Municipal Ballot Issues (H/T – GP)

Let’s consider the (possible) four issues now heading to the spring 2014 ballot, because it now brings up a real point. All four issues are citizen driven. The sheeple are being awakened. It should scare the elected in South Dakota and Sioux Falls. This group of ballot issues are the tip of a big iceberg ready to sink a lot of ships:

  1. There will not be an organized effort against snowgates, even our current mayor has accepted they will be coming and is now blaming the snowgate proponents for slowing down the implementation. Snowgates have an 80% approval.
  2. Local tennis promoters are very unhappy with the indoor pool proposal even though the mayor and wife are members of the group. In speaking with a tennis club member recently, they are silently voting against the Spellerberg pool. Spellerberg park is one of a select location in the USA to receive a large USTA grant for youth tennis courts. This is actually a big deal. It is part of a national USTA outreach program to encourage the growth of tennis participation. There are also a few people in the organization who expressed angst in allowing ‘neighborhood’ kids playing there (I will let this rest there). So add this to the thought of putting a big box in a small area not meeting the needs or wants of a majority of residents, ruining what they already have. When people understand what is going to happen to a simple city park, they usually are not happy but thought they could not stop it until the Spellerberg neighbors showed a way to do it.
  3. Shape Places petition is a reaction to a perceived out of control city government running roughshod over people. Public (private) meetings to hammer out what can be done. There are probably points of contention on most areas and not, who knows anymore. The process has become so convoluted during the last two mayoral administrations. The 85th and Minnesota zoning change woke a sleeping giant called middle class voters. Many of these middle class home owners are building their futures on the values of these homes.
  4. 85th and Minnesota zoning change vote galvanized a broad cross section of Sioux Falls. There are so many issues to solve in this town and most have to do with special deals being cut across the board. There are upset people of all income levels who want a piece of city hall to be tar and feathered. Many of the middle class homeowners affected are also small business people who could never get the city to approve zoning changes for their businesses but let a multinational billion dollar corporation drop a 4.5 acre building with 1,000 parking spots into their neighborhood, it’s okay.  The city will bend over backwards to allow the billion dollar big box to abuse the town, take more money out of town, shift sales from businesses the very homeowners are now supposed to compete against. Sioux Falls will not earn another $ of tax revenue from the big box store.

So who is going to stop the momentum of educated, frustrated electorate? At some point the ‘politicals’ of Sioux Falls and South Dakota are going to be reminded the people actually own the government and not the special interests. So the special interests or elites of Sioux Falls must mount a mighty and expensive campaign to kill all four issues in order to maintain their special places in line in front of the mayor’s inner office.

DL: I have often felt the biggest failure of Shape Places was that the Planning Office did not break this ordinance up in sections when having it approved by the council. This simple move by them to approve a 279 pages document in one simple vote told me there were things in it the public would not be happy about. It was sneaky, and the council should have caught it, but hey, the rubber stamp sits in front of them, so why not use it? I asked Kermit the other day, “When you got elected to the council, did you have to pay for your rubberstamp, or did the city cover the expense?”



64 comments ↓

#1 anonymous2 on 09.02.13 at 5:11 pm

I have the pleasure of being the first to respond…..hmmm. I think your comments are right on the money (in more ways than one). The fact that we have this volume of initiatives and referendums in such a short space of time says something.

People have varying reasons or explanations as to why they don’t want a indoor pool at Spellerberg. To me, it simply doesn’t fit it there–a commercial looking building in this park–another example to me of poor city planning. Doesn’t the city have some extra land by one of the fire stations (how about out west by Family Park)?

Shape Places: It must not be worth the paper it is printed on. It expresses all kinds of “standards” that Mr. Schmitt says Sioux Falls does not really have in their zoning structure. FOR EXAMPLE: Shape Places says that with Commercial C-4 zoning, “traffic shall not be forced to travel through a residential area.” 85th Street has 60+ homesites adjacent to it; yet Walmart access is on 85th and there is no way traffic can arrive at the Walmart location without traveling through a residential area. Please note that Shape Places does not say “residential street.” And that is just one example.

#2 anonymous2 on 09.02.13 at 5:14 pm

Well, yes, you can get some traffic in by the “right in” entrance, but most of those that would be using the “right in” would probably use the other Walmarts. The majority of the people using this Walmart are going to be coming from the South and West

#3 cr on 09.02.13 at 6:55 pm

Citizen-Driven Issue: SNOWGATES

This is only going to happen because the petition drive has forced it onto the ballot.

No matter what Mike is saying now, he did NOT support snowgates and the necessary Council votes were NOT there to appropriate the funding.

The Mayor is only on board NOW because it is politically expedient to do so.

Citizen-Driven Issue: INDOOR POOL AT SPELLERBERG

Here is the reason I believe this issue will fail at the polls: (source: City-Wide Aquatics Facilities Master Plan)

Page 28: This is the scenario the consultant has recommended:

Option 5: Large Indoor 50 meter by 25 yard competition pool with springboard diving and a separate 3,750 sq. ft. indoor leisure pool with current channel, and waterslide.

