City Council to allow rezoning of County Administration Building

Almost unanimous vote came after member voice concerns

Plans to rezone the County Administration Building are moving forward, but not without concern.

The City Council voted almost unanimously Thursday to allow the County Administration Building to be rezoned for residential. But the overwhelming 16-1 vote came after several council members expressed concerns about the move.

The vote was the first of several steps that would eventually see the County Admin Building turned into student housing. County officials would move to the Associated Bank Building, Associated Bank wants to develop on Lot C across from the courthouse.

City council members expressed concerns over the loss of parking, whether they want student housing in that location, and whether the deal is better for the county than the city. Mayor Tim Kabat has some concerns as well, but says the city needs to keep an open line of dialogue with the county as they move forward. “I still have some concerns about the process in making sure that we are not adding more tax exempt property and that when it comes to Lot C that we’re actively involved in what the county is doing because if they’re making commitments for more public parking, we need to be involved with that,” said Mayor Kabat.

Before the meeting, the Lot C advisory committee held an information meeting for council members about the project. The Mayor hopes that meeting cleared up some of the concerns voiced this week.

There are three firms interested in developing Lot C, two from the La Crosse area and one from the Twin Cities. Each firm will need to send in a proposal of their plans for the project to the county.