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Comprehensive Plan


What is the Comprehensive Plan?

The La Crosse Common Council had directed the Planning Department to prepare a new community-wide plan for land development, parks, roads, utilities, environmental protection and other matters of community concern. The previous La Crosse plan, prepared in 1977, was long overdue for an update. 

The plan was prepared over an 18 month period with guidance from a Citizen Advisory Committee appointed by the Common Council. There were several public meetings and workshops to provide citizens an opportunity to review preliminary drafts and offer their ideas. These meetings were advertised in the La Crosse Tribune, on the local cable access channels, and on the City's web site.

The City also had hired a consultant, BRW, now URS, to coordinate and work with the City Departments to write the elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

Wisconsin Law



The 1999-2001 Wisconsin Biennial budget included legislation requiring all Cities, Villages, and Towns to adopt comprehensive plans by 2010. Under the Comprehensive Planning and "Smart Growth" legislation all jurisdictions will prepare and adopt a comprehensive plan with at least nine elements. Beginning on January 1, 2010, any community that makes land-use decisions is required to base those decisions on its adopted comprehensive plan. Each element of the plan will include background information, objectives, policies and goals, programs, and a portrayal of what those aspects of the community are planned to look like when the target year arrives (2020 for the La Crosse Comprehensive Plan). The nine required elements are:

  1. Issues and Opportunities
  2. Housing
  3. Transportation
  4. Utilities and Community Facilities
  5. Agriculture, Natural and Cultural Resources
  6. Economic Development
  7. Land Use
  8. Intergovernmental Coordination
  9. Implementation

The La Crosse Comprehensive Plan consists of the fourteen elements listed below, which include the nine required by the Wisconsin Comprehensive Planning:

  1. Issues and Opportunities
  2. Land Use
  3. Transportation (Ports, Transit, Bike-Ped, Highways/streets, Passenger Rail, Airports)
  4. Housing
  5. Parks, Recreation and Open Space
  6. Natural Resources
  7. Public Facilities (Sanitary Sewer, Water Supply, Storm Water, Libraries, Fire)
  8. Economic Development
  9. Historic Preservation
  10. Urban Design
  11. Neighborhoods
  12. Schools
  13. Intergovernmental Cooperation
  14. Implementation (Monitoring, Capital Improvements)

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La Crosse
400 La Crosse Street, La Crosse, WI 54601
Grand River Great City, La Crosse, Wisconsin