Page 38:

Large Indoor
Project Cost $18,519,000 (this has increased to 19.4m per Director of Parks and Rec, Don Kearney-Council Work Session, July 17, 2013)

Attendance
80,104

2013: Revenue 355,823 Expense 1,048,552
Operating Cashflow -$692,729

2014: Revenue 364,598 Expense 1,074,766
Operating Cashflow -$710,168

2015: Revenue 373,483 Expense 1,101,635
Operating Cashflow -$728,152

2016: Revenue 382,477 Expense 1,129,176
Operating Cashflow -$746,699

2017: Revenue 391,582 Expense 1,157,405
Operating Cashflow -$765,824

To illustrate these numbers: The $3,643,572 (3.6m) it will take to operate the indoor pool FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS ONLY is enough revenue to build SEVEN NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS @ $520,510.

And this is just the operating costs (for five years), it does NOT include the $20m in capital costs to build the indoor pool.

Citizen-Driven Issue: Shape Places

In the past, a critical part of the Planning Commission’s job was to evaluate public input regarding agenda items. Much of this process took place through the conditional use permitting. This will be severely limited in the new Shape Places ordinance.

There are probably many improvements included in this document, but I think Jeff Schmidt “over-reached” on this portion of Shape Places.

Citizen-Driven Issue: Super Store @ 85th and Minnesota

The question remains: last Friday, did they hand in enough valid signatures to get this onto the ballot?

#4 hornguy on 09.02.13 at 8:50 pm

Snowgates are a slam dunk. The pool? For those of us who don’t want to spend the money either way, that’s like a vote between bad and worse. Do I want to spend some money I don’t want to spend on something people can use a few months out of the year, or do I want to spend more money on something people can use year-round?

However, both are very easy issues for voters to see a cost and a benefit.

As for the rest, I respectfully think that you have a tendency to wildly overestimate the degree to which the community agrees with you on this issue, and the degree to which people have a reason to oppose commercial development at 85th and Minnesota. For 99% of Sioux Falls, that’s not their backyard. They have no dog in the fight. In that regard, they have no reason to oppose commercial development. SON has a long and costly battle in front of it to convince residents that a) there’s something bigger in play and b) that it’s something they should care about.

And if they keep holding meetings on covered patios of $700,000 homes with views of backyard basketball courts, and if they can’t get some of their loons under control on message boards and get their message focused and on point, that’s a long road to travel. Not saying it can’t be done, of course. But they need to raise a pile of money, shut up, and hire a professional consultant to manage their campaign. If they want to win, they need to play to win.

#5 Lemming on 09.02.13 at 11:55 pm

1-Snowgates – No Brainer – writing is on the wall
2-Spellererg- Fail – voters will not pass. This is not needed and really only benefits a very small base
3 &4 – Same/same. These are not “middle class” neighborhoods Detroit! How out of touch are you? If this is ‘middle class’ what is 22nd and Summit? C’mon Man! Many of these houses are the artsy/fartsy “my husband is a Doctor or Lawyer so I run a Anti-build group in my spare time” crowd! So they get a Wal-Mart in their quarter of the City. The voters will not feel any sympathy for this crowd.

#6 Testor15 on 09.03.13 at 7:38 am

HG, at what point did you attend one of those covered patio with views of basketball court meetings you profess to know about? I seem to have missed the events.

#7 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 8:31 am

I think I see a big problem with the why #2 is going to be on the ballot. It is NOT – I repeat – NOT anti-indoor in its wording. It is PRO outdoor. If all you opponents of an indoor pool keep saying “it will fail” (the ballot measure will lose) – that means YOU will fail. Doh!!

#8 hornguy on 09.03.13 at 8:52 am

Testor, you can see them in pictures on the Argus Leader and in the video on local TV stations. The Argus last week used the photo of the three well-manicured middle-aged women on the giant front patio a number of times.

Point being, if these guys are looking for populist traction, they need to start meeting in libraries and churches and not on the Bonita Schwan plantation. The visual is positively awful if you’re trying to build sympathy among ordinary citizens, most of whom live in homes smaller than her nicely-finished garage.

#9 hornguy on 09.03.13 at 9:13 am

Here’s an fine example of those middle class folks, Lemming.

“(Bonita) Schwan, 52, a lawyer by training, now is a single stay-at-home mom of four teenagers. Her home, which the Lincoln County assessor lists at $739,000…” (Argus Leader, 7/20/13)

Nice life. A single, stay-at-home mom in a house worth three-quarters of a million dollars. How does that work?

Oh… the interwebs seems to indicate that her apparently former husband was one of the children of billionaire Marvin Schwan, he of the frozen food empire who was once the 70th richest person in America. Hmmm. I guess you have time to dabble in community issues then.

