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Edgewater project scores small victory

(Renderings courtesy of Elkus/Manfredi Architects)
A revised rendering shows the proposed Edgewater Hotel redevelopment from Lake Mendota. Madison’s Plan Commission has voted to change the city’s zoning ordinance to allow the proposed Edgewater addition to have the same setback as the original structure.
(Renderings courtesy of the city of Madison)

By Paul Snyder

The proposed Edgewater Hotel redevelopment won a zoning change, the project’s first Madison approval after months of city commission rejections and referrals.

“It was a small victory for the city process,” said Alderwoman Lauren Cnare. “A lot of my colleagues have made comments that all we keep doing is referring this project, so it was nice to make some decision.”

The Plan Commission voted 5-4 Monday night in favor of a change to the city’s zoning ordinance that would let the $93 million project sidestep the city’s waterfront setback requirements. The change still must be approved by the Common Council.

The change, proposed by Cnare, would alter the city’s setback standard by maintaining a commercial building’s setback from the waterfront when the building is expanded. According to current zoning, the minimum setback for an addition to a commercial building is based on the average setback of neighboring buildings.

The Edgewater’s 1940s building is 16 feet from Lake Mendota, which, according to Cnare’s proposal, means the Edgewater addition would have the same setback.

Cnare said the city attorney is drafting the zoning amendment.

The Plan Commission on Feb. 22 will make its recommendations on the rest of the project.

The Common Council on Feb. 23 is expected to make a final decision on the project, but Cnare said the amount of city review still needed could delay the full council review.

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