UPDATE: Town of Madison appealing county zoning decision on prop - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Town of Madison appealing county zoning decision on proposed, homeless day shelter

Posted: Updated: Jul 14, 2014 05:30 PM

TOWN OF MADISON (WKOW) -- The Town of Madison's three-member board voted unanimously to appeal Dane County's ruling that a proposed, homeless day shelter at 1490 Martin Street would be a permitted use under current zoning regulations.

The county said on June 24 that transforming the Porchlight Inc. Hospitality House into a day shelter would be permitted under the C1 zoning classification of the lot.

The Dane County Board voted in May to buy the building from Porchlight for $330-thousand and add showers, storage lockers and other amenities en-route to converting it into a day shelter for the homeless. The renovations are contingent on the Town of Madison approving the plan as well.

Monday night, attorneys for the Town of Madison were given the go-ahead to appeal the zoning decision after telling the board that the shelter might not fall under the "permitted use" category as it pertains to C1, commercial zoning.

They said the shelter could be deemed to be a "government use" building if it's run by the county. That would require the county to obtain a conditional use permit to run the building, giving the Town of Madison more say on conditions like hours, noise, odors and capacity.

The town's attorneys also said previous records showed the building in question zoned as R4, residential. Should that be the case, the town would have potential veto power over county attempts to re-zone the building for commercial use.

The appeal will now go before the Dane County Board of Adjustment.

Town of Madison Public Works Director Rick Rose said the BOA is likely to take up the appeal at its meeting in late August.

Also Monday, the board voted to delay action on finalizing an agreement with the county about building plans for the proposed shelter.

The town's planning commission previously approved the county's plans for the shelter along with roughly 14 conditions -- among them that the county would be responsible for the costs of making sure the shelter does not put a strain on the town's sewage system.

Rose said the conditions also require the county "pay for any costs associated with the extension of public facilities" like sidewalks, curbs and gutters. Rose said the county is also expected to pay for the extension of the City of Madison's water main to the shelter.

But the full town board decided it will wait to see what comes of the zoning appeal before issuing a final ruling on the shelter proposal and any such agreement with the county.

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