(http://goo.gl/9lCybM)

If I’m Walmart and I need to paint a picture of this neighborhood as a bunch of out-of-touch, wine-and-cheese-eating millionaires, I know who I’m starting with.

#10 Testor15 on 09.03.13 at 10:00 am

There You Go Again Hg Painting Imager. Do You Have Walmart Stock?

#11 Detroit Lewis on 09.03.13 at 10:29 am

I think most people know who ‘Bonita’ is. Doesn’t matter.

“In that regard, they have no reason to oppose commercial development.”

This isn’t about ‘opposing’ commercial development. Nobody is opposed to development out there. This is about our local representatives listening to the citizens NOT an international company. The residents don’t want a 185,000 square foot super center that is open 24/7, and they think they have a right to be heard. This has nothing to do with the class of people that live in the neighborhood.

#12 testor15 on 09.03.13 at 10:41 am

maybe some size envy?

#13 Karma on 09.03.13 at 10:43 am

I think many of you are truly underestimating the pool issue. Just because many that are for it have not been vocal yet, does not mean it will not pass. And remember, Huether holds many of the “purse strings” for the indoor tennis center, both publically and possibly privately. The tennis people are going to have to make a decision if they want him and his checkbook on board or not because he wants this pool. I am not in favor of this type of politics, but remember, this is Huether.

Also – regarding tennis at Spellerberg. First, although the starter courts seem to be ideal – they are not. Rarely – do you see anyone using them after the age of five – hence they are hardly used beyond lessons. Unfortunately – great idea in concept – not in use. The minute my husband and I get off the big court – there is always someone waiting to use it. Second – if they move the tennis court(s) to the upper ground by the park – it is MUCH more family friendly. Right now the outdoor recreation is all over the place at that park making it hard to use more than one thing at a time. I am in favor of the indoor pool and I am in favor of all of the outdoor recreation in one area. Remember – just a block and half away – you have upper and lower Sherman park. This area of town probably has more green space than about any other part of town. We are extremely lucky of our proximity to about everything recreational. An indoor pool will be just fine here and it will not be used by just a few.

By the way – what date did Spellerberg close this year? – August 11th! That is simply ludicrous. 11 weeks that pool was open (not accounting for all the crappy days in May/June) . Time for a change.

By the way – I will be voting for snow gates and I will be voting to help SON. Both have done an excellent job of earning my vote and understanding.

#14 hornguy on 09.03.13 at 12:00 pm

“I think most people know who ‘Bonita’ is.”

Seriously? In a town where most people couldn’t tell you who the last mayor was? I’d bet 95% of people have no idea she’s the ex-wife of a billionaire’s son. Probably a lovely person. Not exactly a sympathetic character in this play.

#15 hornguy on 09.03.13 at 12:13 pm

Oh, and no WMT in the portfolio. My point here has nothing to do with whether these are nice people or not nice people, nor whether they have a right to do what they’re doing. I’m sure they’re all great.

My point, having grown up in and around local politics, having worked for a number of years in state politics, is that the people in that neighborhood – at least the ones leading the charge – are terrible messengers. This is basic stuff in political communication. When we wanted to sell tax cuts in Wisconsin, we didn’t ask the richest guy in the Assembly to draft the bill. We asked him to stay the hell away from the discussion.

You want to rally this community, the local version of Ann Romney is probably not someone who should be plastering her face all over the paper. And yet time and again, there she is, on her giant front stoop or wearing a sunbonnet (seriously?) and beaming over a box of petitions. Go find some actual blue collar people, people ordinary residents can actually identify with. The Real Housewives of Lincoln County don’t fit the bill.

At their current rate, this is going to be about people saying “hey, I shop at Walmart. And I can screw some rich people by building another one? Win/win.”

If you think this isn’t how average voters come to decisions, I’ve got a bridge out back with your name on it. It’s great that you want to think that voters care about process, or big picture issues, or the global politics of international retailers. They aren’t. People are selfish and small-minded and cheap and lazy and petty.

We’ll get snowgates because people don’t want to shovel. We’ll get an outdoor pool because it’s cheap. We’ll get a fourth Walmart because they sell cheap stuff. And Shape Places will probably go however the Walmart vote goes since to the vast majority of voters they’ll be the same issue.

#16 cr on 09.03.13 at 3:02 pm

rufusx on 09.03.13 at 8:31 am

I think I see a big problem with the why #2 is going to be on the ballot. It is NOT – I repeat – NOT anti-indoor in its wording. It is PRO outdoor. If all you opponents of an indoor pool keep saying “it will fail” (the ballot measure will lose) – that means YOU will fail. Doh!!

rufusx, you are correct, the ballot language regarding Spellerberg Park will talk about replacement of the OUTDOOR POOL only.

When I cast a “YES” vote, it will be for three reasons:

1. Replacement of the outdoor pool for less than $8m. This is money which has already been set aside in the CIP.

2. Preservation of the green space and the view at Spellerberg Park.

3. In opposition to a $20m indoor pool with operating costs of $700,000+ per year.

An indoor pool will require bonding. If it is located at Spellerberg it will require bonding for approximately $13m.

