September 6, 2008
Attendees: Kathy Ehley, Warren Goff, Ed Haydin, Meg Miller, Scott Miller, Matt Stippich, Julie Terwelp
Though this group’s focus is on East Town Tosa, we were overwhelming disappointed with the entire plan; it seemed to simple fill a perfunctory role to meet a mandate.
Among the major disappointments are that the public focus group attendance. However, the largest was from our contingent area, yet it appears to be the least represented in the overall plan. East Town seemed to be considered a “drive thru” area of town in this version of the plan. It has been expressed that by some, East Tosa is the slum of Wauwatosa. Given the lack of attention given to this area the plan, it appears as if the city is institutionalizing this perception.
Additionally, the plan fell short in celebrating Wauwatosa for its unique aspects and failed to hone in on the make-up of Wauwatosa as a series of unique neighborhoods. We didn’t get a sense of a community vision being conveyed nor the focus on taking the opportunity to assess and improve upon the infrastructure to better reflect the interests of those who live here. Of key note, the plan only took biking and walking into account as a form of recreation. It also viewed key “main street” areas not as vital commercial districts interwoven with neighborhoods but only as arterials / means for transportation.
We would like to see the plan address the opportunity focus on reconnecting our communities and individual neighborhoods. We recommend the plan celebrate the unique personalities of these neighborhoods by:
− Considering opportunities to address “main street” areas like North Avenue in East Town Tosa
− Focusing on the unique personalities of each, individual neighborhood community.
− Incorporating walk ability and bike ability into the infrastructure as a means of transportation.
− Addressing the need for consistent solicitation and support for small business and small business infrastructure. Though there are great opportunities for larger developments, many residents live within walking of small commercial districts. There must be a plan to solicit and support small business in order for these neighborhoods to maintain their unique draw and grow.
− Addressing and conveying the vision of Wauwatosa as a series of unique neighborhoods that, together, create a vibrant, diverse, urban community.
We appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts of the plan and hope to see more focus on these aspects in the approved plan.