I write to applaud La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat for his decision to veto the Common Council’s decision to rezone the property on 21st Street North to allow the construction of an additional rental property, citing non-conformance with the city’s comprehensive use plan and not meeting the standards for traditional neighborhood design.

According to Mayor Kabat, developer David Olson failed to include sufficient information regarding specifications and plans to meet the required standards for traditional neighborhood development. I hasten to add that when Olson presented this same proposal to the city planning personnel a few months ago, in my mind, he was equally unprepared and was unable to adequately answer basic questions regarding his proposal. Given that performance, I was dumbstruck when I learned that the City Council approved his proposal by a vote of 8-3.

Because of the close proximity to the university, this highly valued single-family neighborhood remains particularly vulnerable to the continued pressures of rezoning. I can only hope that the city council, in its future deliberations, will do its homework by taking a broad view of neighborhood developments and conform to established policies and standards regarding these matters.

Tom Claflin, La Crosse

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