La Crosse residents weigh in on Lot C project

This is the public's first chance to voice their opinion

Plans for developing Lot C in Downtown La Crosse have been in the works for months. Tuesday, the public got its first chance to weigh in.

“This was really our big reveal to the public,” said County Board Chair Tara Johnson.

After the County Board voted last week to move forward with Lot C, they were eager to hear what the public thought of the plans. “I love it when we have something that we can hold out and show to people and get their reaction,” said Johnson.

Most of that reaction was positive. Residents were eager to hear details about the apartments, what retail might fill the space and what it would look like.

One person who spoke Tuesday was business owner Dan Wettstein. “I thought everything was very positive,” said Wettstein, who was also on the Lot C Advisory Committee.

Wettstein has a reason to be curious, his business is right across the street from Lot C. His biggest concern was making sure traffic would still flow past his business and he had his questions answered at the meeting.

Overall he’s eager for the project. “I like that fact that some of the retail is shifting toward our part of town, most of the retail is in the central part of town,” said Wettstein, “it’s exciting to see something come toward us.”

But it wasn’t all positive. There is a major concern about parking in Downtown La Crosse. There was also a call for more low income housing in the project and about including eco-friendly aspects to the plan.

The County Board Chair says those concerns will help shape this project moving forward. “I really feel like the points we made tonight are the big ticket items, the most important things we’ll be negotiating over the course of the 90-day period,” said Johnson.

The 90 days Johnson is referring to is how long the county has to negotiate a final plan with Weber Holdings, the company developing the land. It’s down to just over 80 days since the county voted last week to move forward with the Weber group.

If you missed Tuesday’s meeting, it was recorded by the county. The entire meeting will be posted on the county website.