Some housing projects for the Powell-Poage-Hamilton neighborhood will be presented to La Crosse City Council this month, along with other nearby projects.
The city’s plan commission gave its approval to a number of developments on Monday night, which will be presented to the Judiciary and Administrative Committee on Tuesday and to council next week.
One of these projects includes two new townhouses at 1024, 1034 and 1038 Denton Street.
The homes, which are being developed by Steve Schlicht, as requested, will each have four living units and two detached garages. The units are intended to be sold individually, similar to condominiums, but there will be no deed restrictions in place for new owners not to rent them out.
Some residents were concerned about the development, saying they would prefer single-family homes or the assurance that they would always be owner-occupied and not turned into rentals.
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The city originally acquired one of the properties in 2020 and removed an existing triplex. In 2021, the neighboring owner of this land offered to sell his property to the city.
Staff met with the neighborhood association PPH and invited nearby property owners to participate in the planning process. Two proposals for the site were submitted, and with input from the neighborhood, the city chose Schlict’s proposal, in part because the exterior of the townhouse would fit more into the neighborhood, officials said.
The project’s rezoning passed by a close vote, with council members Scott Neumeister, Chris Kahlow and commissioner Matt Gallagher voting no. Neumeister said he wanted to make sure the project was discussed more.
“I just want to dig a little deeper before the board,” he said.
Developers of Farnam Flats want to move forward with their original plan to build four more apartments on the first floor of the building after a commercial tenant again could not be found to occupy the space.
The owners first offered to convert its first floor into residential units in January after failing to find commercial interest.
The change of plans was postponed for several months after there was further nibble on a possible commercial tenant. But that interest has since faded.
The Planning Commission approved the continuation of the plan with an opposing vote from Commissioner James Cherf.
Near the PPH district, Mayo Clinic Health System is asking to free up an alley to better unify its parking lots.
The driveway is located between 11th, 10th, Ferry, and Division streets, a block that is almost entirely used for Mayo parking lots.
Freeing up, or eliminating, the alley would be in order to realign the parking spaces and repave the surface so that it no longer has a “patchwork” aspect.
This plan would increase the number of parking spaces on this block from 235 to 243. According to the staff report, a community garden on the north side of the block could also be converted into 26 additional potential parking spaces.
The driveway that would be freed up currently has existing overhead power lines. Xcel Energy would redirect them for this plan.
Additionally, staff indicated that while Mayo should incorporate stormwater management into its plan, it likely would not need to meet design standards.
In pictures: Rotary Lights 2021