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Hammes requests Edgewater appeal

By Paul Snyder

Citing strong city support, Brookfield-based Hammes Co. on Wednesday requested the Madison Common Council appeal the Landmarks Commission’s decision on redeveloping the Edgewater Hotel.

The Common Council will debate and vote on the issue at its meeting next Tuesday. It needs 14 votes to overturn the commission’s decision, and two members — Aldermen Larry Palm and Michael Schumacher — will be absent.

The Landmarks Commission on Monday denied granting the project a certificate of appropriateness based on its size and visual impact relating to the surrounding Mansion Hill Historic District.

Without an appeal, the developer had the option of either redesigning the project again or calling it quits.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz joined labor groups and other city aldermen Tuesday in urging Hammes to appeal.

Labor union leaders on Tuesday said they felt confident an appeal would garner the necessary votes, given that the Common Council voted to keep tax incremental financing for the project in the city’s 2010 budget.

But Alderman Mark Clear said 17 votes for a budget provision does not guarantee 14 votes for the project.

“The language in the budget was merely a placeholder,” he said. “It actually said the amendment does not constitute support for the project.”

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