Bay View Land Gets Protection
Council approves purchasing, protecting Bay View land near Lake Parkway.
Bay View is about to get a new park, sort of. Under a deal negotiated between the city and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Port of Milwaukee will acquire a currently-vacant, 2.69 acre parcel at the northeast corner of the south side neighborhood.
Terms of the sale prevent the development of the property with any permanent structures or the placement of any billboards. A deed restriction also insures the property must be open to the public in perpetuity. The property won’t officially become a park, at least not yet, but will continue to be open to the public.
Area alderman Tony Zielinski told Urban Milwaukee that “unfortunately, with the changes in Madison they were going to sell it on the open market.” Zielinski said that since there was no other entity available to purchase and preserve the land, he helped ensure the city stepped in and did so. The council unanimously endorsed the purchase.
Dave Misky, assistant executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, presented the deal to the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee last week. Misky told the committee the DNR is seeking to sell the property as part of a state mandate to reduce state-owned land.
At last week’s hearing, committee chair and alderman Jim Bohl suggested the port should investigate using native prairie grasses similar to those found at Hartung Park and Three Bridges Park in order to reduce the need to mow the facility and to mitigate any environmental impacts.
The DNR has only owned the land for 11 years. It was transferred to the DNR in 2006 by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to be used as a wildlife habitat. According to a city report the property has been open space since the construction of Interstate 794 and the Hoan Bridge in the 1970s.