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 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.
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.