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Backyard houses back on the table for La Crosse city leaders in February



The future of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in La Crosse will be discussed again this week by city committees.

In December, the city council postponed a vote on new rules for small backyard houses, so council members could do more study of the idea.

The February cycle of city committee meetings starts Monday, with the city plan commission taking up the matter — something it voted against two months ago.

Also Monday, city council members Mackenzie Mindel and Mac Kiel will join La Crosse Talk PM to discuss the ADU legislation on the Judiciary and Administration Committee, which they are both apart of. The show begins at 5:06 p.m. on WIZM and on online.

Committees will consider limits on plumbing in those dwelling units and a requirement that the owner of a backyard house must occupy that building or the principal house on that property.

The city sponsored two information sessions earlier this month, to get opinions from La Crosse residents. The plan commission and common council committees could review possible changes to ADU plans, after hearing from folks at those meetings.

The next full council meeting is Feb. 8.

City committees may also vote this week on parking ramps at UW-La Crosse, chicken coup licenses, a conditional use permit for Jay Street apartments and a liquor license for a new pickleball facility, parking ramps at UW-La Crosse. The Blue Zone Pickleball venue is expected to open soon at Bridgeview Plaza, inside the former Shopko store.

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. Realist

    January 30, 2024 at 8:46 am

    We had a new home built within the last 5 years and while the “Granny Flats” sounds so sweet. What about the Municipal Code of Ordinances these have to comply with? What about emergency exists, what about chapter 46 utilities, chapter 18 fire preventions, chapter 103 Buildings and Building regulations? Having to go through those myself I think people do not deep dive into the full intricacies of this. We have had 9 houses and NOT ONE had plumbing and a sewer for a toilet and shower, a couple had water for washing a car. Again, let’s have an open conversation about the reality of this ” oh how sweet” granny flat proposal is.

  2. Dave

    January 30, 2024 at 10:13 am

    I believe that this is a bad idea! By passing an ordinance they can avoid zoning issues, this paves the way for an easy build a converted garage doesn’t change square footage just increases revenue. Parking ,multiple occupants , increased noise , turnover activity are just a few of the problems that change a once quiet neighborhood!, this all being done by the increasing rents charged today!, the monopoly players here in town are most likely the ones behind this idea at hand, find out whose behind this idea and you may be surprised at there rental portfolio!. In closing Mike Hayes theseADU’s are ripe for abuse, an “ADU” is just (another duplex unit) in disguise. As they say in poker reader a weep!, let me me know what you think!.

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