CARPC: Protect our waters by rejecting risky new development

Commissioners of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission:

We, the undersigned residents of Dane County over the age of 18 years, request CARPC to reject Fitchburg's applications to bring its Northeast Neighborhood (NEN) and North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood (NSPN) into the Central Urban Service Area. We are concerned about the following factors that CARPC can consider in its deliberation:

  • Why pave over more high-quality farmland when the present and predicted future droughts in California means that we will need to grow a large portion of our fruits and vegetables locally in the near future?
  • he 2035 population forecast for Dane County was just adjusted dramatically downward. These two proposed expansions will likely provide a supply of development land far beyond the permitted 25 years.
  • These are the water related risks

  • Flooding of future homes in the NEN near the degraded wetland west of Larsen Rd. is very likely, based on recorded flood levels.
  • Swan Creek, the Waubesa Wetlands, the natural Northern Pike hatchery, and Lake Waubesa will be damaged by NEN storm water if storm water engineering solutions don't work as planned.
  • A significant part of the NSPN is an enclosed basin, necessitating emergency pumping during and following heavy rainfall.
  • Global climate models predict more frequent and more violent precipitation events in our area, which could overwhelm storm water facilities designed for a drier, more stable climate.
  • Infiltration of too much storm water in the NEN could result in flooding in the Meadowview subdivision; too little could harm the wetlands and Lake Waubesa.
  • The spring 2014 Dane County groundwater model by the United States Geological Survey, and the summer 2014 UW Madison study which transposed the 2008 Lake Delton storm over Lake Mendota's watershed, should be studied before approving either of these 2 proposals.
  • Click here to download the petition.

    Latest Events (show all)

    Fitchburg Common Council votes against common sense, we take our fight to the CARPC.

    On Feb. 25, the Fitchburg Common Council voted 6 – 2 in favor of submitting Urban Service Area Amendment Applications for the Northeast Neighborhood and the North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood to CARPC, the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission. Alders Steve Arnold and Dorothy Krause voted against the measure, and we thank them. The next step is for the CARPC to consider and vote on the applications, and we will be urging them to turn them down. The public hearing will likely happen on August 14, at the Fitchburg City Hall, though we don't know for sure yet. In the meantime, we'll continue to educate people about how harmful approving these applications would be. Click here to read more, and contact us at if you can help us collect petition signatures between now and August.

    Latest News (show all)

    Letter from Wetland Scientist Dr. Joy Zedler

    To : CARPC

    From: Joy B. Zedler, Ph.D., Professor of Botany and Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology

    Re: Northeast Neighborhood (NEN)

    I am a wetland scientist; I reside in the Town of Dunn at the headwaters of Murphy Creek. I have personal experience with runoff from Fitchburg, because a farm across the road from me despoils my native sedge meadow with sediment, nutrients, and pesticides. The runoff is converting native vegetation to Wisconsin’s worst wetland weed (reed canary grass, Phalaris arundinacea). A graduate student of mine recently showed that the portion of my sedge meadow that is dominated by reed canary grass has only half as many plant species as the area in front of the invasion, and many of the associates of reed canary grass are weeds. Another student documented increased nitrogen content of plant leaves as we sampled plants away from and close to the culvert that imports Fitchburg runoff from the corn/soybean field. The source of the problem is nutrientrich runoff and the outcome is continued degradation and loss of substantial value (“natural capital”) due to runoff from a Fitchburg farm.

    Here are my science-based concerns about urban development west of Larsen Road: (Read More)