La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat issued a rare veto Tuesday, overturning a La Crosse Common Council decision to rezone property on 21st Street North to allow for a rental property.

In a letter to the council, Kabat argued the duplex planned for 225-227 and 231 21st St. N. did not fit in with city plans for single-family housing in the area or meet the standards for traditional neighborhood development.

“I do not feel it is in the best interest of the city of La Crosse to approve a rezoning that is not in conformance with the city’s comprehensive land-use plan nor meets the standards for traditional neighborhood design, and therefore I veto the legislation,” Kabat wrote.

The council approved rezoning the property from single family to traditional neighborhood development last week with an 8-3 vote.

The property resides within the Grandview Emerson neighborhood, which Kabat said “continues to be highly vulnerable to the conversion of single-family to multiple-family units.”

Kabat also criticized the developer, David Olson, for not including the amount of planning and information required for the traditional neighborhood district zoning.

“The lack of detailed plans and specifications for both subject properties makes it difficult, if not impossible, to assess future neighborhood impacts — both positive and negative — from the proposed change,” he wrote.

This marks the fourth time Kabat has issued a veto in his more than four years in office. He previously vetoed a pay raise for the mayoral position twice and the 2017 budget.


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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