Council votes to remove Edgewood master plan, restrictions on home games

MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s City Council is voting to repeal the master plan for Edgewood High School, effectively paving the way for the school to be able to host games at its athletic field.

The council voted 15-to-5 in favor of repealing the plan after several hours of debate.

Since 2018, neighbors have expressed their opposition to the school hosting night home games, citing worries about added lights and noise.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, neighbors testified once more, with one saying she worries repealing the plan would “do a disservice to the process and could undermine public trust in similar processes in the future.”

It was a concern repeated by several other speakers.

“Edgewood has a fine athletic field. They need to be able to play games on that field.  Neighbors who live close by and in area need to be assured they’re not going to be subjected to undue amounts of noise and light,” said Wendy Fearnside, who lives a couple blocks away from Edgewood. “There’s only one solution to this that respects everybody’s concern, and that is to go through amendment to the master plan process. “

Others brought up concern about the uncertain future of other agreements in the plan involving things such as Lake Wingra and storm water management should the plan be repealed.

While many spoke out against repealing the plan during public testimony, Madison’s mayor said about 50 registered in opposition of repealing, while more than 130 registered in support.

Edgewood High School President Mike Elliott said the attempt to remove the plan comes after a letter from the city attorney said it would put Edgewood on equal footing with other schools.

“We will continue to live by our values and be good neighbors,” Elliott said. “We also will defend our right to be treated fair as a Madison institution.”

“We request the schools of Edgewood not be treated differently from similar institutions not required to have campus master plans,” said Maggie Hopkins of the Dominican Sisters, who sponsor the Catholic school.

Edgewood filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming religious discrimination, saying that other public schools don’t face the same restrictions.