Nesbitt/Verona Road Planning Study
In 1999 City leadership suggested that the Nesbitt Road and Verona Road areas of the City are not developing in a way that is fully compatible with long established uses, the natural environment, and the opportunities presented for a major gateway into the City. The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of the area and to ascertain what, if any, improvements to the area should be made. The mixed use nature of the area, the unique natural features and the corridor being a major gateway of the City of Fitchburg, as well as a gateway for the Madison metropolitan area, suggest that challenges and opportunities are inherent for this study area. Concerns with this western gateway to the City are not new. In 1995 the "General Land Use Plan" was revised and appendix F of that document contained a more in-depth analysis of a portion of this study area in the northwest area detailed plan. Although it was referred to as detailed, the analysis was only a slightly more in depth examination of land use relationships in this general area of the City than what was presented in the general plan itself. This document is a further analysis building on the foundations of that work and analyzing relationships in it as well as what those relationships mean for the City and its overall development pattern and health of the Fitchburg economy. Recent roadway improvements to Nesbitt Road and Verona Road only further add to the desire to undertake the corridor study.
The study area is broken into two main parts: the Nesbitt Road area which is south of McKee Road, and the Verona Road area which is the area north of McKee Road.
The 1995 General Land Use Plan provides a significant amount of background data and information for this study. The land use, transportation, and natural resource data are all important as well as the information contained in appendix F of the General Land Use Plan. Additional data, however, has been collected and analyzed as part of this study. Photographs of the area are contained in Appendix B.Background and Analysis
The main natural features of the Nesbitt Road study area are the isolated ponds and wetlands, and the wooded ridge to the west of Nesbitt Road. This ridge is a defining feature for this area-it limits access, but provides for a strong visual backdrop. It is in fact a controlling feature around which land use, transportation, and other human impacts have been organized. Mineral extraction occurs to the west of the ridge , but the ridge helps buffer the Nesbitt Road uses from the effects of this quarry operation. The Payne and Dolan extraction and asphalt plant are much more visible to the east of Verona Road for the Nesbitt land uses than the extraction operation taking place just to their west. A twenty five foot wide environmental corridor exists around the wetland area associated with lots 3 and 4, CSM 9636. It also appears that a flood plain may exist beyond the edge of the wetland and environmental corridor boundary. A detailed flood analysis may be required for this site.
The wetland and pond features provide small isolated pocket reminders of kettles that exist in moraine topography. They provide limitations to the project site, but with sound planning and design such features can be used to the benefit of a project by providing natural enhancements. The environmental features can be viewed either as obstacles or as opportunities to this area. Sound development planning would look to use such features as an opportunity and allow those features to enhance the neighborhood development.
The Verona Road area lacks the presence of a ridge, but it contains some well established wooded areas that are now in a transition phase from the large lot single family to commercial uses and office uses. The E-Way linkage, although rather small and narrow, provides some benefit to the area. The Meland property contains lots that have a good deal of tree growth mainly due to their former use as a nursery site. This buffer is appreciated by the neighbors on Westchester and Shafer.
The planning area tends to be located in two drainage basins; the north and east sections of the Verona Road area tends to flow to the Dunn's Marsh and Nine Springs Creek basin, while the Nesbitt area and the southerly portion of the Verona Road study area tends to be part of the Jamestown storm system. Some of the lots in the Nesbitt Heights plat flow to kettle areas in the vicinity of the lots. Each system provides for its own set of unique environmental challenges. The Dunn's Marsh area has fluctuating water levels, although the detention basins in Arrowhead Park help to reduce pollutant loadings and improve the water quality. The Jamestown basin is an enclosed system, as the Quarry Ridge pond is planned as the final water destination for infiltration. The Quarry Ridge pond does have an emergency overflow that goes to Goose Lake. In periods of heavy rainfall flooding of the Quarry Ridge Recreation area occurs, as does some flooding of the adjoining Fitchrona Road. Given the storm water issues that are present, site designs should utilize conservation design techniques that encourage storm water infiltration. Added impervious area in the study area will only increase the amount of storm water that is required to be handled.
