September 16, 2019

Madison officials do not approve DSU rights-of-way request - Daily Leader Extra : News

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Madison officials do not approve DSU rights-of-way request

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Posted: Monday, August 5, 2019 9:02 pm

Members of the Madison City Commission split their votes 2-2 on Monday during the decision on whether or not to approve a rights-of-way request made by Dakota State University to occupy two boulevards in central Madison for vehicle parking.

Commissioners Jeremiah Corbin and Kelly Johnson voted yes to approve the request. Mayor Marshall Dennert and Commissioner Bob Thill voted no.

Commissioner Mike Waldner was not present at Monday’s meeting. Waldner had abstained from the initial vote on the boulevard-parking request, and he would not, by voting rules, have voted during Monday’s vote count, according to Jennifer Eimers, city finance officer.

The city commissioners had tabled the request for two two-week periods in an effort to find other parking options and contact local school officials about school bus-related safety issues.

They provided the first delay so that DSU officials could study other options in providing parking at a proposed student-residence building located on the corner of N.W. 3rd St. and N. Van Eps Ave. After two weeks, the university officials returned to the commissioners and proposed the same boulevard parking plan.

The commissioners tabled the request for a second time so the mayor could contact local school officials to determine if any safety issues existed with installation of new boulevard parking spaces. The Madison Central School District and St. Thomas School maintain a bus stop across the street from DSU’s new residence building.

On Monday, Dennert said the Rev. DeWayne Kayser of St. Thomas Church and Cate Luvaas, St. Thomas principal, wanted to maintain the bus stop along N.W. 3rd St.

DSU purchased the former Catholic convent, located at N.W. 3rd St. and Van Eps Ave. University officials want to renovate the building into housing for 23 students.

DSU officials also wanted to install 21 car-parking spaces in the boulevards along N.W. 3rd St. and N. Van Eps Ave. and in the alley on the west side of the building. To do so, the university has requested from the city permission to occupy rights of way in the boulevards along the city streets next to the former convent.

Neighborhood residents had previously spoken during the commissioners’ meetings about their concerns in how the student housing and boulevard parking would change the character of the neighborhood and cause safety problems.