Madison Common Council approves controversial zoning change

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Common Council voted Tuesday night to move forward on a zoning proposal meant to address limited housing options along the city’s Bus Rapid Transit route.

Not only did the council approve the Transit Oriented Development plan, the alders voted overwhelmingly to include historic districts in the TOD overlay.

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Those in favor of the plan said it would give the city more flexibility to add living spaces in areas that see consistent transit service and maximize the investments already made to metro.

For example, an area zoned for single-family homes could allow for duplex expansions, and higher-density districts could go from having five-story building limits to eight.

“I am pleased that the Common Council this evening approved a Transit-Oriented Development Overlay Zoning Ordinance,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. “This policy will enable more Madison residents to use transit to move around the city, and to have more housing choices in complete neighborhoods.”

Support for the plan was not unanimous, however. District 11 Alder Bill Tishler raised concerns that the proposal’s approach was too broad and the city was taking on too much too fast.