Maps 1 and 2 provide land use information, with Map 1 showing Nesbitt area land uses, and Map 2 showing Verona Road area land uses. The land use classification system is that used by the Dane County Regional Planning Commission. However, for ease of mapping, distinctions within major categories were not undertaken. Due to mapping limitations, a parcel was categorized in accord with the primary use. For example Bavarian Sausage is both a processing facility and retailer of meat products, and it was classified as a retail use, not a processing use. Further limitations are provided by the parcel data that exists (data available from January 1999) and will not include parcel splits after that time.
Primary land use for the Nesbitt area is extractive and commercial. Commercial varies greatly from Midwest Decorative Stone, a supplier of home and yard landscape products to Quivey's Grove and Monkeyshine restaurants. Quivey's Grove is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a locally designated landmark as well. Excluding the extractive land, the primary vacant land associated with this Nesbitt Study area are parcels along Nesbitt Road. Wholesale activities are not a dominant land use, although the effect they have on the viewscape is greater than the area they occupy. Part of the reason for the effect of the wholesale activities may be that a number of commercial uses are located in buildings that are similar in construction to what is expected for wholesale or warehouse activities. Wisconsin Flooring, Jung Seeds, and Gymfinity are examples of this. Metal building construction is becoming a standard inexpensive method to accommodate a variety of uses. As will be seen from other parts of the report, standard metal panel construction is not acceptable for all portions of the study area.
The Verona Road Study area (the area north of McKee Road) is dominated by groupings of land use east of the road to a mixed use situation west of the road. Recent building upgrades to the west side of the road have indicated a change to the area from wholesale activities to more commercial activities. Knights of Columbus and Chalet Ski and Patio both replaced heavier uses and have upgraded their buildings. The Kapec Road-King James area offers the most significant vacant land in this part of the study area. Commercial uses tend to dominate this area, but a mix of other uses are also present. Similar to the area south of McKee, the commercial uses tend to be housed in standard metal buildings.
In both study areas there are uses designated as commercial under the land use classification system, but not all of such uses are appropriate under B-G zoning. Some of the uses are allowable under B-H zoning. A few uses may be allowable under either zoning district.
-Commercial Business Inventory & Equalized Value Analysis
This section of the study will analyze table and map information (see Map 3, Map 4, Table 1 and Table 2) on equalized and assessed value in comparison with building and parcel square footage. Improvement value is a major factor to taxing authorities and is often thought to be a reflection of the level of the quality of construction.
Equalized Values per Square Foot Improvements
Total Study Area
The Nesbitt Road/Verona Road development area contains 8 improved manufacturing properties, 34 improved commercial properties, and 5 tax exempt properties. The average per square foot equalized value for commercial structures is $29.84. The average for manufacturing structures is $24.29. Overall, improvements in the area average of $28.20 per square foot.
Some outliers that are well above these averages include M&I Bank at $62.06 per square foot. This is due in part to the fact that the bank is a prime office building at a key intersection (Williamsburg Way and Verona Rd. ). Similarly, Fitchburg Veterinary Hospital is $64.57 per square foot. The neighboring Quivey's Grove is $49.11 per square foot. This property features preserved and renovated historic buildings with a successful restaurant operation, which calls for a higher assessed value.
The median improvements price per square foot ($26.35) is slightly lower than the mean. This indicates half the properties are more than $26.35 per square foot, and half are less. The standard deviation is $13.24, meaning 68% of the observations are within $13.24 of the mean ($28.20).
Nesbitt Study Area (South of McKee)
South of McKee there are 2 improved manufacturing properties and 12 improved commercial properties. The overall equalized value per square foot is $31.17. Commercial properties average $32.26 per square foot and manufacturing averages $18.10 per square foot (Map 3, Table 1).
Verona Road Area (North of McKee Road)
North of McKee Road there are 5 improved manufacturing properties and 23 improved commercial properties. Average equalized value of improvements per square foot north of McKee is $27.47. Commercial north of McKee averages $27.95 per square foot. Manufacturing averages $25.60 per square foot (Map 4, Table 2).
