Alderman Zielinski under fire for home he’s building in Bay View; he calls it ‘a personal matter’

Alderman Tony Zielinski

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee alderman is under fire for the home he's building in the city's Bay View neighborhood.

Alderman Tony Zielinski is also running for mayor.

Photographer Brent Bublitz captured footage of Zielinski's home, under construction, with his drone. His Facebook post has been viewed tens of thousands of times.

Brent Bublitz

"It definitely hit a nerve. I like the design of the house. I don't like where it is," said Bublitz.

Bublitz was critical of how the home's modern style fits among older Milwaukee homes. He wasn't alone, with several neighbors saying they have thoughts on how it looks, but they also didn't want to badmouth their soon-to-be neighbor on camera.

"It changes the way the neighborhood looks. It sticks out quite a bit," said Bublitz.

An assessment called the home a three-story mansion with 5,901 square feet of furnished living space.

A spokeswoman with the Department of Neighborhood Services, which manages building permits, said everything at the home is up to code, with no special approvals or variances. That includes the height of the home -- 39 feet, which is shy of the maximum, 45 feet.

Alderman Zielinski, never too shy to make a comment, didn't speak on camera, saying: "Where my wife and I live is a personal matter."

"The more he plays duck and cover, the longer this will escalate," said Bublitz. "I'm glad so many people are engaging, so many people are interested in the neighborhood and wanting to keep the feel of the neighborhood, keep the neighborhood sort of eclectic."

One neighbor said she's thrilled to have Alderman Zielinski as a new neighbor, and the agent who sold them the initial home on the property said all the controversy is ridiculous. Many neighbors we spoke with said they're watching closely to make sure the alderman is doing everything the right way.

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