Campaign launched for community feedback on the city’s long-term future – WIZM 92.3FM 1410AM

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The future of La Crosse is guided by its community.

Where the people who live and work here want to see the city go, how they want the city to grow, is being explored through a campaign launched this week called Forward La Crosse.

It’s a community look at the city over the next 15-20 years and how the people who live and work here want to shape it.

This is not a new initiative, although it hasn’t been done very often in the city.

“Our last plan that we adopted was in 2002,” La Crosse Planning Administrator Tim Acklin said on La Crosse Talk PM Thursday. “It was called Confluence. It was a really well-written plan. It was the first (complete) plan of the city since the 1960s.

“Almost 20 years old now, this plan is largely obsolete. Much of the plan has been implemented. And then since, 20 years ago, there are a lot of new emerging issues, trends, concerns that have emerged that our plan doesn’t address, that we want our current plan to address.

The city launched the Attacking La Crosse campaign this week and will gather feedback from those who participate for the next year or more.

The ways to provide feedback on the future of La Crosse are pretty endless. However, the most important aspect is to get the participation of those who live and work in the city.

“These plans, however, (are) supposed to be citizen-driven,” Acklin said. “They are not meant to be plans that we as staff put together.

“I mean we can make the plan, but for those plans to be successful they have to be championed and supported by the community. These plans are meant to be: ‘How do you, community, citizens of La Crosse, want our city to develop over the next 15 to 20 years in these particular areas?’

Currently there is a survey on the site, but it will include many other ways to provide feedback – from traditional, such as neighborhood meetings, to uploading photos to the site and providing feedback, well, basically as you see fit. There is also a voting game and ranking survey on the site.

“The comprehensive plan is really the overarching document that guides developments, policies, capital budget, allocations for the city over the next 10, 15, 20 years,” Acklin said. “This is meant to be used as a document that our elected officials use and refer to when making these decisions, whether it’s rezonings for land use, whether it’s allocations to applications for capital budget, whether it’s policy for new ordinance changes or things of that nature.

“The compensation plan is meant to cover goals, strategies, objectives and future plans in various areas of the city, such as economic development, historic preservation, parks and open spaces, neighborhoods, use of floors, urban design,” said Acklin. “You name it.”

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