Mayor and alders propose allowing more development near transit

At the Nov. 22 Madison Common Council meeting, Alder Patrick Heck, Alder Grant Foster, Alder Regina Vidaver, and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway introduced legislation to promote transit-oriented development along high-capacity transit corridors in Madison, according to a release from the city. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a pedestrian-oriented, compact, mixed-use development style focused near high-quality public transit. It typically includes a mix of housing, office, retail, neighborhood amenities, and other uses within walking distance of a transit station. 

The legislation would create a TOD overlay zoning district, based on the policy direction of the city’s 2018 comprehensive plan, Imagine Madison, to focus much of Madison’s future population growth along public transit corridors. Madison has grown by nearly 70,000 people since 2000 and is expected to grow by another 70,000 people in the next two decades.

The current proposal permits modest, context-sensitive increases to allowable residential development limits within about a quarter-mile of corridors with frequent transit service — that is, transit that comes at least every 15 minutes. It also removes minimum parking requirements, adjusts site layout regulations, and makes small adjustments to heights to accommodate a more compact development pattern.