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La Crosse city council to reconsider plan for neighborhood home for veterans



Those supporting a plan for a transitional home for veterans in a La Crosse neighborhood hope for better luck this go around.

The city council is set to take up the plan again after neighbors near the house at 3120 Farnam Street roundly criticized the idea back in October.

Dustin Schultz, from the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program, said that type of home is key to veteran rehab.

“When we bring the people from our community, who left to go sacrifice for a cause,” he said, “it really sends a message when you say, ‘Yeah, you can come back to the same neighborhood you left.’ Rather than send you out to Tomah and make you stay out there to get your treatment and then you can come back when you got a 100 percent clean bill of health.”

Dave and Barb Erickson hoped to gift their seven-bedroom, four-bath home to the VA.

Several neighbors there formally complained that making it a home for vets could damage property values and create dangers for those who live in the area.

Schultz says vets working to get back to their lives will greatly benefit from the arrangement.

“It gives another outlet for the veterans receiving the care, to be reintegrated back into the community,” he said. “It’s education. It’s understanding that, homes like these — whether it’s for veterans or whomever — they’re peppered throughout our community already.”

Schultz said many neighbors still opposed to the idea may simply need more information.

PHOTO: Barb Erickson speaking at a city council meeting back in October about donating their home.
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1 Comment

  1. Bill doe

    November 26, 2018 at 7:33 am

    The home is a R1 Dwelling and not zoned to be there. No group home. Ericksons are trying to use a conditional use permit to override zoning and break its R1 Single family dwelling.The home should have never been built there in first place but neighbors 25 years ago said yes due to compassion for Ericksons.its a 500,000 dollar home with a 13,000 dollar tax base which Ericksons stated at last meeting. Easier to donate than sell. Other homes are 150,000-200,000 and will lose minimum 10 percent on property value. This isnt about a program and all about zoning but man sorry people are concerned extra that the home serves as a rehab center for addiction, mental health,ptsd, and anger issues in a neighborhood packed with kids.Homes within property are set to lose 15,000 to 40,000 $ in property values. Home does not even fit under the conditional use permit guidlines, plus there are already 4 group homes within 2,500 ft of this property which is a issue. There is zoning laws for a reason and neighbors shouldn’t even have to argue this. As everyone stated sell the home and donate the 500,000 to program and build in a properly zoned area. If that cant be done seems to leave other questions of what’s going on?

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