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Madison alders vote to repeal Edgewood master plan

MADISON (WKOW) -- Alders voted to repeal the Edgewood High School master plan first implemented in 2014.

The vote Tuesday night was 15 to 5.

It was the first city-adopted master plan in pursuant of zoning codes, and it was developed alongside the neighborhood.

Within the last year and a half, the high school wanted to improve and expand the field, but the additions would require a change in the master plan. Edgewood officials said city officials had made clear repealing the master plan would work better than having amendments.

Neighbors have been vocal in standing against repealing this master plan and letting Edgewood expand the field since the beginning.

Residents of the neighborhood surrounding the Monroe Street school were concerned the lights and sound system that Edgewood wanted to add would lead to sporting events happening late at night. They have said they were worried that would lead to an increase in noise and traffic in their area.

Those residents came out in droves Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the city letting Edgewood repeal this master plan in its entirety to allow the school to pursue expansion under different zoning rules.

"The negative impact to quality of life to so many nearby families including homeowners, restaurants, and neighborhoods outweighs the convenience afforded to a small number of families whose students attend Edgewood High School," said resident Rob Williamson.

Many alders in favor of repealing the master plan called it a "legal" issue. They said Edgewood would still be subject to other zoning rules, and other schools in the area aren't subject to master plans.

City attorneys told alders that the master plan is not a binding contract, and Edgewood is not required to have one.

While many of them did not speak publicly, Edgewood backers were on hand to show their support for their school.

Edgewood High School president Michael Elliott said that even if this is repealed, they still want to work with the neighbors on future projects. He said they also want to be treated as other Madison high schools are.

"We will continue to live by our values and be a good neighbor and we will also defend our right to be fair and equal as a neighbor and Madison institution," he said.

Edgewood has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, citing religious discrimination for not letting them expand and improve its athletic field the way other public high schools can.

Many alders said they were disappointed with what the situation had come to on both sides, including Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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