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Wauwatosa Life Sciences District Master Plan Concept
Plan Boundaries.JPG

At the May 9 Community Affairs Committee meeting, the Life Sciences District Master Plan process was put on hold until Milwaukee County's survey work is complete, SEWRPC's wetland delineation and additional environmental assessments are complete, impediments to development in the UW Innovation campus are identified, and the park land and the area commonly known as Sanctuary Woods is preserved. This motion was unanimously adopted by the Committee and means that the Life Sciences District Master Plan will be brought back for future discussion when the conditions are met. Discussion of the plan will not occur at any other future meetings at this time. 

This area has seen significant growth over the past 20 years. This growth mirrors many national trends: growth in academic medical centers (MRMC), creation of major retail nodes (Mayfair and Burleigh Triangle), demands for housing, recreation and access. The Life Sciences District is home to high-quality medical care, quality employment opportunities, desirable and diverse housing and a one-of-a-kind natural environment. The Life Sciences District Master Plan is a long term strategy for development of the above area over a 20 – 30 year period.

Goals of the Proposed Life Sciences District Master Plan

  • Improve traffic and circulation
  • Improve mutual trust and benefits
  • Design integrated streets and buildings
  • Provide housing and mixed-use development
  • Protect & enhance existing green/environmental spaces and create shared public spaces

Purpose of the Proposed Life Sciences District Master Plan
This effort is a unique public-private collaboration with Milwaukee County, the City of Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. The draft plan concept outlines the balance of three key principles:
  • Natural Areas/Balanced Environment: The plan provides enhanced protections for about 595 acres of green space and natural areas, including about 40 acres north of Watertown Plank Road that are currently zoned for medical use development. There are currently insufficient funds to preserve and maintain these areas due to limited budgets at all levels of government. Smart, responsible change, as recommended in the master plan concept, will foster protection, maintenance and enhancements of the natural environment and critical species habitat. 
  • Economics/Balanced Development: This plan maximizes the potential to generate high-quality, professional jobs and add property value by identifying the land that could most efficiently deliver both to the citizens of Wauwatosa and Milwaukee County through mixed-use development. It also looks at ways to reduce traffic congestion and reduce dependence on autos. Property taxes generated by new mixed-use development can create revenue needed to protect natural and historic community features.
  • Social Equity/Balanced Equity: Natural areas should not be exclusively enjoyed by a few, but open and accessible to everyone, including seniors and those with special needs. This plan proposes a mix of development types and use and would also design a much higher level of access to green spaces for people of all abilities.

Questions regarding the plan or the planning process can be emailed to Paulette Enders, Development Director at 

Important Documents


Timeline of Past Public Meetings
  • Public Open House held May 17, 2016
  • Committee of the Whole held January 17, 2017
  • Public Open House held February 7, 2017
  • Online Town Hall/Public Comment held February 2017
  • Public Open House held April 6, 2017
  • Online Town Hall/Public Comment held April 2017
  • Committee of the Whole held May 2, 2017
  • Community Affairs Committee held May 9, 2017

Thank you for caring so deeply about Wauwatosa and for your participation in this process. Updates about the proposed Life Sciences District Master Plan will continue to be shared here.


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