City panel backs rezoning for student housing

2012-12-04T00:00:00Z 2012-12-04T06:21:08Z City panel backs rezoning for student housingBy BETSY BLOOM | La Crosse Tribune

The La Crosse Plan Commission gave its nod Monday to rezoning for a proposed student housing and retail complex at 10th and State streets, despite continued opposition from some living or owning rental property in the neighborhood.

Representatives of Pointe West Investments LLC said they have scaled back the number of bedrooms planned from 188 to 120 and now can meet the city’s requirement of a parking spot for each bedroom.

Their building concept calls for four or five commercial spaces on the first floor — Hmong Golden Egg Roll restaurant is slated as a tenant — and apartments on the upper levels.

Pointe West touts the development as secure student housing within walking and biking distance of the three college campuses and easy bus access.

The 2-acre area now has a combination of zoning for multi-residential and commercial use. Pointe West has requested it be rezoned to traditional neighborhood development.

But some neighbors and landlords in that area complained the higher-density housing will worsen street parking problems and rezoning would allow Pointe West to skirt some of the standards other developers had to meet.

Rental property owner Jason Dillaber questioned the dimensions of the bedrooms and asked whether Pointe West would agree to a limit on the number of residents.

“Is this an intent to beat the system?” Dillaber said.  

Charles Clarkin, who lives at 207 S. Eighth St. and has several rental properties in that areas, still faulted the 18 commercial parking slots as insufficient.

The company already has adjusted its plans to accommodate concerns raised, such as eliminating diagonal parking on State Street, trimming the number of bedrooms and increasing off-street parking, said Andrew Bosshard, representing Pointe West.

“We think it’s a great design,” said Jason Alberty, president of Onalaska-based Pointe West and a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse graduate.

Final plans, too, will have to come to the city’s Multi-Family Design Review Committee and the full council for approval before any construction could begin, said Tim Acklin, a senior planner for the city.   

That and Acklin’s confirming the proposal does fit with the city’s goal of mixed-use neighborhoods were enough to reassure the committee into unanimously recommending the rezoning.

The Judiciary and Administration Committee will consider the rezoning when it meets at 7:30 p.m. today in the council chambers of City Hall, 400 La Crosse St.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. Opus
    Report Abuse
    Opus - December 05, 2012 9:36 am
    Why do you need to wait, pheasant? Just give me the reasons why this is a bad plan if they have met the requirements?
  2. pheasant
    Report Abuse
    pheasant - December 04, 2012 7:26 pm
    I will wait until they are done. In the past they have lowered/relaxed/shaved/ lessened the exiting codes in too many projects. As I posted before Opus, do you need a list?
  3. Opus
    Report Abuse
    Opus - December 04, 2012 1:53 pm
    Gee, pheasant - they met the requirements for parking, are putting up a brand new building for student housing and your problem with this development is........

    Set aside your personal anger towards those involved in the process, stick with the topic of this project and this project only and give me your reasons. Those are the parameters for any conversation. Can you do that?
  4. pheasant
    Report Abuse
    pheasant - December 04, 2012 1:34 pm
    Opus, me thinks you are Kader?
  5. Opus
    Report Abuse
    Opus - December 04, 2012 1:19 pm
    Commendations to the city panel for raising the bar for student housing in La Crosse!
  6. pheasant
    Report Abuse
    pheasant - December 04, 2012 12:25 pm

    Come on, it is a lowering of the bar. So that we may worsen our problem at a later date with money we do not have, and there will be less than.
  7. pheasant
    Report Abuse
    pheasant - December 04, 2012 12:24 pm
    You need a list of more examples? I have them!

    We do not need a new Mayor. We need Kirch to receive his severance pay and a firm push out the door. Problem(s) solved. Can you imagine this guy working for Chris Wiess or one of the Wieser Brothers?

    How about those reports Larry? Oh Look a bird!

    How about those numbers Larry? Oh look the bird is back!

    What was the total cost of that project Larry? Tweet tweet, come here little birdie!
  8. pheasant
    Report Abuse
    pheasant - December 04, 2012 11:53 am
    What the He## is wrong with you Taxpayers? WAKE-UP!!! We have a huge problem of parking. Affecting students and 'Homeowners'. While we have a City Planner that should be patiently looking at these problems/zoning/buildings and not making rpoblems for us and our taxpaying pocket books in the future. Mr. D's, Gerrard Boyz North of Lacrosse Street, and the Western 'Wendling' Student Housing. We have relaxed, given laobor and property, too select/special developers. Pciked behind closed door at Larry Kirch's Office. A City Inspector/PLanner like Goober at Mayberry who picks out the hat he needs on any given day to have hand in a project or program. They guy acts like he is a Developer. He also has been responsible for too much of the $130 million plus debt in Incentive/TIF Programs amortized up to 27 years. Which many of them are under performing, partially empty, and a long shot from what we as Taxpayers were sold at for a Bullseye.
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