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Tuesday - August 8, 2017 2:51 am

City council president looking closer at Coulee Council on Addictions building

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Vote to be delayed on project zoning over meeting notice error 

Grumblings about Coulee Council on Addictions moving to 9th and Ferry in La Crosse have reached the ear of the city's council president.

"I would like to make it clear that I'm not speaking on behalf of the council, but as a councilman from District 11, I do have some serious misgivings about that," council president Martin Gaul said.

He doesn't appreciate the city recruiting single families to build in the neighborhood around Lincoln Middle School without divulging that a facility like Coulee Council on Addictions (CCA) could be built on a nearly empty block there.

"I think that the expectations these folks had with the investments they're putting into single-family housing shouldn't be ignored," Gaul said.

On the other hand, "that is private property," said Gaul and the city has to recognize that the owner--Mayo--has a right to use it as such. 

CCA plans to build a $3 million facility on the block next to Lincoln Middle School. The city council would have to approve a zoning change to allow Coulee Council on the site.

That planned rezoning seems a contradiction to Gaul.

"There's been some major investments in the housing that's been going in on that particular block," Gaul said. "And, for us to ignore what the folks are saying there, I think we need to decide how we want to treat these things going forward."

Gaul does not have a problem with the organization itself. He calls the CCA "an excellent organization that does good work."

He also noted that current zoning on the site would allow Mayo to build a 20-unit apartment building without any council approval.

A meeting notice mistake means the city council will not be voting on the zoning change for CCA this week as planned but will likely push off action on the issue for a month.

Last modified on Tuesday - August 8, 2017 4:46 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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