Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Council Could Override Zielinski on Bay View Development

Developer Scott Lurie's project is headed towards a vote.

By - Nov 8th, 2019 12:27 pm
Updated proposal for 2700 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. block. Rendering by RINKA.

Late 2018 proposal for 2700 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. block. Rendering by RINKA.

The Common Council’s informal system of aldermanic privilege is set for a test.

The council normally defers to the district’s representative regarding zoning and licensing proposals, but a proposed Bay View development could push the limits of that policy.

Common Council files have been created to advance developer Scott Lurie‘s proposal for two apartment buildings on the 2700 block of S. Kinnickinnic Ave. over the objections of area Alderman Tony Zielinski.

Zielinski, in late 2018, held two contentious public meetings on the proposal with Lurie present and pledged to oppose it based on community feedback.

Lurie, head of F Street Group, submitted a zoning change request for the project in January, but withdrew the request before the council could act on it.

Now a scaled-down version of the project is back, with Lurie pulling three of the 11 properties that form the development site from the deal. Much of the development would be built on a large vacant lot and the site of a vacant, one-story building and one-story BMO Harris Bank branch.

The files, entered into the city’s Legistar system on Tuesday, would change the zoning for the site and reconfigure a public alley on the perimeter of the site.

Normally those files would be sponsored by the local council member, but Zielinski declined and both are listed as being sponsored by the chair of the committee they are before by default. The alley file is listed as sponsored by Alderman Robert Bauman, chair of the Public Works Committee, and the zoning file by Ald. Khalif Rainey, chair of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee.

Bauman and Rainey both told Urban Milwaukee that they have not been briefed on the project yet by DCD and have not made a decision on which way they’ll vote.

The council does have a history of overriding Zielinski’s wishes.

In September 2017 the council rejected a proposal from Zielinski to turn the Army Reserve site on E. Lincoln Ave. into a permanent park and instead backed the Department of City Development‘s (DCD) proposal to develop much of the six-acre site.

Lurie has not commented publicly on the zoning application.

Before it gets to the council, the zoning application would need to go through the City Plan Commission. The advisory body could hear the proposal at its December 2nd meeting.

The Public Works Committee could next review the project during its December 4th meeting. The Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee could review the file as early as its December 19th meeting.

December 2018 Renderings

October 2018 Renderings

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One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Could Override Zielinski on Bay View Development”

  1. Gregg Mulry says:

    Tony is a nice guy. However the council may have a history of overriding him because he sometimes has a problem with adjusting to the realities of compromise with contentious issues.

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