If the YES vote to replace the outdoor pool is successful at Spellerberg, then the entire amount will have be bonded for. Reason: the CIP dollars that are part of the proposed funding pkg for the indoor pool are already designated for replacement of the outdoor pool.

The mayor’s position and four council seats are open in the April 2014 election. No decision regarding an indoor pool will be made until after the people have spoken.

Ultimately, it will be the Council, not the Mayor who makes this decision. Karma, they are the ones who hold the “purse strings” in all city matters, it is their vote that appropriates the funding.

If the “YES” vote is successful, I highly doubt that the new Council is going to support bonding for a $20m indoor pool.

#17 Kermit Staggers on 09.03.13 at 3:07 pm

What is a rubberstamp????????? I never got one!!!!!!!!!

#18 Karma on 09.03.13 at 4:08 pm

cr – where have you been? Since when does this council not approve what this Mayor wants? We’ll see what happens, but unless drastic changes take place at the Mayor and council level, the Mayor will continue to do what he wants, when he wants.

#19 scott on 09.03.13 at 4:23 pm

Put the new pool at 85th and Minnesota and the Walmart at 26th and Western. Problem solved!

#20 hornguy on 09.03.13 at 4:27 pm

^^^ HA! But public pools attract lower to lower-middle class riffraff, you know, the People of Walmart. Can we income-restrict the pool to those with household incomes of six figures or more? I bet SON would love that!

#21 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 4:29 pm

For those of you infatuated with “the numbers” around the pool issue:

Outdoor pool cost – $8MM
Annual useable days – 77
Cost per annual usable day – $103,896.

Indoor pool cost – $19.4MM
Annual useable days – 360 (figuring some maintenance days)
Cost per annual usable day – $52,888.

Outdoor pool costs 2X as much perusable day.

Yeah – yooze guys is real financial “conservative geniuses” alright.

#22 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 4:40 pm

BTW – see if you can find some $$$ amounts for operating costs for an outdoor pool. Most I’ve seen run around $70,000 net/year – give or take – depending on weather mostly. For that 77 days – that’s around $1,000/useable day give or take.

#23 cr on 09.03.13 at 5:04 pm

The SOURCE for the capital and operating costs for an indoor pool is the City-Wide Aquatics Facilities Master Plan.

rufusx, what is your source for the numbers you provided to operate an outdoor pool?

#24 scott on 09.03.13 at 6:45 pm

If 4 people have cars that get 25mpg, and they decide car pool, they are getting a combined 75mpg!

#25 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 7:15 pm

Various financial reports from cities around the country. It’s an average. Doesn’t the “Master” plan you cite talk about operating costs for outdoor pools too? If not – WHY not?

#26 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 7:18 pm

Scott – you are wrong. Rather – they are traveling fewer (only 1/3 as many) miles.

#27 rufusx on 09.03.13 at 7:21 pm

oops – I see you said 4 people and calculated for 3 – so, actually 1/4 as many miles.

#28 Testor15 on 09.03.13 at 9:48 pm

or ruf, 75 mpg

#29 Craig on 09.03.13 at 11:33 pm

Ruf… your numbers don’t make much sense unless you think the construction cost should be depreciated and/or realized in a one year period.

I also don’t buy your $70,000 annual operational cost for an outdoor pool, but even if we take that at face value it is less than one tenth of what it costs to operate an indoor pool.

So run your numbers for a longer period – let’s just go with a 20 year lifespan of the facility, and let’s assume 3% inflation just to simplify things.

Outdoor pool cost $8MM
Annual operating cost (year 1): $70k
Total 20 year operational cost: $1.9MM
Total 20 year cost: $9.9MM

Indoor pool construction cost: $19.4MM
Annual operating cost: $1.05MM
Total 20 year operational cost: $28.2MM
Total 20 year cost: $47.6MM

So now let’s go with that 77 operational days a year for an outdoor pool (1540 over 20 years). Now let’s look at the indoor option. Assuming 355 operational days a year (I’m assuming not only maintenance, but perhaps we allow them Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the other typical city holidays) that is 7100 days over 20 years.

Outdoor pool: $9.9M / 1540 days = $6428 per day

Indoor pool: $47.6MM / 7100 days = or $6704 per day.

Not a huge difference, but at least it does show that the outdoor option is less expensive to operate over the long term. This also doesn’t even factor in the cost of the money (ie bonds) which would increase the gap.

However, one could argue an indoor facility will bring in additional spending due to tournaments and it will spur more tax revenue from secondary spending. So in the end which is “cheaper”? Who knows – but I get the feeling most of the opposition isn’t so much about money as it is about the location or about simply preferring outdoor pools that we are all familiar with (and that most of us grew up enjoying).

