Homeless day center plans rejected by Town of Madison committee - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Homeless day center plans rejected by Town of Madison committee

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TOWN OF MADISON (WKOW)-- A setback for Dane County’s plans for a new homeless day center, as a Town of Madison committee votes to not approve the plan.

The County Board approved purchasing the Porchlight Hospitality site in the Town of Madison last month, but the town has concerns about the plans.

Gary Davis, who lives near the proposed Homeless day center spoke on behalf of roughly eight concerned Town of Madison residents.

“There's a neighborhood park right across the street from the center and we've already had considerable problems from hospitality house,” Davis said. “From broken glass to trash and urination in the park, people sleeping overnight, scaring away the neighborhood residents.”

The Town of Madison planning committee was not required to hold a public comment session but felt citizens needed to have their voices heard.

“Since it's somewhat emotional, or quite emotional for the neighborhood, I felt it would be the best thing,” said the committee chair, Rick Rose.

After Davis, the only speaker, finished, the committee voted to recommend not approving the plans. Rose abstained from voting because he says he sees both sides. On the one hand- he says the proposed plan is a permitted use of the site, but also he knows his town has questions.

“I support our committee's decision,” Rose said. “The people are concerned and if you look at it, one could say it's not an appropriate site, especially with the residential areas right next to it.”

The matter is now in the hands of the Madison Town Board. They could agree with the committee's decision not to approve the plans or they could approve them.The matter could also be re-referred back to the planning committee.

“It's going to be difficult,” Davis said. “The county is going to counter and I don't know that the town can win actually.”

Those representing Dane County at the meeting declined to comment after the vote.

The town board will meet on the 23 to discuss the plans and the committee's recommendation not to approve them. The county could also make changes to the proposal.

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