Public gives input on Northside Redevelopment planning process - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Public gives input on Northside Redevelopment planning process

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The week-long planning process for the Northside Redevelopment is coming to an end. The unique process lets the public have a hand in the planning and development.

Tom Low, Director of Urban Design for the redevelopment project, is leading the Charette. Low said, "We actually continue to design as we get feedback so we fold in the ideas as they come about and then bounce them off people and the good ideas rise to the top and the not so great ideas, through consensus, fall by the wayside."

Low has been through this process before. He has helped 150 communities redevelop. Planners and developers have worked on site, non stop, for several days straight to put together a plan for the city's 65-acre site on the Northside.

Getting the public involved is supposed to make people more comfortable with big ideas. People like Paul Schoenfeld, who has lived in La Crosse for 25 years, gave his input in the design. Schoenfeld thinks, "We're gonna end up with a better design because of community involvement."

Six different designs were made up of concepts like residential and commercial developments, parks, walking and biking trails, a marina, a boardwalk, and making Copeland Avenue a gateway to Downtown.

One idea proposed is to move the Oktoberfest grounds and develop the current grounds, or even building a new fest grounds.  But for now the task is to consolidate plans to create one or two designs that incorporate the majority of what people want to see, before anything is set in stone.

"They'll be some overlay options, like 'here's a plan then here's the plan with the option of having the festival venue on it. Here's a plan with Copeland modified, but here's a plan with it modified another way'", Low said.

The goal is to build a sustainable design while staying realistic with what our community can handle, and because of the community involvement that should be an easy task.

 The city will formulate a final plan Monday and Tuesday, and present a final plan to the public at the Weber Center on Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m.

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