Equalized Value per Square Foot of land
Total Study Area
Average land equalized value per square foot in the area is $1.96. For manufacturing the average is $0.66 per square foot. For commercial improvements, it is $2.29. The two outliers for land values per square foot are Payne and Dolan (P&D) and Wingra Stone. The land values for P&D and Wingra ($0.13 and $0.32 respectively) are lower than the means. However, they are both manufacturing, larger parcels, and quarries.
Nesbitt Study Area (South of McKee)
Average land equalized value per square foot south of McKee is $1.65 overall, $0.45 manufacturing, and $1.85 commercial (Table 1).
Verona Road Area (North of McKee Road)
Average land equalized value per square foot north of McKee is $2.11 overall, $1.75 for manufacturing, and $2.20 for commercial (Table 2).
Land and improvement square footage was estimated from assessment files and building inspection files. These are approximations based on the best available information. Assessed and equalized values were obtained from City assessment files and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Implications of Data
There is a fairly wide range of equalized values per square foot of improvements in the Nesbitt Road area south of McKee Road. The higher end uses in the area are office/service and retail.
The Fitchburg Veterinary Hospital, Monkeyshines Restaurant, and Quivey's Grove restaurant round out the top and are significantly higher in building value per square foot than all other uses in the area. Wholesale/warehouse and manufacturing uses range from $20 to more than $30 per square foot less value than the aforementioned properties.
A similar situation exists for the Verona Road area north of McKee Road. The M&I Bank, an office/service use, is far above most of its neighbors in value at $62.06 per square foot. The closest properties to it are the Dry Bean restaurant, and the Nicolet Instruments office building. Again, the wholesale/warehouse and manufacturing properties trail a good distance behind these.
While a wide range of values exist for the each portion of the study area, the higher land values are an important resource to the City. The protection of the private investment is valuable to, not only the individual businesses, but to the health of the City as well. The method to insure protection of property value is to look to have values replicate those near the higher end of the range of values, rather than those at the lower end of the range. Value is related to use and type and quality of construction.
Floor Area Ratio
The average floor area ratio (FAR) in the area is .22, which is fairly low because of the numerous large parcels in the area, particularly for the manufacturing uses such as Wingra Stone, Payne and Dolan (P&D), Nicolet Instruments, and Certco. The median FAR is .2. The range is large from .002 to .611 . The standard deviation is also large at .16, meaning that 68% of the observations are within .16 of the mean. This shows the diversity of the area, from smaller buildings on small lots to large parcels of land.
The average floor area ratio in the area is .17 south of McKee Road and .25 north of McKee Road. In estimating what appropriate office use building square footage would be in the Nesbitt Road vacant lots, a floor area ratio of .25 and .30 is used. From this, trip generation of such a use can be estimated as discussed in the section below.
Graphs, not presented with this report and a regression analysis were completed for certain variables. There appears to be few conclusions that can be drawn on the relationship between Floor Area Ratio and Value per square foot. In addition, there is no apparent relation between FAR and land use type.
-Current Zoning and Planning
The primary land use classifications under the 1995 General Land Use Plan for the planning area are: industrial general, which is primarily east of Verona Road and north of McKee encompassing Certco, Harder Paper and Graber. Industrial commercial includes Nicolet and the Wingra quarry south of McKee Road. The last major designation is business which covers, in a linear form, most of the land area along Nesbitt Road, and the area of King James Way and Anton Drive. The business designation has a strong relationship to the viewscape and visibility provided by Verona Road. The business area is also an area of smaller platted lots which is in keeping with lots for retail and general business establishments.
A number of rezonings in the past ten to twelve years have put in place uses that tend to be more heavy business or warehouse related in the King James Way and the Nesbitt Road areas. An apartment project was also approved for a lot in the King James Commercial plat. Care needs to be exercised in future land use decisions to assure that proper protection of the residential uses occur. While, some residential uses in the Nesbitt Road area are planned to go to business they remain legal conforming uses and overtime may redevelop to more of a commercial use. Until then it is important to acknowledge their existence. Zoning maps of the Nesbitt Road study area is contained in Map 5, while zoning for the Verona Road area is shown in Map 6.
It is important to note the current land use plan for part of this study area sets forth a number of recommendations for the Northwest Area. See Appendix F of the General Land Use Plan.
