-designed taller building. It also includes as much tree space as possible along the shore (not just green space, which could mean featureless lawn, feh)." But how does a developer know if his version of a "well-designed taller building" will pass review? And how do residents and property-owners know when "occasional" becomes "everything built after 2013," or when the magic line gets crossed and too much tree space along the shore has been eaten up?

We probably are in accord on more than it seems. But there needs to be some way to write guildelines that stick and can be understood and applied by anyone having an interest. That's why I wish for height limits. Maybe height limits can be worded so that, maybe, 15% of proposed development may exceed a six story limit (pick your own numbers); or so that no two buildings exceeding ten stories can be within 500' of one another (pick your own numbers, again). Or a taller building is permissible if, upon seeing shadow studies, no adjacent small building owner vetoes the plan. (I am not crazy about any of those alternatives, but they give examples.)

There has to be a way to counter the natural tendency to eat things up from the edges, the way the Round House block has been eaten. I might consider trading the certainty that nothing new will be built exceeding, say, six stories for a clearly written guideline that results in a sparse distribution of taller buildings among the small ones. I'd put a lot of importance on sight lines and sun access but that's just me.

I'm not sure how that would play to owners and residents of smaller buildings, and that's why we need neighborhood involvement in this stuff. Some woman from 5 miles away shouldn't be making the call, same as I said before. You're in the neighborhood, you are amenable to a mix of heights -- what do you think of cooltapes coop's objections to the recent Iota Court proposal?
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11616
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:56 pm

snoqueen wrote:But how does a developer know if his version of a "well-designed taller building" will pass review? And how do residents and property-owners know when "occasional" becomes "everything built after 2013," or when the magic line gets crossed and too much tree space along the shore has been eaten up?

The developer proposes a plan for review, and the city says yes or pushes back, right? And the developer holds out, or revises, or gives up. It has to be a process, not a prescription. If our guidelines and deal killers are too rigid they could stifle development and invite decay, too loose and hello shitshow. The uncertain in-between is necessary for the best mix of security and flexibility, but it requires careful attention from all parties or we still end up with crap.

I don't know how the height restrictions are written now; maybe a percentage rule or proximity limit or both could help.

snoqueen wrote:You're in the neighborhood, you are amenable to a mix of heights -- what do you think of cooltapes coop's objections to the recent Iota Court proposal?

I think they're objections born of self interest, and I might have similar issues if I lived in that coop. That's the tricky part, isn't it. Sometimes the immediate neighbors get burned, even by worthwhile development. Fred Mohs knows all about that (though he'd argue with "worthwhile"), as might Johnson/Gorham residents if we were to limit tall development to their streets.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby fennel » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:13 am

Ducatista wrote:I think they're objections born of self interest, and I might have similar issues if I lived in that coop. That's the tricky part, isn't it. Sometimes the immediate neighbors get burned, even by worthwhile development.
So it's just damn the torpedoes and Westward Ho!? Sounds Ayn Rand-ish to me.

"Damn, I do love the smell of burnt cordite and urban renewal!"
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3191
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:33 am

What are you talking about? Either you're not paying attention, or you've just been dying to try out those lines. Or maybe both.

This isn't academic to me. We're talking about my home, and the fact that I'm aware of how difficult growth can be doesn't mean I'm cavalier about it.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Cooltapes » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:33 am

Gibe wrote:Yeah, I know you are probably asking, "So why did you live there?", young, dumb and a poor college student is the best excuse I can come up with...


It's another interesting point. Do poor college students deserve to live downtown? If you want to go to UW and you're not able to spend at least $700/month do you have any business living by the lake? Let them walk, bus, whatever from wherever, and leave the choice areas to the east coast kids with money, because those kids really care about Madison neighborhoods. (/sarcasm) That's something Colin Bowden was going to ask of the current tenants of these apts, last I knew, before his campaign was derailed: "New apartment sounds great, but will you be able to afford it?"

Anyway. The Proposal that Won't Die ;) is on another agenda for tonight, the Plan Commission this time. We've seen it go from Dog and Pony neighborhood meetings to UDC (referred) to Landmarks (rejected) to UDC (referred) to Plan Commission (referred) to UDC (rejected) and now to Plan Commission. (I've been to all of them.) Madison being what it is, there's this worry I have that tonight the Plan Commission will naturally give final approval to the project, adding 4 bonus stories and a 3rd Path instead of the sewer renovation running under our house, and with no sewer we'll be required to haul our waste up to the curb. Hopefully, this will not happen. Meeting begins at 5:30PM at 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room 201 (City-County Building) and it's item #8.
Cooltapes
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:53 pm

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby _mp » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:18 am

This thread has been constructive. That's awesome.

