EENA Memo re. Occupy Madison Tiny Houses: Final Draft

Thank you to all who contributed comments on this memo.  The final draft was submitted to the City of Madison Planning Division on April 19th. The EENA council hopes that these contingencies reflect the reasonable requests of the neighbors within our boundaries, and we hope that Occupy Madison, INC, the City of Madison, and the residents of Emerson East can continue a productive dialog.

TO: City of Madison Planning Division
FROM: Emerson East Neighborhood Association
DATE: April 19, 2014
SUBJECT: Occupy Madison Tiny Houses/Village Proposal, 2046-2050 East Johnson Street

The Emerson East Neighborhood Association (EENA) recognizes that residents in the neighborhood care deeply about homelessness as a societal problem and human rights issue. However, EENA residents hold diverse opinions on the Occupy Madison Tiny House / Village proposal and its appropriateness for our neighborhood. This wide variety of opinions may be viewed on the City of Madison’s website for District 12, which includes written comments from the January 15th informational meeting about the proposal: . Some residents support the proposed tiny home village, some do not support the proposal, and there is a very broad spectrum of opinion in the middle. Given this range of opinion, EENA voted at our meeting on April 2, 2014 to remain neutral on the proposal itself. EENA views itself as a facilitator of meetings between the city, developer, and residents, and has historically remained neutral during other neighborhood building projects and proposals.

However, EENA would like to propose some contingencies, should this Occupy Madison proposal move forward.

We request that:

1) The site should remain under the continuing jurisdiction of the City of Madison Plan Commission

2) Occupy Madison shall post property manager contact information in a publicly visible place so that any resident of the neighborhood can contact that person or persons with concerns.

3) The City should disallow the use of compost toilets in the tiny homes, because ample plumbed restrooms and showers will be available in the site’s workshop structure (as stated by Occupy Madison).

4) Workshop hours should be limited from 8AM – 8PM on weekdays, and 10AM – 8PM on weekends and holidays.

5) Tiny homes should not be allowed to park on streets within the neighborhood borders.

6) The site should maintain appropriate noise levels at all times.

7) Should the property leave Occupy Madison’s ownership at a future date, the property should revert to neighborhood mixed use zoning.

8) The City of Madison Traffic or Engineering departments should carefully consider the site’s parking needs to make them sufficient for Tiny House resident and volunteer parking.

9) The site should evoke the residential environs of the neighborhood. The site plan should pay special attention to privacy issues, noise buffering, and overall aesthetics to reduce disruption to immediate neighbors and for the benefit of the OM village residents.

10) Occupy Madison, Inc. must have a legally enforceable eviction plan in place

11) Occupy Madison, Inc. should consider an alternate site for the propane tank on the property, away from the street, and minimize the potentially displeasing aesthetics of the site’s dumpster (currently located near the front of the property). A suggestion is swapping the locations of the dumpster and the greenhouse.