Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's ambitions of building green neighborhoods took a step forward last week, when the Common Council approved goals for developing a 2,800-acre chunk of land on Madison's northeast side.
The council adopted the plan's four goals: reducing energy consumption by 25% of the citywide average, cutting water usage by 25%, capturing 25% of storm water, and having 25% of all trips taken by residents to be on foot, bike or mass transit.
City planners will now draft more concrete regulations and a development plan. But all agree the project's success will depend on whether the city can get developers to buy into it.
"If this set of plans doesn't work for developers, it doesn't work," says Andrew Statz, fiscal efficiency auditor for the mayor's office.
Mike Slavish of Hovde Realty thinks the project "has great potential," but wants to be sure the goals being set for the neighborhood are reasonable. He's concerned about accessibility. "Although [the area] is very visible from I-90 and 94, it's not easy to get to. There are no off ramps. If it truly proceeds as the mayor hopes, people need to be able to get there with relative ease."