The growing residential west side of Madison, along McKee Road, just west of Fitchburg will also place additional pressure for the land in this area to provide the services to serve the expanding west side population. Lack of alternative streets to McKee Road between these areas leads to a lack of integration, but Nesbitt Road may become more important as a local alternative to state highway use.
The area as a whole lacks strong land use or transportation integration and design which is probably due to the long time period under which it is developing, the lack of long term planning for public facilities to provide the integration, coupled with the natural features in some areas which limit integration. Land use and development patterns have changed to respect market demand. A good example of this is the theater location on McKee Road (just east of the study area); while it represents a good use and value, there was a lack of strong planning for pedestrian or bicycle access across Verona Road to help get non auto users west of Verona Road to the theaters.
The natural features need to be properly considered in the overall planning so that integration can occur, but within a context that recognizes the features. Beyond the natural features, social and economic forces must be dealt with and examined to produce a plan that is workable.
The study area is land that adjoins or is near important transportation corridors. USH 151 is a principal arterial that is one of the backbone roadways in the state highway system. McKee Road serves as a minor arterial, while King James Way serves as a collector street. The E-Way linkage at the north end of the planning area contains the Capital City Trail which runs south along the east frontage road using bike lanes then transitions to a bike path to cross McKee. The trail is planned to head south by the weigh station to the former rail corridor and will link the Capital City Trail and the Military Ridge State Trail. A recreational underpass exists north of Nicolet to connect the east and west sides of Verona Road. Nesbitt Road contains bike lanes. The area, however, lacks proper pedestrian systems whether it be sidewalks or recreational paths. Verona Road, much of McKee Road and Nesbitt Road have all been reconstructed within the last several years. McKee Road west of Kapec is scheduled for reconstruction in 2004.
The Anton Drive-Kapec extension is planned for construction in 2004. This extension will connect the dead end of Kapec to King James Way and to Anton Drive. This will lead to further public viewing of the properties along Kapec as it will become more heavily used as a more direct route to McKee Road.
Public Works set up traffic counters on Nesbitt Road for a weekend beginning at 1:00 pm of Friday 6/16. Due to the curvature of Nesbitt Road the counter was set up in the area of Jung Seed. The peak hours of traffic occurred on Friday during the mid afternoon-2 pm to 4 pm. The 3 pm hour accounted for the highest peak at 358 vehicles. Total traffic for the day on Friday was 2298 trips, while total Sunday traffic was 2284 trips. There were 3078 trips on Saturday. Saturday had 3 pm as peak for the day at 289 trips, while the Sunday peak hour was the noon hour at 237 trips. Due to commitments for the counters on weekdays in residential neighborhoods, weekday readings were not able to be provided for this report.
However, State of Wisconsin counts for Nesbitt in 1999 had 4,700 ADT (average daily trips), at a location near American Health and Safety. This compares to 2,500 ADT at this location in 1996. This is a significant traffic increase and indicates the need to assure traffic volumes are considered in any areas of significant land use changes. The increase can be expected to continue since Maple Grove Road is connected to Nesbitt Road. This would be in addition to traffic to be generated by expanded development in this area.
For purposes of analysis, the traffic impact of potential office development on remaining vacant land along Nesbitt Road that is southerly of Jung Seed was examined. Traffic impact was estimated using ITE trip generation rates. First, the square footage of buildings was estimated using a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of .25 and .3. Trip generation rates for offices are applied to these square footages, with the average daily trips, and AM and PM peak trips generated by the buildings being estimated. This analysis uses 1987 ITE manual trip generation rates, assumes office development, with the noted FAR's of 0.25 to 0.3. Results show a total of 2,741 trips per day (at a 30% FAR), with an AM peak (7-9) of 451 trips, and a PM peak (4-6) of 354 trips.
Unfortunately, it appears that there is no route for a connection between Nesbitt Road and the Wingra quarry west of the ridge. If such a connection was possible it would help improve integration in the neighborhood. The connection appears to be only possible, although not practically feasible, if there was significant disruption to the ridge.
The increase in traffic works to support the provision of uses that can take advantage of that traffic. While a lack of connection between the Wingra Quarry and the Nesbitt Road is not feasible, this lack of connection and integration shows that the Nesbitt Road area is separate and distinct from the Wingra Quarry and therefore the area does not need to assimilate to the industrial style of use, but set its own course as a commercial area to be served by, and take advantage of, the Verona Road and PD traffic volumes.
