Protecting the Environment
The proposed development at 35 Cottage Road is a 23,610-square-foot, massive, three-story, 18-unit apartment complex with 27 parking spaces, not the 7,800 square foot as quoted in The Source on Jan. 27 [“Cottage Road Affordable Housing Proposal Hits Opposition”]. This proposed development is on a residentially zoned, 1.1-acre buildable lot, with very close proximity to a natural pond. There is much wildlife in this pond as well as on the property including spotted salamanders, snapping turtles, ducks, deer, foxes, and coyotes.
As wetland scientist George Logan has noted, there will be serious environmental effects on the pond from the partially treated storm water runoff and from the proposed septic system. I believe this will have a devastating effect on the ecology of the vegetation, invertebrates, and amphibians which live in the pond. Also, there is a beautiful, historic beech tree on the corner of this property at Cottage and Mill roads, which turns a brilliant red in the autumn. The tree may not survive the damage to its root system from the asphalt parking lot.
I moved to Madison more than 25 years ago for the natural beauty that this town afforded. One of my favorite things to do is to walk around River Road and Cottage Road in the early morning hours before I start my day and head to work. The peace and tranquility of my walks will be ruined as I will be forced to look at a massive structure and asphalt instead of a beautiful pond and trees and wildlife. I am hopeful that the Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency will uphold its responsibility in protecting the environment and the health and safety of the residents of Madison by voting “No” to this massive structure.