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La Crosse city leaders debate winter parking, U-Haul store

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No new changes yet in La Crosse’s alternate-side parking rules for winter. 

A plan to delay the start of odd-even parking in the winter until after 2 inches of snow have fallen is being postponed, while the city looks into how the current system is working. 

Council member Gary Padesky has proposed mandatory odd-even parking for the last two weeks of November, to get leaves off the street before winter, but that idea is being shelved until at least the March council meeting.

The council did not vote on a plan approved in committee to delay enforcement of alternate-side parking until after a total of 2 inches of snow has fallen in La Crosse.

The snowfall would have to occur after November 15th. Assistant police chief Rob Abraham says if that plan had been in effect this winter, no tickets would have been given out until December 27th.

In other council business on Thursday night, city leaders discussed complaints about new business activity at the old K-Mart on State Road, which had been vacant since closing in 2017.

U-Haul just opened a temporary retail store in the building, but people are wondering whether the city needed to give permission for that project. 

Mayor Tim Kabat isn’t happy, because he wants the property used for other things.

“I’m disappointed that the building is not being demolished, and that we’re not starting fresh there because we’ve talked about any number of concepts of mixed-use housing, neighborhood serving retail, restaurants,” said the mayor.   

City planning director Andrea Trane says current zoning for the K-Mart allows retail sales without a vote by the council.  Other uses, such as storage, would require a zoning change.        

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.