Occupy Madison re-awakens with new plans

COVID-19, like for many others, has really changed Occupy Madison. While we have been shut down, we have been trying to figure out what we can do to help the community.

In August we wrote a proposal to build 100 tiny houses. 50 conestoga style houses and 50 of our tinier homes. We asked for $483,000 to pay for staff to manage the project, insurance, utilities, portapotties and hand washing stations.

At the time, we did not have any property for lease or under contract to purchase.

Needless to say, the project did not score well and we were not funded.

Realizing that we needed land to be successful in getting funding for our vision of a new village or two, we started a property search. This is how quickly things have been moving for us.

    • Wednesday, September 23 – Look at the property, check zoning, comp plan, OMSAP
    • Saturday, September 26 – Email county to see if there was a funding possibility with COVID funds (need to be spent by end of year)
    • Sunday, September 27th – Occupy Madison membership meeting, agreed to put in an offer
    • Monday, September 28th – We put in the offer (contingent on zoning and financing)
    • Tuesday, September 29th – Had a meeting with city set up to discuss our plans (Phase 2 at 304 N 3rd St and failed grants we wrote in August) with Community Development and Zoning (tinier houses)
    • Wednesday, September 30th – Offer accepted.
    • Thursday & Friday, October 1 & 2 – work with alders and supervisors to figure out possibility of zoning and funding passing
    • Saturday, October 3rd – Notify Neighborhood
    • Monday, October 5th – State Journal Article

Initially we were aiming to have a funding resolution through the county board by October 15th and a zoning ordinance change from the city on October 20th.  We were working with the contractors to get people into a finished property by Christmas.

Those timelines have been changed.  The county won’t consider any proposal until November 5th.  The city won’t consider a zoning ordinance change until November 17th.   Meanwhile, Alder Syed Abbas is planning a neighborhood meeting the last week in October.

Want to help?  Donate here.

(article posted on October 12)

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