Wanders Townhouse Rezoning Advances

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Six aging houses across Campbell Road from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Mitchell Hall have an assessed value of $479,800.

If developer Marvin Wanders’ plans come to fruition, those houses will be replaced by 24 townhomes with attached garages. The project’s estimated cost: $3.8 million.

To Common Council member David Marshall, those figures popped out of the La Crosse Planning Department’s report on rezoning the property to allow the townhomes. The Judiciary and Administration Committee this week recommended the council approve the zoning change.

“I had some initial reservations about this petition,” Marshall said.

Then he walked about the neighborhood, which he represents as part of District 4. He, like his constituents, was concerned about the prospect of high-density housing in the neighborhood.

Wanders also met with the Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association to listen to its concerns.

“My general feeling after that was that a lot of the concerns from the neighborhood at that time had been addressed,” Marshall said.

“I think this is going to be good for everyone,” he said. “It’s going to raise the tax base, going to raise values.”

He will “always fight” for retaining residential zoning in most of the neighborhood, he said, but “this is worthy of being sent forward with conditions.”

The city’s Planning Department recommended a meeting between the neighborhood association, Wanders, city traffic engineer Matt Gallagher and a representative from Emerson Elementary “to discuss traffic safety provisions for Emerson Elementary students.”

It also recommended that Wanders “continue to meet with the GENA to consider the issue of management policies and practices of concern to the neighborhood and how the developer will address these concerns.”

“I’m in support of the recommendation of the planning department,” Wanders said at the committee’s meeting on Monday.

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