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.