The bean counters will always find a way to prove the option they prefer is more financially wise – but let’s not let the numbers distract from the real debate.

#30 Testor15 on 09.04.13 at 8:20 am

A few miscellaneous thoughts from the petition process:

I loved hearing a few people say they looked forward to another Walmart because they would be able to save more money. Right…. Let’s see by having another Walmart in town, trying to destroy Hy-Vee, clothing stores, toy stores and all others somehow, we will have lower prices as WM becomes more monopolistic?

It was also interesting how many of the south side neighbors who were passing and signing petitions, thought nothing of running to Walmart to get supplies during the petition process. The irony…

The threats to not build the new north Walmart if south store was postponed. My personal feelings have been who cares if Walmart wants to play the childish game of “I’ll hold my breath if I don’t get my way!”. OK, pass out and see if I care. Walmart would still build this store if they could make money, it is a prime location and it would give traffic to an otherwise worthless I-90 / Marian Road interchange.

Consider you ‘need’ a gallon of milk and school supplies. You decide to go to the ‘new’ south side Walmart. You find the one driveway you can use, you cruise the parking lot looking for a spot to park amongst the thousand cars, walk a few city blocks from the car to the front door, only to walk several blocks once inside the building, then to cart or carry the purchases the few city blocks back to the car, load the cheap Chinese junk in the trunk and to finish up, wait in line for the one full driveway to clear so you can leave. A trip to Wally World is not a drop in for something quick kind of place.

As well designed the Dawley Farm development appears to be, a lot of people in Sioux Falls do not understand how to navigate the driveways. I remember one petition signer complaining “I can see the store I just can’t get there from here. You drive and you drive, you can’t just pull in and park.” And this is from someone who is trying to get to Walmart. Dawley Farms may not be what an enclosed mall or currently ‘connected’ shopping center but it is designed to be, eventually. It is a planned retail / living development to be completed over a period of many years stretching north to south approximately 16 city blocks.

#31 Karma on 09.04.13 at 8:59 am

Craig said – “However, one could argue an indoor facility will bring in additional spending due to tournaments and it will spur more tax revenue from secondary spending. So in the end which is “cheaper”? Who knows – ”

Bingo – you compare apples to apples – there isn’t that much difference and in fact the indoor pool will generate more for the city as a whole year around. It is amazing how many people on this blog refuse to see these numbers.

If your whole beef is the location – so be it. I live in this neighborhood and anyone under the age of 60 is for this project. As I said before, you are highly underestimating the number of people that have not been vocal about this issue but will vote. And many people my age learned their lesson with the rec center vote when they didn’t vote and thought it was a slam dunk. That won’t happen again.

#32 CCFlyer on 09.04.13 at 1:17 pm

I think it is absolutely ridiculous that many of you instead of focusing on the issue of putting C-4 zoned commercial next to single family zoned residential, are focusing on the incomes of just a few of the individuals that live in that area.

It’s too bad that the general public sees this as an opportunity to degrade a neighborhood in Sioux Falls only because they have higher home values than yours. It just makes no sense.

It’s not about income level, it’s not about WHO lives there, it’s about historically what exactly can and should ethically be built across the street from a neighborhood the city allowed to build there before making zoning changes that completely disregard rules they have set up regarding how to buffer large commercial with single family residential.

#33 Testor15 on 09.04.13 at 1:31 pm

Exactly right CCFlyer, the basis for Shape Places and the zoning change are about process and not house envy.

#34 Detroit Lewis on 09.04.13 at 1:31 pm

Thank you Flyer, I totally agree. There are plenty of other political things we can talk about that where class warfare applies, this is not one of them.

#35 rufusx on 09.04.13 at 4:14 pm

Craig – you left off the “per day of use” from ALL of your calculations. If you’re not using something – it is by definition- useless. But guess what – in the case of a pool – you’re still paying for it.

It doesn’t matter how many years you strectch out out to- the outdoor still costs TWICE as much per useable day as the indoor. Then add to the calculation that the life-span (in years) of the outdoor will be about 1/2 – 2/3 that of the indoor – due to the impact of freeze/thaw, and you’ll need to replace the outdoor sooner than you will the indoor. Amortize THAT!

#36 rufusx on 09.04.13 at 4:18 pm

Over twenty years – you will get 1540 days of use from the outdoor pool. – and it will likely need to be replaced at the end of that 20 years.

Over 20 years – you will get 7200 days of use from the indoor and you won’t have to replace it for at least another 10 years – meaning you will eventually get 10,800 days of use.

testor – wrong – they still get 25 MPG – they just travel 100 miles/week instead of 400 miles/week.

#37 rufusx on 09.04.13 at 4:21 pm

Craig – never mind – I responded too soon.

#38 rufusx on 09.04.13 at 4:27 pm

flyer – that land is NOT currently zoned single family. It is zoned multi-family. The developer simply chose to build single family in a multi-family zone – and those folks chose to buy single family homes in a multi-family zone. Right across the street (Audie) from Bonita’s is currently “mixed use – commercial and residential. Don’t kid yourself – this isn’t about zoning – it is about Walmart.

