On Aug. 16, 2016, the Fitchburg Plan Commission met to consider a rezoning petition by Phil Sveum of Fitchburg Lands LLC, the development company that owns 250 acres of farmland in the Northeast Neighborhood. There were 6 members present, and our supporters were there in force, with 24 people who had registered in opposition to this step towards development, with 6 speaking eloquently against it. We swayed one member of the commission, Bill Tischler, but we lost the ally we had counted on, Mayor Steve Arnold.
Without an advance word to his allies he voted to rezone Phil Sveum's land, thus clearing the way for development to start in the spring of 2017. This was a betrayal of the hundreds who had elected him mayor with the belief that he would not permit this development to happen in the near future. He gave the excuse that the majority of the Common Council did not want to delay the development. That's true, but he omitted the fact that he could have vetoed the project, which he did in 2015 to the Fahey Fields development proposal, and his veto was upheld by his three allies on the council. They would have upheld this veto as well. You can click on "Latest Events" below to read more about the situation.
Unless we can find a donor or group of donors who would buy out the developer, this development will go forward next spring. Please contact us if you can help find such donors, or if you would like to help educate the Common Council on ways that they can improve the plan.
Watch our 20-minute video filmed in 2014 in the Waubesa Wetlands, with wetland scientists Dr. Cal DeWitt, Dr. Joy Zedler, and Tracy Hames.