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Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

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Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby Stu Levitan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:14 am

Department head Steve Cover ordered staff to approve modifications to Edgewater without bringing to Landmarks and Urban Design Commissions. Details here.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:55 am

Sounds like gargantua was pretty much spot-on.

Stu - from my perspective, it's hard to tell to what degree your official objections to development decisions are made on behalf of "the public" (whatever that means), versus on behalf of your personal views on how development should proceed. Your posts here on planning/development issues do not strike me as neutral public opinion gathering, but maybe I'm wrong. Motivations are easily misinterpreted on the internet.

In addition to posting here, did you also notify the WSJ, prompting an article on this issue?

I agree with the sentiments of the commenter in the article:
This article illustrates a prime example of why people cringe when trying to develop within the City of Madison.
I'd wager that the vast majority of Madison residents could not be bothered to care about the minor details of the Edgewater project, and the more we hear about it, the more annoyed we become with our city bureaucrats.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby minicat » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:10 pm

Arturo, it should be pretty easy to tell where Stu lands on this issue, since he's quoted as a member of the Landmarks Commission in the article.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Sure, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt in that his actions may be the result of Stu's genuine belief that the public is really interested in adding their input on these minor changes (Instead of Stu Levitan being really interested in holding sway over these changes).

Of course, I think it's abundantly clear that vanishingly few people outside of official busybodies want to hear another word about Edgewater.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby Stu Levitan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:23 pm

Art, I heard about this at 4:15 Tuesday afternoon. I got a call from Dean Mosiman about it about 11 Wednesday morning. No, I was not the source.

But it is nice to see you take the word of a high-level bureaucrat that is IS only a minor alteration. Of course, without public and commission review, we won't know till it's too late, will we?

And for clarification -- you regard citizen members of city boards and commissions, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council to implement city policies and ordinances, are "official busybodies"? OK, good to know.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:52 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Art, I heard about this at 4:15 Tuesday afternoon. I got a call from Dean Mosiman about it about 11 Wednesday morning. No, I was not the source.
Good to hear, that's comforting. I guess at least a few people care about this issue then.
Stu Levitan wrote:But it is nice to see you take the word of a high-level bureaucrat that is IS only a minor alteration. Of course, without public and commission review, we won't know till it's too late, will we?
I'm not taking the word of any bureaucrats, because the whole issue is not my business. They could be building a rocket launch pad on the Edgewater site and it still wouldn't be my business.
Stu Levitan wrote:And for clarification -- you regard citizen members of city boards and commissions, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council to implement city policies and ordinances, are "official busybodies"? OK, good to know.
I'll be blunt - I have near complete contempt for city agencies that stray from the absolute core functions of government (functions which certainly do not include regulating the aesthetics of private property). That you and other citizens were appointed and approved is irrelevant, because whatever minor authorities you have been granted are illegitimate in the first place.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby rabble » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:13 pm

ArturoBandini wrote: They could be building a rocket launch pad on the Edgewater site and it still wouldn't be my business.

Eyeah. Dere's some real libertarianism for ya dere, yahey.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby snoqueen » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:31 pm

Actually, the "big deal" aspect of adding height in the form of mechanicals on the roof has precedent. If you remember when the Union Transfer condos were built (in an old warehouse -- this is at the intersection of E. Wilson and King) somebody added an elevator penthouse (mechanicals) and possibly more to the top of the structure after the plans were approved. This ended up being more or less World War 3 as far as planning and approvals went, and if I remember right they had to take part of it down. (If I'm wrong, whatever solution was reached was expensive and an ugly scene. Please correct if you remember better than I do.)

Alterations that change the height of the finished building are a big deal. The others, maybe not. There's a fine line here. You don't have to go back to committee every time you make a room two feet larger, maybe, but at some point it starts to make a difference. In the Union Transfer case, bad faith was alleged. I don't see that here, at least not the way the story was written. Not yet, anyway.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby Cooltapes » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:01 pm

I'll be blunt - I have near complete contempt for city agencies that stray from the absolute core functions of government (functions which certainly do not include regulating the aesthetics of private property). That you and other citizens were appointed and approved is irrelevant, because whatever minor authorities you have been granted are illegitimate in the first place.


Edgewatered again.

I think there's a big difference between allowing a property to make changes which were never on the table in their proposals, actually they had to compromise a lot to pass and now they're uncompromising it- what the commission's role should be on that

-vs.-

the city seizing property on 3 sides of your property for public use, where the best can hope to achieve through much personal sacrifice (and possible continued mental health) is only what you currently have. Talk to me when you've been through that.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby Stu Levitan » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:10 am

ArturoBandini wrote:I'll be blunt - I have near complete contempt for city agencies that stray from the absolute core functions of government (functions which certainly do not include regulating the aesthetics of private property). That you and other citizens were appointed and approved is irrelevant, because whatever minor authorities you have been granted are illegitimate in the first place.


Why do you live here? It must pain you to do so.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:30 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Why do you live here? It must pain you to do so.
The pros of living in society outweigh the cons, on net. One of the cons is city government.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby lukpac » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:38 am

ArturoBandini wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:Why do you live here? It must pain you to do so.
The pros of living in society outweigh the cons, on net. One of the cons is city government.


I think Stu's definition of "here" was a bit more specific than "in society". I'm guessing more along the lines of "Madison", or perhaps "Dane County".
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby lukpac » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:42 am

Also...

ArturoBandini wrote:I'll be blunt - I have near complete contempt for city agencies that stray from the absolute core functions of government (functions which certainly do not include regulating the aesthetics of private property). That you and other citizens were appointed and approved is irrelevant, because whatever minor authorities you have been granted are illegitimate in the first place.


To be clear, "illegitimate" really means something more than "Arturo doesn't like it".
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:58 am

lukpac wrote:I think Stu's definition of "here" was a bit more specific than "in society". I'm guessing more along the lines of "Madison", or perhaps "Dane County".
Same reasoning applies. Living in Madison has it's pros and cons, and on net it's better than living alone in the wilderness. And I'm moving in a few months anyway.
lukpac wrote:To be clear, "illegitimate" really means something more than "Arturo doesn't like it".
To some degree this is true, but it's also true of all political or ethical arguments, not just mine. And I'm wont to explain my reasoning at great length, but I doubt anybody wants that to happen. Just peruse my post history for a full exposition.

The burden of proof should be on those assuming and executing powers of government that those powers are legitimate, not the other way around. Apply this reasoning to a more Madison-friendly sphere of argument (say, federal torture or war powers) to make it easier to see where I'm coming from. For instance, does the federal government have a legitimate power to torture prisoners? Some members of government claim they do have that power. I say it's their responsibility to prove why that's the case, not my responsibility to prove it's not.
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Re: Cover to Staff: Bypass Commissions on Edgewater

Postby lukpac » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:14 am

ArturoBandini wrote:The burden of proof should be on those assuming and executing powers of government that those powers are legitimate, not the other way around. Apply this reasoning to a more Madison-friendly sphere of argument (say, federal torture or war powers) to make it easier to see where I'm coming from. For instance, does the federal government have a legitimate power to torture prisoners? Some members of government claim they do have that power. I say it's their responsibility to prove why that's the case, not my responsibility to prove it's not.


How would they prove said legitimacy?
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