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Approval of rules for “granny flats” in La Crosse gets 60-day delay from city council



City leaders in La Crosse are not rushing to approve new rules for small houses known as accessory dwelling units, or ADUs — Also called backyard cottages or “granny flats.”

The city council Thursday voted 10-3 to delay action on an ADU ordinance until its February meetings, so the idea can be studied some more.

Council member Jennifer Trost said La Crosse needs more housing to help prevent the city population from shrinking.

“We can’t afford to lose any more population,” Trost told the council during its monthly meeting. “If we get down below 50,000 people, we’re gonna be losing some entitlement money, so we want the welcome mat out here.”

Council president Chris Kahlow supports the ADU proposal. She wants to give the public more time to learn about the concept.

“I think it’s a great piece of legislation,” Kahlow said, “but I want the public on board. And since we have no rush on this, I just think it’s doing our due diligence to make sure that we have the community engagement and input and communication.”

Last week, the Judiciary and Administration committee recommended the 60-day referral on the accessory dwelling plan. That came after the City Plan Commission voted down the proposal.

The council also voted on Thursday to approve rules regulating short-term rentals of homes in La Crosse. Some citizens have expressed concern that renters might be too noisy or cause a mess at those units.

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. Kevin

    December 18, 2023 at 7:19 am

    It is curious to me about how our council can piss and moan about granny flats, etc…. when there is an entire encampment of folks that are breaking the zoning laws!

    It is curious to me about how our state and nation can piss and moan about who lives where, and how they live, what they live in, etc… when the southern border has disintegrated and no one seems to give a rat’s ass on who comes acrossed it why, for how long and to where?

    It is a veneer of government to make people feel like there is control when in fact, there is none…..

    • Ron

      December 18, 2023 at 11:49 am

      You got it?

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