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City council delays possible changes that could further restrict camping in La Crosse parks



La Crosse’s city council will wait a month before deciding on whether to change rules regulating camping in city parks.

By a 9-2 vote Thursday, the council referred action on amended camping regulations until its July meeting.

Thirty people submitted letters to the council in opposition. Six wrote letters in support. Nine more people signed into the meeting in opposition, with four of them speaking to the council. One person signed into the meeting in support of the legislation.

La Crosse Police Chief Shawn Kudron told the council that they’re hoping people will voluntarily comply with requests to avoid camping.

“We’re gonna ask individuals to not be camping in the park, to find a different area in the city to do that activity,” Kudron said.

The new proposal had been fast-tracked, without the usual committee hearing process.

Camping on city-owned property staff report.

Council members said they want another month to speak with their neighbors about letting the homeless stay in city parks. The suggested ordinance would make camping illegal, where there are signs prohibiting it.

Council member Jenesea Hameister called the ordinance proposal “ineffective and immoral.”

“In my opinion, this does criminalize homelessness more than it already is,” Hameister told the council. “We do have to do more for our unsheltered population, and for those who want to receive help. The language in this ordinance does the opposite, and impacts more than just the unsheltered population.”

Another council member, Barb Janssen, said people living near some parks report being harassed by those who are tenting in parks, for lack of other housing.

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Rosenau

    June 14, 2023 at 7:49 am

    What a joke . maybe next month they can postpone a decision again or perhaps table it to form a committee . That way by the time a decision is made it will be winter. Looks like everyone is afraid to do anything on the council. It’s disgusting. No wonder why LaCrosse is the way it is.

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