Madison Landmarks Commission faces Edgewater Hotel fallout

By Paul Snyder

The ongoing Edgewater Hotel debate could lead Madison to clip its Landmarks Commission’s authority over project approvals.

That might be the best approach as long as the cut in power is within reason, said Dan Stephans, commission chairman. He said he would support a change to the city’s landmarks ordinance that would give the Common Council final say on renovation or new construction projects that exceed a certain amount of money.

“We do it at the state level right now — if a project is more than $5 million, the state Building Commission has to approve it,” said Stephans, an architect and the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s historic preservationist. “But I want to be able to make informed, intelligent recommendations before we’re subjected to a political knee-jerk reaction.”

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