First look at potential Riverside North Redevelopment options

Second public meeting during charette held Saturday

La Crosse residents are sharing their thoughts on what to do with a big piece of undeveloped land on the city’s north side.

Saturday was the second public meeting city officials have held to decide the site’s fate.

There were six designs at the meeting stemming from public opinion the past few days. All are very different in the layout, but La Crosse residents who attended said there are great aspects to all of them.

Chuck Lee has lived in La Crosse for 32 years and said he is excited to finally get rid of an eyesore.

“We thought of it forever as the oil tank site that you paid no attention to, you drove right by,” Lee said.

Lee has been to several public meetings for the Riverside North Redevelopment Project and has seen a lot of great ideas.

“There’s certain features that I like about all of them, there’s incredible natural features here, the Black River water front, the wetland that is on the southern edge of the property. These are significant locations and significant features, the protection of those and in some cases the enhancement of those is really important,” Lee said.

The meeting put forward other ideas for the site, including additional bike trails and the idea of a residential neighborhood. Several dozen people showed up to share their thoughts and city officials say the more, the better.

“Sometimes it’s hard because you say, ‘What do you think?’ And they go, ‘It’s all really great!’ OK, but, which part do you like? Which part do you not like? What do you think is a good idea and what do you think is a bad idea? We need that feedback as well,” Amy Peterson, planning and economic development administrator for the city of La Crosse, said.

After the presentation of the designs the public was invited to leave Post-it notes on each design with comments which, along with other public input from the next few days, will be used to help create one more design to be unveiled Tuesday night.

“Tuesday isn’t the end of the process, it’s the end of the charrette. But then the designers are going to take everything, and go back and do a bit of refinement yet. They’re going to continue to work with the steering committee and the redevelopment authority to refine that just a bit more,” Peterson said.

One additional idea proposed for the Mobil oil site would be to move the Oktoberfest grounds and develop the current location of the festival.

If you’d like to check out the designs from the meeting, you can go to the Coleman Center at Western Technical College Sunday from noon to 1:30 p.m. The final presentation will be held at the Weber Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

If you would like to be part of this process, a complete list of meeting times is available here.