Penny for your thoughts

The City Council recently passed a hotly debated zoning update. Let's talk about it.

Penny for your thoughts
Photo by AbsolutVision / Unsplash

Happy Thursday, friends!

Let me ask you a quick question: Would you rather receive this email…

Think about it.

— Hayley


Photo by Hayley Sperling

🚍 Let's talk about the city's new transit-oriented zoning.

  • City Council passed a contentious new zoning rule on Tuesday that will allow developers to build duplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes — including in Madison's historic districts. Though the council ultimately voted 14-5 in favor of the plan, it wasn't without its hurdles. Debates between council members and public statements from residents lasted for hours.
  • Why the change? The move is designed to increase housing density within a quarter-mile of major transportation routes, thereby giving more people easy access to public transportation. The change also coincides with the city's work to redesign its metro transit system and implement Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) within the coming year.
  • NIMBYs vs. YIMBYs: Many Madisonians were already discussing the proposed change following the publication of an opinion column in the Cap Times that opposed the zoning change, citing a lack of transparency in the governmental processes and the need to preserve the character of historic neighborhoods. Some decried the argument as the embodiment of the anti-housing philosophy of "Not in My Backyard" or NIMBYism.

🚧 Welcome to The Moment.

🤝 Wanted: Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County currently has a waitlist of more than 200 kids looking for mentors.
  • In an effort to attract more mentors, the group has made some changes to the program. They now ask for a one-year commitment from Bigs (previously two years) and have lowered the age requirement for volunteers from 21 to 18 years old. You can fill out the application form here.
  • The group's mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships. Currently they serve around 500 kids in Dane County.

🗳️ Meet District 12's new alder.

  • Barbara Vedder was sworn in this week as the new District 12 alder. She will serve until the spring election (and did not submit paperwork to run for a full term). The seat has been vacant since December, following the resignation of Ald. Syed Abbas.
  • Vedder served on the City Council from 1995 to 2001 and as a member of the Dane County Board from 2006 to 2010.

🎣 Your lunchtime read: New study finds extremely high levels of 'forever chemicals' in Great Lakes fish.

  • Via WPR: "PFAS concentrations averaged 278 times higher than chemicals found in commercially caught fish tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the last three years. Andrews said the difference likely stems from store-bought fish that comes from marine environments or fish farms that have less polluted water.

    Researchers called for a single fish consumption advisory for freshwater fish nationwide. Andrews advised anglers to pursue alternatives to eating freshwater fish, but he highlighted the issue poses environmental justice concerns for populations that rely more on fishing for sustenance."
  • Related: DNR issues fish consumption advisory for white bass from Yahara River chain (Channel 3000)
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🎙️ Today on the pod

Photo: A 3×4 grid displays the cover art for the tracks that appear on this list. Via Tone Madison

Madison’s Best Local Music of 2022

Madison has no shortage of talented musicians. But how do you discover and find great new bands? The folks at Tone Madison listened to hundreds of new songs and highlighted some of their favorite new songs and albums born in 2022. City Cast Madison caught up with publisher Scott Gordon to hear a few of his favorite picks.

Check them out for yourself:
Here’s Tone Madison’s top songs of 2022, pt. Ipt. IIpt. III
And Tone Madison’s top 20 records of 2022.


🦠 Covid-19 update


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Celebrating the Lunar New Year
The last Roman Candle Pizza is closing next month.