University of Wisconsin–Madison

Zoning & Approvals Process

Campus-Institutional (C-I) District Zoning

In 2017 the university had it’s first master plan approved by the City of Madison for parcels within the Campus Plan Development Boundary zoned Campus-Institutional. The Campus-Institutional District Master Plan was a direct outcome of the City’s zoning code rewrite  that became effective on January 2, 2013.   The C-I District was established to recognize the City’s major educational and medical institutions as important activity and traffic generators, accommodate the growth and development needs of these institutions, and coordinate the master plans of these institutions with the city’s plans, policies, and zoning standards.  The district master plan is also intended to (per MGO 28.097):

  • Permit appropriate institutional growth within boundaries while minimizing the adverse impacts associated with development and geographic expansion.
  • Balance the ability of major institutions to change and the public benefits derived from change with the need to protect the livability and vitality of adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Encourage the preparation of Campus Master Plans that enable adjacent neighborhoods and the broader community to understand the levels of development being proposed, their likely impacts, and appropriate mitigation measures.

The C-I District Master Plan looks out 20 years on the planning horizon and is effective for a time period of 10 years.

Village of Shorewood Hills Zoning

The university is intertwined with its host communities of the City of Madison and the Village of Shorewood Hills.  As part of the implementation process for projects on the west side of campus, within the Village of Shorewood Hills, they are involved as members of the Joint West Campus Area Committee.  This joint town-gown committee is made up of representatives from the university, city, local neighborhood associations, and the Village.  Joint West is an advisory committee to the Village Plan Commission that currently approves projects based on their local zoning requirements.

Village of Shorewood Hills Zoning Code

Village of Shorewood Hills Zoning Map

Campus-Institutional District Master Plan

City of Madison Approval Process

The city of Madison’s 1966 zoning code was updated, becoming effective on January 2, 2013.  One outcome of this rewrite came in section 28.096, the Campus Institutional (CI) District, established to recognize the City’s major educational and medical institutions as important activity centers & traffic generators, accommodate the growth & development needs of these institutions, and coordinate the master plans of these institutions with the City’s plans, policies and zoning standards. The district is also intended to:

  • Permit appropriate institutional growth within boundaries while minimizing the adverse impacts associated with development and geographic expansion;
  • Balance the ability of major institutions to change, and the public benefits derived from change, with the need to protect the livability and vitality of adjacent neighborhoods;
  • Encourage the preparation of campus master plans that enable adjacent neighborhoods and the broader community to understand the levels of development being proposed, their likely impacts, and appropriate mitigation measures to be considered.

As such, the Campus Master Plan (50-year guiding document for development on campus) was abbreviated and adjusted to reflect the city zoning requirements in the creation of the UW-Madison Campus Institutional District Master Plan (10-year guiding document to meet zoning requirements). The C-I District Master Plan is presented below by chapter.

Campus Zoning Map

  • Developments on parcels that are identified as C-I shall follow the requirements for bulk, set backs, height, etc. as identified in the approved C-I District Master Plan.
  • Developments on parcels that are identified as PD shall follow the City of Madison Land Use Application guidelines specific to applications for Zoning Map Amendments to PD Districts.
  • Developments proposed on parcels that are identified as other (CN, TR-U1, TR-U2, TSS, CC-T) will need to be purchased by the university, undergo a zoning map amendment to bring those areas into the C-I District, and concurrently amend the C-I District master plan for development approval.
  • Campus-Institutional District Zoning Map