Recent highway construction represents a major investment of public funds for transportation improvements. Traffic continues to increase on these roadways and the State of Wisconsin is in the process of a needs assessment and to create long term solutions for the West Beltline and Verona Road corridors. Highways such as these in urban and urbanizing areas often attract businesses that desire visibility and access. The City of Madison is now in the process of redeveloping land uses at Verona Road and the West Beltline. Over time this redevelopment is expected to work its way south. Modest redevelopment is already occurring, as noted earlier, in Fitchburg with upgrades to certain locations along Anton Drive.
Further redevelopment is taking place along the east side of Verona Road with the Design Center on the Julseth land and the potential for redevelopment of the other single family homes that are in the wooded area between the Julseth and Nicolet properties. The Knights of Columbus facility east of Verona Road, occupies an upgraded single family home.
Other property improvements have also occurred over time in the study area, although most have tended to be in the Verona Road area. The possible City of Madison tax increment district which will include the Home Depot area and extend to the east of Verona Road to also include parts of Allied Drive, has the potential of continuing the catalyst for redevelopment of the Madison portions of the Verona Road area. Continued investment of public and private funds will only enhance the opportunities for revitalization for other portions of the Verona Road corridor including the study area.
Goals and Objectives
Many of the goals and objectives adopted as part of the 1984 and 1995 land use plans are pertinent to this area. A specific identification of the general goals and objectives pertinent to the 1995 NWA detail plan were identified in the appendix F of the General Land Use Plan.
However, given the further analysis that has occurred here, it is appropriate to set forth additional goals and objectives for this planning study:
A. Land Use and Development
- New construction to be accomplished in a manner that respects and is reflective of the natural landscape, topography and the natural resource elements that are present in the area.
- Redevelopment options should be examined for impact to adjoining neighborhoods.
- Redevelopment options should be leveraged to promote not only the goals and objectives for this area, but for surrounding neighborhoods as well.
- To promote the use of conservation design techniques particularly for developments with high levels of impervious surface.
- To encourage the development of pedestrian systems, including sidewalks within the area.
- To encourage effective and safe pedestrian and bicycle access across major highways.
- To limit drive access so as to not interfere with the flow of traffic on Nesbitt Road.
- Over time to examine the feasibility of mass transit extensions for portions of the study area.
C. Public Services
- To encourage the wise use of public investment in a manner that will improve the quality of the study area and to assist in achieving the goals of the City.
- To encourage the full range of services.
- To recognize that while market forces play a role in land use determination, that public investment and goals are also important in creating a liveable and enjoyable environment.
D. Environmental Protection
- To provide for the protection of the important natural features in the study area, such as the ridge, wetlands, the E-Way corridor, and significant woodland features.
- To encourage site design that promotes conservation principles, particularly storm water infiltration.
- To provide for open space corridors that add to the quality of the study area, and that assist in the protection of the important natural features.
Land Use Plan
Nesbitt Road Area
The portion of the study area along Verona and Nesbitt Roads, south of McKee Rd. (see Map 7).
The background and analysis section provided a significant discussion on this area. This area contains the most significant undeveloped land within the Nesbitt Road/Verona Road Planning Study area, and also provides the most significant environmental features for the study area. While land use classifications for the Nesbitt Road area land use plan do not vary significantly from those in the General Land Use Plan (1995), the scope and quality of the intended development will be more defined.
The main land use in this classification is a liquor and beer distributorship. This area should look for continued improvement in the limitations of outside storage and buffering along Verona Road. This classification is contiguous to Certco and other industrial general lands to the north of McKee Road, but east of Verona Road.
Two significant land areas, both containing transitional land uses, are contained within the industrial commercial classification: The Payne and Dolan property east of Verona Road which contains mineral extraction and an asphalt plant, and the Wingra quarry south of McKee Road, but west of the ridge. The Payne and Dolan area adjoins the Fitchburg Commerce Park, and any development of the property should have buildings of comparable quality to the better buildings in the Commerce Park, although those areas near Verona Road should be of better design, both in terms of site and building; quality and appearance is the key to maintaining a strong viable tax base at the entry to Fitchburg.
