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City council gets another chance to approve accessory dwellings for La Crosse



This could be the week that the La Crosse city council approves rules for maintaining small backyard homes.

An ordinance to regulate accessory dwelling units (ADUs) comes up for vote Thursday. The proposal was passed by the city’s Judiciary and Administration Committee last week, after being postponed for two months so the plan could be studied more closely.

City council member Erin Goggin told WIZM that the proposal would require the owner of such a dwelling unit to live on the land where it sits.

“The property owner must live on the property, to be able to rent that property, to a grandmother, (an) adult child, a student, a resident from hospital, a young executive, whatever,” Goggin said last week on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk with Mike Hayes.

She added that supporters see an ADU as a more affordable alternative to senior living centers for older city residents.

Goggin also said these dwellings should not be confused with “tiny homes,” which could be moved from one site to another. An ADU would have to stay in one place, under the proposed rules.

The ADU plan is aimed at property owners who want to use garages or other backyard buildings on their land for housing.

Onalaska has had a similar law in place for several years, though rarely has a property been converted to utilize the buildings.

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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