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Despite virus guidelines, Onalaska city council meeting scheduled Tuesday as planned

Rick Solem

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Chick-fil-A renderings for a possible Onalaska restaurant.

The City of Onalaska is still holding its last plan commission meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The city will follow certain protocols to “social distance” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and will allow residents to comment through email (details below). It will also be broadcast on YouTube here.

The meeting could possibly bring a lot of people who are either for or against a proposed Chick-fil-A restaurant.

That’s one item on the agenda. It’s being met with some pushback from LGBTQ supporters in regards to Chick-fil-A’s history in donating to charities with anti-LGBTQ stances.

A Facebook Group was created for those who wish to stop Chick-fil-A from building in the city. About 350 people are following that event, which was also shared on the La Crosse County Republican Party page on Facebook with the comment, “Aaaaand… this is the massive social injustice that La Crosse County leftists choose to fight. A chicken restaurant, which serves everyone who walks through the door and hires anyone who is qualified, wants to open a restaurant locally. But… HORRORS… the owner believes something that the local SJW’s don’t like.”

In other words, it’s garnered some local attention.

But, in talking with Onalaska City Council president Diane Wulf, she said the council is just voting on land purchase, when it comes to Chick-fil-A, and there would need to be some legal basis not to approve.

“With ACT 67 in Wisconsin, you have to have a legal viable reason to turn it down,” she said. “We’re not approving (Chick-fil-A) per say, we’re approving the usage of the land. Onalaska doesn’t own the land.”

A recent post in the “Stop Chick-fil-A” event page gave some details about how the meeting will be held and gave a bunch of people to contact.

But, the City of Onalaska also posted guidelines for residents who wish to give input on anything being discussed at the meeting and how it would be conducted.

Instead of attending the meeting, the post stated residents can email Onalaska city planning manager Katie Aspenson ([email protected]) before 6 p.m. Tuesday. Those people must include their name, address and comment to be included in the record and provided to the plan commissioners.

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