#39 cr on 09.04.13 at 4:55 pm

rufusx,

You really need to do some research on the swimming pool issue, instead of making wild statements that have NO factual basis.

A good source of information is the consultant the City of Sioux Falls hired to develop a Ten Year Aquatics Master Plan. (siouxfalls.org)

See page 2:

The life of an outdoor pool is 30-50 years.

#40 CCFlyer on 09.04.13 at 5:35 pm

@rufusx – It was previously zoned (Residential District), which ONLY allows single family homes, duplexes, schools, and churches, and NOT multi-family dwellings. A new zoning measure passed allowing that neighborhood to be zoned as RS-2 to reflect its current use as single family dwellings only.

This information is per the City Council meeting on July 2nd, 2013 where the zoning change was passed.

#41 CCFlyer on 09.04.13 at 5:37 pm

@rufusx – Yes, the land across the street is zoned for mixed use, smaller density commercial, because there is supposed to be a buffer just like that between single family residential and major thoroughfares with retail and major commercial development.

#42 Testor15 on 09.04.13 at 5:42 pm

oh ruf, its still 75mpg

#43 scott on 09.04.13 at 7:11 pm

The car itself d

#44 scott on 09.04.13 at 7:17 pm

Doesn’t get 75mpg, it’s the same as a business that’s been open 10 years with 10 employees who’ve worked there the whole time claiming they have 100 years of combined experience. As an aside, with all the cost/loss dollar amounts being thrown around, can anyone that’s good at math tell me what the admission price is based on to arrive at those numbers?

#45 cr on 09.04.13 at 8:44 pm

scott on 09.04.13 at 7:17 pm

As an aside, with all the cost/loss dollar amounts being thrown around, can anyone that’s good at math tell me what the admission price is based on to arrive at those numbers?

FYI for all you registered voter/bean counters!!

See siouxfalls.org

City-Wide Aquatics Facilities Master Plan

Opinion of Revenue pp. 33-34

*Admission Fees pp. 35-36

Opinion of Expenses pp. 36-38

Projected Bottom Line: page 38

2013:

Revenue 355,823

Expense 1,048,552

Operating Cashflow -$692,729

2014:

Revenue 364,598

Expense 1,074,766

Operating Cashflow -$710,168

2015:

Revenue 373,483

Expense 1,101,635

Operating Cashflow -$728,152

2016:

Revenue 382,477

Expense 1,129,176

Operating Cashflow -$746,699

2017:

Revenue 391,582

Expense 1,157,405

Operating Cashflow -$765,824

#46 cr on 09.04.13 at 9:18 pm

Karma on 09.04.13 at 8:59 am

Craig said – “However, one could argue an indoor facility will bring in additional spending due to tournaments and it will spur more tax revenue from secondary spending. So in the end which is “cheaper”? Who knows – ”

Bingo – you compare apples to apples – there isn’t that much difference and in fact the indoor pool will generate more for the city as a whole year around. It is amazing how many people on this blog refuse to see these numbers.

Craig and Karma, have either of you read the consultant’s report?

Craig on 09.03.13 at 11:33 pm

I get the feeling most of the opposition isn’t so much about money as it is about the location or about simply preferring outdoor pools that we are all familiar with (and that most of us grew up enjoying).

Craig, as you already know, this is a community-wide issue that has gone down to defeat TWICE at the polls.

I would NOT under-estimate the number of voters who believe the NUMBERS (both capital and operating) are actually very important!!

#47 Titleist on 09.04.13 at 11:14 pm

The new PUBLIC pool will be a much needed amenity for the City. But we should set our sights higher than just a new indoor pool. Do some of our other PUBLIC pools need to be upgraded? What more should we do or add? I noticed that Brookings is building an Outdoor Adventure Center. Good for them. We too need to keep moving forward. Progress.

Secondly, the Argus is reporting that Walmart is reviewing the signatures submitted on the Petitions from SON. What is up with that? Were the signatures not legit? Did some signature parties get carried away? Simple clerical errors? What’s the story?

#48 Detroit Lewis on 09.04.13 at 11:19 pm

WM has lots of money, and lots of lawyers and by law they can review the signatures, shit, anyone can.

#49 rufusx on 09.05.13 at 12:43 am

flyer – no – the “new zoning ordinance” -> RS-2, is exactly what SON has put the kybosh on. SO, they have NOT been “upgraded” to single family from the previous R-4 – multifamily.

FYI – multi family zoning does NOT prohibit single family construction. Zoning is a permissive process – not a restrictive one. It sets maximum uses. If your use is less intense/dense to the maximum permitted level – it too is permitted.

#50 rufusx on 09.05.13 at 12:44 am

The city of Huron has both an indoor pool and an outdoor aquatic theme park.

