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Newsletter of the
May 2007

West Waubesa Preservation Coalition

Annual Picnic & Raffle
Saturday, May 26th

Fitchburg’s McKee Park will be the site of the WWPC’s second annual picnic Sat., May 26th.

The public and all Fitchburg officials are cordially invited to come together for some fun and games! There will be a multi-prize raffle, and you can help us raise much needed funds by donating a prize or buying raffle tickets that day.

See the flyer in this newsletter for details, and invite your friends and neighbors. There will be short updates on plans for the Northeast Neighborhood.

Your involvement is what will make the difference for the Northeast Neighborhood and Lake Waubesa, so please support us in whatever way you can!

WWPC Annual Meeting
Thursday, June 21st

The WWPC annual meeting will be held Thursday, June 21st, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Fitchburg Room of the Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg.

All members are invited to attend. To vote you must have paid dues in the past year. If you want to come, and are not sure if you are a member, call Phyllis at 223-9571.

We will be voting on bylaws changes (see article on pg. 3), approving a plan for the coming year, and electing Board members. If you wish to run for the Board, please send a paragraph about yourself to us by May 31, at P.O. Box 234, Oregon, 53575, or westwaubesa@sbcglobal.net.

Permanent or 50-year
growth boundary?

Fitchburg’s Plan Commission will be deciding whether to recommend to the Common Council a 50-year growth boundary or a permanent one. Here’s our take on why a permanent boundary will better serve the community, the farmers, and even the developers!

Saying “In 50 years, we’ll consider extending the boundary to include more lands that are currently rural.” sends a message. It tells developers, “Keep on buying up rural land, in the hopes that you’ll be able to pressure some future council to let you build on it.”

It tells the farmers and their heirs, “Your land could eventually be your ticket to riches. Insisting that you want to grow food on it is just stupid: you could make millions by selling it to become housing developments or parking lots!”

The original resolution called for reconsidering the growth boundary every 10 years, which is even worse than in 50 years. It sets up speculation and political pressure for development.

Since any ordinance that the Common Council creates can be overturned by a subsequent council, some say that a permanent growth boundary is impossible. But a voluntary program of Purchase of Development Rights or Transfer of Development Rights can make the boundary permanent, by permanently removing the right to develop the rural land.

A permanent growth boundary, arrived at via a process of public input and a vote by elected representatives, serves a community well: it preserves farmland, wetlands and open space; preserves rural separation between communities (avoiding the “megalopolis” syndrome, where each community runs into the next); lets farmers in the rural areas concentrate on farming; and lets developers know exactly where they will be able to build, thus eliminating much uncertainty for them.

Fitchburg residents, please let your alders, planning commissioners, and mayor know your opinions on this important and urgent topic!

Your participation is needed now to save Lake Waubesa and the Northeast Neighborhood!

Newsflash: Northeast Neighborhood included in draft map for 55-year growth boundary!

May 15 – At a Plan Commission meeting tonight, a draft map was drawn which includes the whole NEN (and lots more land also) inside the urban growth boundary. Does this mean our fight is over? No indeed. There are still many opportunities to tell Fitchburg leaders what you think of these plans.

Starting on May 21, the draft map will be posted on the Fitchburg website, and written comments will be accepted until June 7. (It was the complaints of WWPC members present which got the public comment time extended from 3 to 17 days.) There will be an Open House to view the map at the Fitchburg City Hall, 5520 Lacy Rd., on Tuesday, June 5, from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., and then a public hearing from 6:15 to 6:50 p.m.

It is extremely important that you write your comments and also come and speak at the public hearing. Alder Bill Horns said, “This [map] reflects the consensus of the community” on what Fitchburg should look like. Take a look at it yourself, and let your alders know if you agree!

The future is in your hands: please join us!

Website Now Offers More!

Check out our upgraded website at www.westwaubesa.org. We give our sincere thanks to Mitch Rosefelt, who created our original website, and to Shawn Steele, who has created new possibilities including future donation online, videos, and content management. Look for up-to-date events and news, and please send the link to your friends!

Two simple actions that can make a big difference

    Do you want to...

  • save Lake Waubesa, its wetlands and the Northern Pike hatchery?
  • save the taxpayers of Fitchburg money?
  • do your part to slow global warming, by avoiding the construction of an enormous car-centered development in Fitchburg's Northeast Neighborhood
  • help create a center for sustainable agriculture, where people can learn small scale, organic farming and gardening?

    Then please take these two actions!

  1. Write a letter to decision makers in Fitchburg, asking them to keep the Northeast Neighborhood out of the Urban Growth Boundary. Give the reasons that mean the most to you.

    Fitchburg residents, to find out who your alders are and their contact info, go to the Fitchburg Civic Information Page or call the city clerk at 270-4200. Plan Commissioners are listed in this PDF file, or the city clerk can tell you.

    Non-Fitchburg residents, please address your letter to: Mayor Tom Clauder and the Common Council, City Hall, 5520 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53711

  2. Send a donation to the West Waubesa Preservation Coalition. We operate on a shoestring, but we do need money! Expanding our website, renting rooms for meetings, postage and printing all add up.

    You can donate online at www.westwaubesa.org (we pay a 2.9% fee to PayPal for this convenience) or mail a check to WWPC at P.O. Box 234, Oregon, WI 53575.


Building Community in Fitchburg -- Report from our May 4th Potluck

Forty people attended our May 4th potluck, and learned about global climate change and its implications for land use decisions. (In short, the necessity of cutting back on fossil fuel use means that car dependent developments are part of the problem, not the solution; and that locally produced food reduces C02 emissions, so we should be preserving farmland, not paving it over.) Here are some opportunities for getting involved and informed.

Sign up now for “Global Warming: Changing CO2urse,” a 5-week study circle organized by Sustain Dane. The course is free, but the book costs $20, and it’s fine to borrow or share a book with a friend. You meet once a week for 90 min., to discuss readings. Participants will calculate their own C02 emissions, and get lots of ideas about how to lessen them. Please call Sustain Dane at (608) 819-0689.

Swan Creek Community Rain Garden: Sat., May 26, 10:00 - Noon, final site/soil prep. Sat., June 2nd, 10:00 - noon, Planting! Location: Swan Creek Park: turn south on Crinkle Root from Cheryl Parkway. Both work parties will conclude with a picnic at noon! Please RSVP, so we can be sure to have picnic supplies & food for all! We are also organizing a Prairie Project, Kids’ Nature Club and a Prairie Players theatre group. You may contact Nancy at nhylbert@yogaforhealth.net or call 271-0956.

What’s a Green Charter School? Come and learn more about environmental schools and their impact on student learning on Mon., May 21, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Rd. For more info, contact Julie Spalding at mike.julie.spalding@earthlink.net or call 835-5054.

Badfish Creek Group: Thursday, May 24, meeting will be held at the Village of Oregon EMS training room at 117 Spring Street, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Ken Bradbury from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, will present information about Badfish Creek from a groundwater standpoint and talk about recharge and discharge areas, threats, concerns and what a citizen group can do to help protect groundwater and surface water resources that depend on it (i.e., springs and wetlands).