More Details On The Proposed St. Adalbert’s Project

Update: Here is a frequently asked questions document.

More than 200 people attended Monday’s public information meeting for the proposed St. Adalbert’s apartments, and that was the first of a number of opportunities for residents to learn more about the project and have their voices heard.

Indeed, that is my promise: continued open and honest communication as we move through the process.

Monday’s meeting was more about learning about the development and developer, getting questions answered about project details. It lasted about 90 minutes.

  • You can see the presentation Gorman & Co. gave here.
  • And look for a more detailed Q&A document, with answers to questions raised at Monday’s meeting, to be posted soon on that same page.

So, what’s next? The South Milwaukee Plan Commission will consider the project at its Oct. 27 meeting, when it may make a formal recommendation to the full city council on the rezoning request by Gorman. The council would then take up the issue and potentially schedule an official public hearing. After that hearing, a final vote by the council may not happen until early 2015.

As we go through the process, I also want to share a message I shared at Monday’s meeting — about what the city can and can’t consider in deciding on this project.

By law, there are strict limits as to what we can consider when it comes to a request for rezoning, as Gorman & Co. is seeking. For example, under zoning law (Wis. Stats. 62.23(7)), the common council can regulate the:

  • Height of a building;
  • Number of stories and size of buildings and other structures;
  • The percentage of lot that may be occupied;
  • The size of yards and other open spaces;
  • The density of population;
  • And the location and use of buildings, structures and land.

In deciding this, the statutes are also clear as to what we can’t consider in making our decision. We cannot consider who lives there, how much money they earn or where they earn that money (as long as it’s a lawful occupation). In other words, whether the development is for rich or poor or middle-income residents is not, and can not, be a consideration in zoning matters.

Furthermore, we must uphold South Milwaukee’s commitment to fair, non-discriminatory housing. This city ordinance reads in part: “It is the declared policy of this City that all persons shall have an equal opportunity for housing regardless of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, lawful source of income, age or ancestry.”

Simply, we can’t discriminate. Nor should we. Not just because it’s against the law. It’s also the right thing to do.

I think those parameters are important to know as the debate picks up in coming weeks.

15 Comments

Filed under Development, South Milwaukee

15 responses to “More Details On The Proposed St. Adalbert’s Project

  1. Melanie

    your right Mr. Mayor it is the right thing to do

    • Tom K

      Rezoning to multifamily will lower the value of homes in the area and eventually in the entire city (southtown, 5th ave, grant park plaza area, etc).
      Senior apartments would be better but am still hoping that a church/school
      solution could be found.

  2. Randy G

    Eric,
    Does this mean that, because Gorman is “seeking” to have the land rezoned, the city will be forced to?

    • No, the city can certainly deny the request, but only within the parameters I outline in my post.

      • Frank Gratke

        The city attorney and I have had numerous exchanges over the city codes and the right of the individual. This has gone on for 25 years. The Marina cliffs/ Lake bluff case sided with my point. A City has an obligation not a right. A person has a right. When a right meets an obligation, the obligation must meet a lot of tests. The statement ” the city can certainly deny the request” is not quite accurate. The city can deny the request but can be overridden if it is not reasonable , which is subject to “federal oversight”.
        No one is ever sure what that will entail.

        Frank “Disco” G

      • Randy G

        So, does this mean that the city really has no say in zoning issues? I believe we’ve already met the “obligation” of providing “affordable” housing with the existing facilities.

      • The city has say in zoning issues. And we will have our say here.

      • Frank Gratke

        The statement about the city needing to be reasonable means citizens should listen to our new young Mayor and keep your comments in the correct text. He is working very hard to give citizens input and make sure anything built is built with quality. However, the city may have to say “No”. It can always be challenged . Please do not give the ACLU or Department of Justice any challenge points. Note , I consider our City attorney World Class in the area of building codes and restriction of rights. He has a lot of experience . We our in good hands.

  3. Rick

    The project outlined by Gorman would change a property that is becoming an eyesore to a good looking and well cared for project.

  4. Kim

    Erik, Is the city or Gorman and Co. members of ICLEI?

  5. Dee on Manitoba

    Erik, Was there a representative at the Oct 6 meeting for Divine Mercy Parish. I was told by Paul McBride who is the Commercial Realtor for St Adalbert’s that he would represent the Divine Mercy Parish and would be at the meeting. Was there someone else?

  6. Jon Ellis

    Erik, Just wondering if you guys plan on hiring more police officers or creating a small police office at this location like they have at the affordable housing along 6th and Mackinac ? I can see trouble looming down the road with this. It’s just a fact of life with that many people in one place, issues will be present low income or not.

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