#51 anonymous on 09.05.13 at 6:14 am

Titleist

We all have different ideas about what progress and “Quality of Life” mean, including how our TAX DOLLARS need to be used.

I, for one, am glad all registered voters will have a chance to weigh-in on these important “community” issues in April 2014.

I believe the AL has gotten involved in the SON “signature counting” to provide a checks and balance to only having the City Clerk and the Mayor involved. They now know someone outside of city government is “closely watching” this process. Kudos to the AL.

#52 Testor15 on 09.05.13 at 8:37 am

Low-Wage Employers Have Fought Hard to Keep Their Workers Poor — Now Workers are Fighting Back http://billmoyers.com/2013/09/04/low-wage-employers-have-fought-hard-to-keep-their-workers-poor-now-workers-are-fighting-back/

#53 Guest Poster on 09.05.13 at 9:38 am

In Ellis’ article today http://www.argusleader.com/article/20130905/NEWS/309050022/Walmart-inspects-petitions-opposing-new-store “Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz said his office received a request from somebody asking for copies of signatures on voter registration forms. Litz said the request, made Tuesday, was related to the Walmart referendum.”

Can you image the trouble the county would be in if a signature given to the county so a person could legally vote is now handed over to a commercial business? This is a documented official signature because it was accepted by the government as one of your signatures. What’s to stop and identity theft ring from asking for the same thing? We have presented our private legal ID credentials to the Auditor’s office so we can participate in our electoral system. Then we have someone take copies of our personal signature and abuse us.

Under the current Federal privacy laws these signatures are private. If Walmart has a problem with a signature, let them go stand at the Auditor’s window and research them in person. They should never be given to anyone. The books / cards should only leave the Auditor’s office under guard to be challenged in state court with a judge.

The county would be opening themselves to a major ID security lawsuit if copies are made of the voter registration documents. Bob Litz and county government would be in serious budgetary trouble, real fast.

Get ready for and ID theft / privacy breach, does the county have enough reserve funds for consumer ID protection subscriptions?

#54 ba on 09.05.13 at 10:44 am

Rufus – Twin Eagle Estates is now listed as RS-2, which is the current zoning ordinance in place. It would change to RS under Shape Places. It doesn’t matter though since it’s zoned single family residential under each ordinance.

It was previously zoned to allow townhomes to be built, but the city council approved the zoning change to single family residential a month or two ago.

Please take a look at the zoning map at siouxfalls.org if you would like to research it yourself.

#55 rufusx on 09.05.13 at 6:01 pm

ba – Yes it is “now” listed as RS-2. But when those homes were built – it was R-4.

The current zoning map wasn’t created until 2011. Those homes were built before that. They were certainly built before “a couple months ago.” My contention stands- they CHOSE to build single family homes in a multifamily zone. THEIR CHOICE. No one “forced” them to do that.

There are no older maps available on the city Web site.

#56 Titleist on 09.05.13 at 10:09 pm

Anonymous, a couple things, is there anything more public than petitioning your government in writing for redress of grievances? Didn’t the signers of the Declaration of Independence sign in a big bold public and proud way? If Walmart or anyone else wants to review the Petitions to verify them, don’t be ashamed, be proud.

Two, I too am proud that the voters get to vote on the proposed indoor PUBLIC pools. I think that the voters will reject the special interests and vote for progress and a new indoor PUBLIC pool. Sioux Falls remains a progressive city. Standing up for the PUBLIC good and against the special interests is vital for our community.

Third, how about that new office building Van Buskirk is building at Western and LaQuinta (behind Heather Ridge)? What is SON’s position on that?

#57 ba on 09.05.13 at 10:18 pm

rufus – this is what you stated in post #49:

“flyer – no – the “new zoning ordinance” -> RS-2, is exactly what SON has put the kybosh on. SO, they have NOT been “upgraded” to single family from the previous R-4 – multifamily.

FYI – multi family zoning does NOT prohibit single family construction. Zoning is a permissive process – not a restrictive one. It sets maximum uses. If your use is less intense/dense to the maximum permitted level – it too is permitted.”

My response was to this point above. I don’t read anything in your post related to when homes were built and the zoning at that time. Your post above is flat out wrong about the current zoning of that neighborhood. It is zoned single family.

#58 Testor15 on 09.06.13 at 8:09 am

Tit, is it 185,000 sq ft with 800 parking spots?

“Third, how about that new office building Van Buskirk is building at Western and LaQuinta (behind Heather Ridge)? What is SON’s position on that?”

#59 CCFlyer on 09.06.13 at 2:50 pm

Amen to the comment above ^^^^^

#60 Craig on 09.06.13 at 6:14 pm

Doesn’t matter – SON keeps telling us this isn’t about Walmart, it is about zoning. So size doesn’t matter… zoning does.

Last I checked Walmart hadn’t yet reached the phase where they had to request a conditional use permit. The issue SON collected petitions for was because they didn’t feel that property should be zoned for commercial – it had nothing to do with 185,000 square feet of retail space.

