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Two committees turn down apartments for 5th Avenue in La Crosse

Brad Williams

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A developer who’d like to build new apartments near downtown La Crosse is hoping for a “second chance” in the future. 

Two city committees have turned down a zoning change which would allow the former Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 5th and Division to be replaced with apartments. 

Neighbors have objected to putting more housing in that location, and they recently also opposed plans to open a homeless resource office nearby.  

Aaron Wickesberg represented the developer at the judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday, saying “people deserve a second chance at some point. We understand that it may not be on this project, but note that…something else may be coming to the table at some point in the future.”

The petition for a zoning change says there’s little demand for office space in that neighborhood, and the split-level building formerly used by BBBS and Gerrard Realty does not fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

The plan for a 12-unit apartment complex also was voted down Monday by the city plan commission, but the zoning change for the project goes to the full city council next week.  

   

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.

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