UPDATE: Zoning questions about proposed homeless center - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Zoning questions about proposed homeless center

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TOWN OF MADISON (WKOW)— More issues came up Thursday night about Dane County's planned day center for the homeless. The county is trying to convert the current Porchlight Hospitality site in the Town of Madison.

Earlier this month, the Town's planning committee rejected the county's proposal, saying it was incomplete. Thursday, the Town Board voted to re-refer the matter to the planning committee, now that the county submitted a more detailed proposal.

At the meeting, the board also discussed whether or not the shelter meets zoning codes, but the town doesn't handle zoning matters.

“Most towns, in fact all towns, in Dane County rely on the county for their zoning,” said Jim Campbell, the Town Board Chair.

So the town went to the county and asked for a decision regarding the county's own plan for the day shelter.

“We then went to the county and said we don't see the permitted use, we have a question and a concern about it,” Campbell said. “Common sense would seem to dictate it is a conflict of interest and they should recuse themselves and a third party should make the decision, but the law doesn't provide for that.”

The Dane County Planning and Developing Zoning Division responded Tuesday and said it determined the center does meet zoning codes. In the decision The County Zoning division says the resource center will operate as a service use which is similar in nature to other service uses currently operating in that type of zone.

Campbell says he still has concerns after reading the County's decision...and so do residents.

“The fact that the town is seriously considering raising questions about zoning is certainly a good result I think,” said Gary Davis, who opposes the planned location for the center.

The town now has 30 days to appeal. If it does, the matter goes before the Dane County Board of Adjustment, which Campbell says is as close to an independent third party as they're going to get. He said the town will consult with their attorney before making a decision.

An attorney for the county says she agrees with the decision to re-refer the proposal to the planning committee, but she didn't' comment on the zoning issues.

As of Thursday night, the next meeting of the planning committee had not been set, though the county asked that it be soon.


TOWN OF MADISON (WKOW)—The Town of Madison may take action tonight on plans for a Dane County homeless day shelter planned for Martin Street.

The County wants to purchase the current Porchlight Hospitality site for $300,000 and convert it to a day resource center. However the plan was met with resistance by the Town of Madison planning committee earlier this month. The committee voted to recommend not approving the proposal.

The ultimate approval is up to the full town board. On tonight’s agenda is consideration and possible action regarding the shelter proposal.

The meeting starts at 6 PM at the Town of Madison town hall, 2120 Fish Hatchery Rd.

We’ll have details and any results from that meeting to night on 27 News at 10.
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