At least one Milwaukee County official says the county is amenable to pushing forward the issues put forth by the city of Wauwatosa regarding the County Grounds.

Seeking more information to make decisions on potential future development of the County Grounds, the Wauwatosa Common Council sent a letter to Milwaukee County officials asking for input.

The letter was drafted following a resolution from the May 9 Wauwatosa Common Council Community Affairs Committee meeting at which Alderwoman Cheryl Berdan brought forth a motion to delay further discussion on the Life Sciences District Master Plan.

County Supervisor for the 6th District, which includes the County Grounds, Luigi Schmitt said that at the Milwaukee County Parks Committee meeting May 16, acknowledgment of the letter came in the form of support.

"We will be following up on the environmental study from SEWRPC (Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission) and assist in figuring out where to draw the lines," Schmitt said. "We respect the fact that Tosa has suspended the LSD plan and will await the results of the studies."

The letter asked for the following information before the council would take the subject off of the back burner and place it on a future agenda:

  1. The report from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. (A survey being conducted by SEWRPC of the land on the County Grounds.)
  2. A zoning proposal from Milwaukee County for land they own within the Life Sciences District Master Plan area.
  3. A report from Milwaukee County on the impediments to development at the UWM Innovation Campus and Research Park.
  4. Milwaukee County taking action to preserve the natural areas commonly known as the County Grounds Park and Sanctuary Woods in perpetuity.
  5. Assurance that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' forest land west and north of Swan Boulevard is permanently preserved in perpetuity.

"The things we are doing right now should have been done at the beginning," Schmitt said. "The concerns of the public could have been addressed months ago."

The Life Sciences District Master Plan was put together by a consortium of Graef, an engineering, planning and design firm, and officials from the city of Wauwatosa, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and Milwaukee County.

The city of Wauwatosa and Milwaukee County paid for the study to be conducted. Minutes from the Nov. 24, 2015 Wauwatosa Financial Affairs Committee meeting show the total cost of the contract with Graef was $200,000 which includes $50,000 from the county.

The city's letter was sent to County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore Lipscomb and the executive Director of SEWRPC Michael Hahn.

The letter ends by saying, if and when the five items are obtained, the city of Wauwatosa will continue the planning process and the LSDMP would return to the council for consideration and asks to meet with the county if necessary.

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