Foster St. decision delayed

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The Madison Mayor and City Council were set to review a rezoning request from Brad Good, a local developer seeking to build a new subdivision behind the historic Thomason Miller House in downtown Madison, at the upcoming meeting this Monday, August 14.

However, according to city officials, Good has requested the hearing be postponed until the council’s next regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 11.

The proposed project, tentatively called Foster Park, has been a controversial and contentious public debate, with local Historic District residents opposing the project at every turn.

Good, who has revised the project’s original conception and design since last year, is now asking the Mayor and City Council to approve a rezoning application which would designate the Foster Street property as a Residential 4 zone, which would reduce minimum required lot sizes, allowing Good to build a 24-house subdivision.  According to Good, rezoning the property would allow him to build the desired number of houses while still meeting infrastructure and greenspace requirements comfortably.

But Good is not only facing public backlash for the project, but also opposition from city commissions who have reviewed his application.

At the last Madison Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC), the commission voted unanimously to recommend denial for Good’s rezoning request.

According to Good, the Foster Street is the ideal place for a new housing development in Madison.

“The Foster house has been vacant and unused for at least 20 years due to a fire causing significant damage to the home. The home is now in need of major renovation,” wrote Good in his application to the city.  “The approximate 10.36 acres is well suited for development as the land slopes gently from South Main to the rear of the property. The configuration of the property with residential development on all sides is narrow and restricted for its best economic use under the current larger lot R-2 zoning which allows for 22 lots. The proposed plan allows for a compatible design, with 24 proposed lots, in keeping with neighboring development patterns of varying lot sizes in the adjacent Plum, Poplar and Pine neighborhood. The plan also addresses a new housing need for Madison and with mid size lots allows for an economically viable design. The lots also accommodate different sizes and historic styles of homes with a maximum gross square foot of structures up to 7,500 S.F.”

Good also estimated that the houses would be priced in the $400,000 range at the last PZC meeting.

“The Foster Park project as re-zoned brings a viable neighborhood to a currently non-productive property. The new 24 homes are situated in a walk-able community and does not reduce the current level of A service in traffic volume. Foster Park will be a great asset to the entire city of Madison,” closed Good on his application.

Good’s application follows more than a year of public debate after he originally proposed a 37-house subdivision called Foster Park on the property through a Planned Residential Development (PRD). The project was opposed by local residents who worried about a new housing development adversely affecting surrounding property values. Opponents also complained that the increased density would create more noise, light, and traffic-congestion in their neighborhoods. Those are still the concerns of opponents to the Foster Street Development even though the number of proposed houses has been reduced from 37 to 24. Originally, Good sought approval for a Planned Residential Development (PRD) to move forward with the project. After a series of heated public hearings, Good pulled the project and the Madison Mayor and City Council ultimately voted to eliminate PRDs altogether from the historic district. After multiple setbacks and reworking the proposed project, Good is hoping the City Council will approve his revamped development plan despite the PZC’s recommendation for denial. The council will decide on Monday, Sept. 11 at 5:30 in the Madison City Meeting Hall located at 160 North Main Street, Suite 400.

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