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Short-term rental rules approved by La Crosse council committee, while accessory dwellings may get more study



Housing issues dominated discussion at a La Crosse city committee meeting Tuesday night.

The Judiciary and Administration Committee approved an ordinance regulating short-term rental of homes, including using houses for bed and breakfast businesses.

The approval came after the committee voted down time limits for the short-term rentals, eliminating both a two-day minimum rental time and a maximum of 180 days during a year.

Council members, and speakers from the public, expressed concerns about renters having loud parties or causing a mess at those properties.

Supporters of the plan said having more rental options available could help promote the city.

In other action, the committee called for a 60-day referral of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) plan to allow for more study and, perhaps, more public hearings on the matter.

On Monday, the City Plan Commission turned down the proposal on a 5-3 vote to let homeowners convert unattached buildings on their property into living quarters.

The plan has been offered as a way to open up more housing in La Crosse.

Public comments included arguments that there would be little or no enforcement of where the small homes could be allowed.

Former council member Bill Harnden called the proposal an “attack” on zoning for single-family homes.

Both short-term rentals and the small house proposal will go to the full La Crosse city council for possible action 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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