Twin homes

The City of La Crosse has received applications to build twin homes on vacant lots at 809 and 821 S. Sixth St.

Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

A La Crosse committee Tuesday approved several development projects, as well as the renaming of Memorial Pool and a resolution to add bystander training information to bartender applications.

A project to build twin homes in the Washburn Neighborhood, a waiver for the parking requirement for a new Coulee Council on Addictions building and a permit for a distillery on Vine Street all moved forward after a series of unanimous votes by the Judiciary and Administrative Committee.

The committee approved a conditional use permit to allow the construction of two twin homes and a single family home on the 800 block of Sixth St. S. through the city’s replacement housing program. Twin homes are similar to a duplex, but are two single-family homes on a two separate lots with one shared wall, where a duplex is a single multi-family residence on one lot, according to city planning staffer Dawn Reinhart.

“We just noticed that in a lot of the West Salem and Holmen areas, twin homes seem to be very popular,” said Reinhart in an interview Tuesday.

The plans also fit in with zoning requirements for the Washburn Neighborhood, which allow for one- and two-family dwellings.

The city purchased six lots on Sixth Street over the past two years: 807, 811, 813, 815/17 and 821/23.

“Two of the properties had sat vacant for quite a few years. The others had landlords who had been putting in renovations, but had some code violations,” Reinhart said.

The city took down the buildings and plans to sell the land to Spies Construction, which will build the homes following the city’s plans for two twin homes and a traditional single-family home, which will be sold at market rates.

“It still allows us to have a little bit of density on the property and not be subject to the five-yard setback requirements,” Reinhart said.

The plans will give the families who eventually move in a good portion of land in the backyard and side yards.

Coulee Council on Addictions

The committee also approved a waiver for parking requirements for the Coulee Council on Addictions proposed new headquarters on Ferry Street, seconding the decision made Monday by the La Crosse Plan Commission to allow the facility to locate 20 of its parking spaces across the street in the Mayo Clinic Health Systems–Franciscan Healthcare lot.

The decision requires the group to put signs up for those spaces, provided the rezoning application to make way for construction passes the La Crosse Common Council next week.

La Crosse distillery

The committee unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Nicholas Weber of the new La Crosse Distilling Company LLC to open a distillery at 129 Vine St.

The distillery would have a tasting room serving food for lunch and dinner as well as craft cocktails made with its distilled spirits. It would remain open into the evening and also would have a gift shop.

In other business

The committee unanimously approved changing the name of Memorial Pool to Veterans Memorial Pool and approved a measure to provide a handout detailing how to react to sexual harassment and assault to people applying for a bartender license.


Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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