The Wingra area, due to its relationship to single family development, and the mixed use nature of the general area west of Verona Road should provide for a quality level that is at that of the Fitchburg Business Park. This would include the use of good materials on more than just the front elevation of a structure, but also to be carried through the structure. However, depending upon the overall grading and site views, internal lots that are created and not readily visible to the general public may be able to have buildings of similar quality to those better buildings in the Commerce Park. The Wingra Stone area should continue to be evaluated prior to creation of any industrial park as to determine suitability for commercial uses, particularly those that may be "big boxes," that could serve the growing westside population of Madison as well as Fitchburg.
Any big box retail structure to locate here should be well designed. The design of the Star Cinema should set the minimum standard for what big box retailers in this area should be required to meet.
If tax increment district financing is used to assist in the development of either (Payne and Dolan or the Wingra Stone quarry) of these areas, the level of construction should recognize the public contribution by an upgrade in design and appearance. The key is to take areas that have been mined of a natural resource and to see that they are reclaimed to be of benefit to the aesthetics and tax base of the community.
The business area of the Nesbitt study area represents a major view corridor from Verona Road, contain some natural features, and is mainly zoned for general business or office business uses. The area has the opportunity to become a strong gateway to the Fitchburg community by construction of buildings and site improvements that are representative of quality and will serve as a defining feature of the Verona Road viewshed. While the northern part of the overall study area the area north of McKee Road) is too highly developed for a new tone of development to have a strong impact, the Nesbitt area has the potential to do that. Business development in the area needs to respect the zoning that is in place, and also to provide architectural and design features that respects the natural features as well as the investment made by some current business operations in the area. To do this, a set of architectural and design guidelines are presented in appendix A of this report.
These guidelines, if adopted as part of this study, should become a controlling set of standards upon which architectural reviews for new construction in this area are to be based. Application of such standards to additions or remodeling should only occur if the current structure is such that the features presented will work with the structure, and if there is cooperation of the property owner.
Trees play an important role in the visual landscape of this area. Lot 9 and 10 of Nesbitt Heights have current deed restrictions limiting removal of trees over 6" until such time as building plans have been approved by the City. With the importance of tree preservation, it is crucial that any site plan provide a tree survey so as to allow proper decisions on impact to the wooded area by development to be undertaken. This does not mean that all trees will need to be preserved, but rather tree removal should be judicious, relate to the site and building improvements, but yet retain the quality of the area by preservation of better trees.
Over time it is expected that the single family homes that exist just south of Jung Seed will redevelop. It is recommended that at such time, these lots be grouped into one development proposal. Separately, each individual parcel would not be able to support any significant redevelopment, but together they could support a higher level use. It will take time for such redevelopment to become feasible, and until such time arrives, these single family uses need to be recognized and respected. These lots are zoned R-LM and therefore are conforming uses from a zoning standpoint.
Open Space and Environmental
The open space designation for the Nesbitt area mainly reflects the Quarry Ridge Recreation area. However, as noted the area contains some natural features that define and set forth an atmosphere for part of the area. These features are identified on the plan map as wetland and wooded slope. These areas are to be preserved and respected when construction in the area occurs. Other open space areas also exist, such as the wet pond near Jung Seed, and the dry pond that occurs north of the veterinary clinic.
Verona Road Area
The portion of the study area along Verona Road north of McKee Road (see Map 8).
The discussion in the background and analysis section presented an area of significant mixed use, with some undeveloped and underdeveloped properties. Obstacles present in this area are the variety of businesses, building types and varied building quality. The Wingra quarry north of McKee Road, while outside of the planning area, has an effect on the planning area. However, opportunities are presented by the Anton-Kapec extension and the redevelopment potential that exists.
The plan for this area requires specific consideration of how the area will be treated as new development is proposed and redevelopment occurs.