#61 Craig on 09.06.13 at 6:27 pm

hornguy makes a lot of sense regarding the imagery being presented by SON. I’ve said that all along – they are actually hurting themselves every time they have a photo-op or are quoted in the paper, because they have started drawing distinctions between classes.

I’m not jealous of their homes at all, but I do cringe a little every time I see them standing in front of a 3500 square foot house as I know it sends the wrong message.

Then when you go read the comments on any article on the Argus or KELO about this issue you soon get to read comments from two of the members of SON. The problem is, very often they are condescending and smug, and soon enough you have people who were otherwise silent on the issue coming out to defend Walmart. Even worse, they are often times off message – even admitting they shop at Walmart and suggesting other neighborhoods would be more well suited (so this tells us it isn’t about residential against commercial… just THEIR residential against commercial).

So yes SON has made some strategic errors by using the largest and most expensive home in a five block area of the development as their backdrop, or by not controlling the message. They should have found a spokesperson who had three young kids that could be shown playing in the background or tugging on Mommy’s leg if they really want to endear the masses, and they should have used on of the homes a block further North which would very much be perceived as middle class.

I will defend Bonita on one thing though hg – the hats could very well be designed to keep the sun off of her skin due to a skin cancer scare or something of the sort. I’m surely not about to judge her for some UV protection.

#62 CCFlyer on 09.07.13 at 3:04 am

“Craig – Doesn’t matter – SON keeps telling us this isn’t about Walmart, it is about zoning. So size doesn’t matter… zoning does.”

Yes, you are correct, zoning is the issue. Now, bear with me here, but I believe depending on the size of a building, that will on most occasions determine how it will be zoned!

______

“Craig – Then when you go read the comments on any article on the Argus or KELO about this issue you soon get to read comments from two of the members of SON. The problem is, very often they are condescending and smug, and soon enough you have people who were otherwise silent on the issue coming out to defend Walmart.”

Very often ONE is smug and condescending, which I agree with, sends the wrong message. However, one of them does bring up a good point that the general public doesn’t understand what’s at issue here. It’s again, not the income level of who lives in this neighborhood, nor is it what kind of brand mega-store they wants, it’s about ZONING and a BUFFER between single-family RS-2 residential and C-4 major commercial.

It would be very smart of them, especially in this case, to create a more down to earth, community-connected campaign if this does make it to the ballot. If they keep up with the image they currently have, it will not work because of certain individuals that will judge the issue simply on those citizens making a larger income than themselves.

#63 CCFlyer on 09.07.13 at 3:06 am

It’s funny you say those two individuals are condescending and smug, Craig. I just read through all of the comments from ALL of the individuals on those stories.

You must not be reading all of the comments…

#64 Craig on 09.09.13 at 10:05 am

Yes, you are correct, zoning is the issue. Now, bear with me here, but I believe depending on the size of a building, that will on most occasions determine how it will be zoned!

I understand this, but the current zoning plan includes smaller office space between the Twin Eagle development and the proposed Walmart. Apparently that isn’t good enough for SON however, and they have stated this isn’t the proper place for this type of commercial development right?

So what is it suitable for? In the past SON (or members of SON who were off message) stated they felt it should be multi-family as a “buffer”. They also stated they would be ok with a “Bridges-like” development similar to the one which exists at 57th and Western.

However for the most part and “officially” SON has been very quiet on the matter and I haven’t seen anything from them that states specifically what they would be ok with in terms of development. I’ve heard a lot of what they aren’t ok with… which is the C4 (planned commercial) development with limited buffering via a section zoned O (office) along with an area zoned RC (recreation/conservation).

I suppose I understand why they play the game this way, because when the voters overwhelmingly reject their ballot issue, this gives them room to now draft another petition after the conditional use permit processs is complete. Then they will probably have legal challenges involving draining or wildlife conservation or light pollution or whatever else they can think of.

I just wish they would be clear about what THEY want on that corner so people have other options to consider. They don’t want a big-box store… fine, but what other uses would be acceptable? I’m sure they would love single family homes across the street, but is that reasonable when you have existing commercial development on the East side of Minnesota with more currently being added?

Perhaps they are ok with some type of commercial, but they aren’t saying… so we are left to guess. Based upon their messaging and comments made by members of SON, I’m left to assume they only thing they are supportive of is either single family homes or smaller-scale multi-family. Maybe they should clarify.

It’s funny you say those two individuals are condescending and smug, Craig. I just read through all of the comments from ALL of the individuals on those stories.

You must not be reading all of the comments…

There are a few members who are prolific posters and they don’t just limit their comments to one or two sites. So yes I imagine I haven’t read every one of their comments, but I have read more than a few condescending comments.

Also, in at least one occasion comments that did exist were later removed. I cannot say if this was because Kelo removed them or the original person who wrote the comment deleted their facebook post, but if you go back to read comments today it is obvious you aren’t getting the full story.

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