Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Demolition at 3414 Monroe Street


Public hearing notice for proposed demolition at 3414 Monroe Streeet.

Public hearing notice for proposed demolition and new mixed-used  construction at 3414 Monroe Streeet.

The Madison Plan Commission will hold a public hearing on April 20, 2015 to consider revised plans for demolition and commercial/residential construction at 3414 Monroe Street at the corner of Glenway Street. The four story mixed-used proposal calls for street level commercial space, 19 apartments, 8 surface level commercial parking spots, and 21 underground residential parking spaces.

 

The vacant building at 3414 Monroe Street that is the site of the proposed mixed-used construction.  It currently houses volunteers for Mayor Paul Soglin's re-eleciton campaign.

The vacant building at 3414 Monroe Street that is the site of the proposed mixed-used construction. It now houses volunteers for Mayor Paul Soglin’s re-election campaign.

The proposal was previously voted down on March 2, 2015 by the Madison Landmarks Commission. According to minutes of the meeting, the Landmarks Commission voted 4-0 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 Plan Commission public hearing will be at 5:30pm, in Room 201, City-County Building (210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.).

Potential Impacts of the Project

The blog is concerned about the potential impacts of the project on the groundwater resources and natural springs in the area.  The excavation required to build underground parking is likely to disrupt groundwater flow to nearby springs.

Two sets of springs are close by: 1) the Duck Pond springs complex is less than one-quarter mile away to the southwest; 2) the Council Spring and Dancing Sands Spring on the edge of Ho-Nee-Um Pond are just four blocks away to the northeast.

Council Spring viewed from the Kenneth Jensen Wheeler Council Ring

Council Spring viewed from the Kenneth Jensen Wheeler Council Ring

Springs are easily affected by human activities such as road building, home and building construction, and groundwater pumping. The area around Lake Wingra once had more than 30 springs; many were lost as human population increased; today only 13 remain.

(A recent and relevant example of the impacts of human activities on groundwater is found just across Glenway Street from the proposed project in question.  Here, during construction for the Gates and Brovi restaurant, a groundwater vein was struck, flooding the excavation. In order for construction to go ahead, the groundwater was pumped out and sent down the storm drain.)

Importance of Spring Flow and Groundwater

Groundwater inputs and spring flow provide about 35% of the freshwater inputs to Lake Wingra.  Spring water entering Lake Wingra year round improves water quality and provides a valuable habitat for plants and animals.  People like to hang out around springs; they are a valuable natural feature that can be enjoyed by the neighborhood  and natural springs enhance the quality of life in our community.

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About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist practicing and writing in the Midwestern United States.
This entry was posted in Freshwater resources, Groundwater, Springs. Bookmark the permalink.

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