The business classification of this area is intended to allow for general retail and office development as is consistent with general business and office business zoning. The use of highway business should be restricted and limited, unless a specific use would be determined to be compatible with the neighborhood. The use of high quality businesses, is especially important in the north east sector of the study area for the home redevelopment along Verona Road. Such development should be of a quality similar to that which exists for the office buildings along Seminole Highway in the Fitchburg Business Park. Businesses that redevelop in the nicely wooded area shall be mindful to retain the harmony and beauty of that atmosphere. In that sense building plans that work with the topography and trees are important. Tree survey and data by a recognized forester or landscape architect is necessary to be submitted by any applicant so as to allow determination of impact by proposed development to the overall woodland quality and harmony such woodlands present to the public. This is not to say that all trees need to be preserved, but to realize that the trees play a unique role in the character of that area and enhance the buildings and surroundings of adjoining uses.
The vacant lots in and around the Jamestown Commercial plat should also see an increase in quality to that which is comparable to the City Fire Station #2, and to the mid level building in the Fitchburg Business Park (such as Acker Flooring, Flower Market, and the Blettner buildings). Site designs shall be accomplished so as minimize impervious surface. Truck docks and loading areas shall be minimized to that which is necessary to serve the facility proposed. B-P and B-G facilities should limit warehouse distribution and production areas to no more than 30% of the building area.
The I C category is a description of a higher level of industrial use than is normally present in general industrial classifications. Quality of development in the area designated as I C adjacent to Nicolet should be comparable to that which is present in the Nicolet campus.
The I G land use classification covers industrial and warehouse uses. Existing businesses, in this area, are constructed predominantly with prefabricated metal panels. However, landscaping should be strongly encouraged to be used to enhance the business sites. Please note that the industrial general classification should not be confused with the General Industrial (I-G) zoning district, as the classification refers to use, not necessarily zoning. For example some industrial uses are located in Highway Business zoning (B-H), with a land use classification of industrial general.
The open space designation reflects land that is within the E-Way. The parcel fronting the Verona Road frontage road is owned by Dane County and they have noted that they may wish to sell part of this, for another use, as it is considered excess land. If such a sale occurs, any proposed use should meet the design criteria listed above for the business classification.
Existing multi-family developments, in this portion of the study area, provide a variety of housing options from condominium to rental. Projects to the east of Verona Road are rather large and showing need for rehabilitation, while the projects west of Verona Road are smaller and generally of good appearance and design. The City CDA should begin looking at ways to assist with the upgrade of the larger apartment projects.
The Meland property has posed a planning challenge ever since it was rezoned to B-H to accommodate a landscape sales business which never materialized, and its access to Verona Road eliminated. A special planning study accomplished by the Dane County RPC failed to satisfy the neighborhood concerns. At present, an acceptable use may be as a religious use for a small congregation. A religious use is expected to make application for rezoning to place the land back into the R-L classification with a conditional use to allow religious use.
The disparate uses in the planning area have led to a disjointed appearance and lack of any integrating themes for a highly visible corridor within the City. The goal of this report was to further define land use and transportation elements for the study area in a way that both are integrated. Land use and transportation work from and off each other. Certainly, with the study area as diverse as this, not all components of the study area can be treated in the same manner. That is why the area is broken into general land use classifications with a more definitive description of each classification provided as to what each respective area is to strive toward for integration and design. Each component or sub area was analyzed in regard to its own unique character and makeup, as well as in regard to defining a vision for each component and the overall study area.
The application of architectural standards that are presented in this report shall only apply to additions or remodeling if there is cooperation of the property owner. However, the Plan Commission, through its exercise of architectural and design review may require alterations or improvements to any structure proposed for addition or remodeling in accord with applicable ordinances.
While the area has challenges, opportunities are present to veer from the status quo and set forth a development scenario for each classification area which will upgrade the overall study area and promote design to be consistent with the land use classifications that are present. The architectural upgrading is beneficial to both private investors and the public by promotion of quality design and construction. Rather than the lowest common denominator of land use and design being acceptable, the development needs to respect the private and public investments that have been made. Quality design and architecture that work with the environment are important features to accomplishing the goals of the study. This study was undertaken at one point in time, and land use and transportation are dynamic elements that will need constant attention and evaluation to assure continued adherence to the goals and recommendations of the area plan.
Appendix A - Design Standards for Nesbitt Road
Appendix B - Photos