Thanks Cooltapes.
Cooltapes wrote:Meeting begins at 5:30PM at 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room 201 (City-County Building) and it's item #8.


Tonight, January 14.

Meeting Agenda: http://madison.legistar.com/View.ashx?M ... ACD2662774 [.pdf - 87KB]

Flyer: http://projectlux.org/img-misc/20130109 ... 14cmyk.pdf [.pdf 93KB open_content]
_mp
Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:21 pm
Location: Downtown

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby doppel » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:13 pm

doppel wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:
doppel wrote:Stu is somewhere salivating like a St. Bernard on a sit\stay before his bowl is put down. Just can't wait to get his nose in it.


Ouch. I know I've put on some weight, but I really don't think I've hit St. Bernard status. Maybe golden retriever?

BTW - don't worry your pretty little head over this development. Buildings are in National Historic District, not local .

Langdon St is a National Historic District, no Landmarks Commission jurisdiction except for locally designated landmarks.




HUH?
Taken directly from the Madison Landmarks Commission(CHAIRPERSON: Stuart Levitan) report:

"The Landmarks Commission reviewed the demolition notices for 619 and 625 Henry Street and 145 Iota Court on August 13, 2012 (the demolition report from the August 13, 2012 meeting is attached). At
that time the Commission provided a recommendation to the Plan Commission that the three buildings have historic value. The motion follows:
A motion was made by Gehrig, seconded by Rummel, to recommend to the Plan Commission that the Landmarks Commission strongly opposes the proposed demolition of three contributing
structures in the National Register historic district for many reasons, but most importantly due to the inconsistency with the newly adopted Downtown Plan recommendations 77, 78 and 168 as
well as the concern regarding the long term implications of the health of the National Register district as a whole since every demolition is followed by another."

Looks like you're done salivating and your nose is deep in the bowl, and that you fudged a little earlier. What do you have to say on this matter now, Stu?
doppel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:30 pm
Location: varies

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:49 pm

doppel wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:Ouch. I know I've put on some weight, but I really don't think I've hit St. Bernard status. Maybe golden retriever?

BTW - don't worry your pretty little head over this development. Buildings are in National Historic District, not local .

Langdon St is a National Historic District, no Landmarks Commission jurisdiction except for locally designated landmarks.

HUH?
Taken directly from the Madison Landmarks Commission(CHAIRPERSON: Stuart Levitan) report:

"The Landmarks Commission reviewed the demolition notices for 619 and 625 Henry Street and 145 Iota Court on August 13, 2012 (the demolition report from the August 13, 2012 meeting is attached). At
that time the Commission provided a recommendation to the Plan Commission that the three buildings have historic value. The motion follows:
A motion was made by Gehrig, seconded by Rummel, to recommend to the Plan Commission that the Landmarks Commission strongly opposes the proposed demolition of three contributing
structures in the National Register historic district for many reasons, but most importantly due to the inconsistency with the newly adopted Downtown Plan recommendations 77, 78 and 168 as
well as the concern regarding the long term implications of the health of the National Register district as a whole since every demolition is followed by another."

Looks like you're done salivating and your nose is deep in the bowl, and that you fudged a little earlier. What do you have to say on this matter now, Stu?

The Landmarks Commission can recommend action to other boards in cases like these. But cannot block the project outright unlike when a landmarked building is concerned.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2889
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:14 am

Plan Commission refers indefinitely.
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3239
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:18 am

From Stu's link:

... an alternate motion was approved to refer it indefinitely. The referral means the project’s developer, Chris Houden, could make significant changes and seek approval again.


Thank you for posting this, and thanks to the people who worked on this, attended everything, and kept not only the Forum but other parties informed.

A sigh of relief from me. I wish I'd been at that meeting just to hear the reasoning, so I'll look for the video (if there's one) in the next couple days.

From same link:

The proposal had already been criticized by a city staff report and the city’s Landmarks Commission for being inconsistent with the Langdon Street area.


Well, that's clear enough to anyone who looks at the size and shape of the proposed structure, but often it takes people showing up and standing up to make it stick. Again, good work.

Houden ought to sit down with neighborhood representatives and neighbors and find out if there's any common ground to be had. He needs to realize the thing isn't dead, it's referred -- that means if he'll listen to what was said and apply it, he can start the process over. He's gained some valuable guidance here and if he'll make contact with the neighborhood he can gain more. I don't usually think of these developers as enemies at all -- they're offering to spend some money and a lot of time and effort, and it's an opportunity for the neighborhood to see positive changes if everyone can work together. I guess it's his move, though.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11616
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar