By MMAC Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs Steve Baas
One of the keys to having a competitive climate for economic development is a regulatory climate that creates consistency, certainty and efficiency. Currently, city codes do a good job at this, with the Common Council creating broad development parameters and the City Planning Commission (CPC) reviewing project specifics to ensure that they adhere to the standards set by the Council.
A newly proposed ordinance moving forward in City Hall would add unnecessary new layers to this process by empowering the Common Council to conduct its own review and approval of project specifics.
This proposed change is redundant and threatens economic development projects with unnecessary delays. It will weaken the role of the CPC and transfer power to a political process rather than keep it in the hands of professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering and urban planning.
One of the reasons that Milwaukee is experiencing a renaissance is that there is predictability in the review of development projects. The city’s current system has a strong record of success and has paved the way for the new Northwestern Mutual headquarters, the BMO Harris Bank Tower and many other projects. We urge city leaders to take a stand against this proposal and realize that its adoption would represent a major step backward for the city and be detrimental to Milwaukee’s continued growth.