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Livable Neighborhoods Inc. joined the opposition to a proposed demolition of nine homes at Eighth and Tyler streets Monday, calling for the La Crosse Common Council to deny the request by Gundersen Health System.

Gundersen applied for a permit to knock down the homes to make way for a patient parking lot. The application was approved by the Judiciary and Administrative Committee last week, despite a Plan Commission recommendation to delay it a month to allow communication between the hospital and the Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood Association.

Charley Weeth, president of Livable Neighborhoods, called on the city to follow the recommendation of the Plan Commission and planning department staff to delay the request until the hospital demonstrates the need for additional parking.

“It’s a matter of saying ‘no more’ to parking lots,” Weeth said. “We’re not a drive-through community and a commuter parking lot.”

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Weeth believes the city, hospital and neighborhoods should be working together to discourage parking, rather than making it free and convenient. Abundant free parking leads to more drivers on the roads, which leads to building more roads, he said.

“It just eats away at the community and the reason the community was so attractive in the first place is gone,” Weeth said.

Weeth further raised objections that the parking lot was inconsistent with the Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood Plan, La Crosse Comprehensive Plan, Sustainability Plan, Transportation Vision and Powell-Poage-Hamilton/Gundersen Health System Joint Neigbhorhood and Campus Plan.

Gundersen executive director of external affairs Michael Richards said last week that the demolition would allow for 175 new parking stalls for patients, which would be needed to replace patient parking lost to the hotel development on South Avenue and planned medical resident housing, which will cost the hospital about 215 stalls.

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Reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering crime and courts for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218 or jvian@lacrossetribune.com.

(4) comments

whyme

Its called progress and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Money talks.

oz

You seem to have a rather backward definition of "progress".

Tearing down a city and paving it over with blacktop is not progress... it's decline and destruction.

57

Well CW Parking is important 2 LAX...That being said I think taking the hole Block is extreme...But Bikes ( I ride mine all the time ) in the winter and buses will not cut it. I see A mix of parking with high end duplexes on this block and other blocks.... we also need new housing and low taxes... As to free Parking every person who lives in LAX should have A sticker for there car..Also duplexes and up should have stickers for each Car in there lot and one sticker for 30 feet of street front.. Persons who live out of town should have to pay a fee to park on flat lots......The New Road is on it's way sadily.... Mayor Tim needs weigh in!!!!

YellowBee

For once I agree with Charley....Gundersen is getting to big for it's britches and doesn't have the quality medical care it use to have. If you take away more houses for parking lots you are getting rid of more of the tax base. Enough is enough!!

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