Entries Tagged 'Code Enforcement' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Meeting Public Input, 11/17/2015

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Boulevard Garden story on KSFY tonight!

KSFY TV is supposed to have a story tonight about boulevard gardens, it should air at 6PM.

Creating a new boulevard ordinance ‘should’ be a cakewalk


As the council is set to debate changing the boulevard planting ordinance, I suspect they will make it more complicated than it needs to be. There is already talk that a ‘task force’ may have to be created to hammer out the details.

God help us. Remember the Animal Farm’ like drama that took place over chickens in the city? I know, I am trying to forget also (BTW, Rabbits can be pets or food, but I wouldn’t eat their eggs, unless they are Cadbury).

I have told a couple of councilors and citizens in support of the ordinance change that it is really quite simple.

  1. Revoke the current ordinance of only grass.
  2. Allow flowers, plants, shrubs, rocks, brick mailboxes, paver stones and other forms of landscaping in boulevard (of course some of this will have to be defined, such as the minimum and maximum size of rocks).
  3. Don’t make utility companies or city’s public works department liable for damaged plants/landscaping if they have to dig up the boulevard (adjacent property owners responsibility) as long as fair notice is given if it is NOT an emergency.
  4. A setback from fire hydrants (this will also have to be defined)
  5. A height requirement on shrubs, flowers and plants (this will also have to be defined)

Other than that, I think a workable ordinance could be hammered out in a matter of a couple of hours, but let’s also remember, some people don’t eat rabbits, they just pet them.

What are the political motives of pushing the cell phone ban?

After watching councilor Erpenbach push the cell phone ban on to the council agenda yesterday during the public services meeting, some wondered what the sudden urgency was?

After hearing the comments yesterday during the meeting and taking the temperature of the council, it seems, as of right now 6 of the councilors will vote against the ban, and even if there were 4 on board, rumor has it that the mayor and city attorney are not in favor of the ban either.

One could argue many things, that this is a state legislator issue, or that the council or charter revision commission should put this on the spring ballot instead of just approving it at a council meeting.

But you have to question the political motivation of Erpenbach to push this ordinance change when she is well aware she doesn’t have support for it? Is she doing this to get her fellow councilors on the record voting against a safety issue? Or is she ramrodding this, so in case it fails, they have time to do a petition drive (something I would like to see). For once it would be nice to see the ‘specials’ in Sioux Falls standing with a clipboard in front of the courthouse instead crying to the council anytime they want their indoor pools and tennis centers and other things. If you truly think this will benefit the safety of the public, get the signatures and get it on the ballot. I would like to see the ‘specials’ work for something for once instead of just greasing palms.


City’s proposed food truck rules ‘Disingenuous’?

I would have to agree with Peter Chang’s comment in the recent Argus article;

“They’re trying to make it look like they’re doing us a huge favor. But we’re not doing anything that needs more regulations. And until now, they’ve let anyone be out until 2 a.m. anyway, so it just seems disingenuous.”

As Chang points out in the article, food truck vendors already have to meet safety standards, background checks and have insurance. So is this is really just about limiting/extending the time they can operate? Right now they have a peddler’s license that is $35, that would increase to $75. But one has to ask, is this any different than a pizza delivery driver who can deliver until 4 AM? So what’s the point of having any regulations? Sounds like just another busy body city employee looking for something to do.

While I agree they should have their own licenses, I see no reason to complicate it further. People in Sioux Falls like their food trucks, and putting more regulations on them seems counter productive.

But as we see all the time in Sioux Falls, rules seemingly only apply to ‘certain’ individuals. I got a good laugh about this last night watching the city council meeting. The council keeps dinking around in addressing the boulevard ordinance (which requires you to have 100% grass cover in the boulevard) yet the mayor turns around and gives the individual city beautification award to a gentleman who is violating that ordinance. Oh the irony. Joe Sneve did an article about it online the Argus this afternoon, he is still waiting to hear a response from the mayor.

Safer streets or more unneeded regulations?

During the Sioux Falls City Council Public Services meeting on Tuesday they will be discussing a total cell phone usage ban (besides GPS and hands free) of course the DOCS are not up yet, I’m sure they will magically appear about 5 minutes before the meeting starts :)

During the October ‘Inside Town Hall’ Councilor Erpenbach pushed for the ban and thinks the city council should approve the ban.

Not so fast.

While I am not totally against the ban, and would comply if put in affect, as I have pointed out before the texting ban, that there are laws already in place. In other words if you get in an accident now, while using your cell phone while driving, you can be charged with a myriad of things. Distracted and Reckless driving come to mind. If you kill someone due to your cell phone use, you can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Like I said, the laws are already in place.

Secondly, I think if the public really supports this, they should put it to a vote. The city council does have the power to put this ordinance change on the ballot WITHOUT a petition drive, and I would support them fully if they put it on the Spring Municipal election ballot.

I have told several councilors that is is ‘above their pay scale’ to put this ordinance into effect on their own without the voters approving it. I have even talked to several citizens who agree with the ban, but agree with me, it should be up to the voters, not 9 elected officials.

Heck, if we entrusted the citizens to an advisory vote on a $180 million dollar Events Center, why not a cell phone ban? I actually think the ban would pass if put to a public vote.


They also introduce the NEW Code Enforcement Manager, Matt Tobias, to Sioux Falls during the show. He actually looked less evil then I expected :) He has a rude awakening though, I wonder if he suddenly disappear after a short stint like our Human Relations director?


Seems this is coming back to Public Services on Tuesday also. I think the solution is simple. Let them park in public spaces, don’t make a bunch of noise, and clean up your trash.

To Snitch or Not to Snitch, that is the question

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Da Mayor wants us to be snitches for his code enforcement officers. He is at Active Generations again to recruit the neighborhood snitches they need to build up the fees to pay for the new officers. The Sioux Falls administrative fine system is broken and needs a major overhaul. Our mayor wants to make it more punitive and mold Sioux Falls into his plastic over extended credit card image. Haven’t we seen enough of this by now?

Theresa Stehly talking boulevard gardens this Sunday

Theresa will be the guest on Jon Michaels ‘FORUM‘ this Sunday morning.

7:30 AM on Kelo AM & FM

8:30 AM KWSN

I think Theresa will also be making an appearance on another media program early next week. Stay Tuned!

Sioux Falls City Council Public input, 8/11/2015

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Below is the final page of the written comments by Greg N. that he ran out of time for during our ‘TIMED’ public testimony (see the entire comments here: GregInput8-11-2015 )

Summary, Questions, and Concerns

This is NOT about this particular application, it’s about the PROCESS

In my opinion this hearing in no way fulfilled substantive due process

How are citizens going to have a voice if staff misrepresents the clear language of the code?

I am not a lawyer, but I can read, and the code is CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS

What is the point of a conditional use permit hearing if the governing body is told they cannot deny it and they are severely restricted in what they can consider and condition – both of which are found nowhere in the code!

Staff commentary is a personal opinion, directly contradicts the code, and is not appropriate for consideration

Due Process ONLY exists if citizens have a SUBSTANTIVE opportunity for input and a FAIR hearing

How can a hearing satisfy due process when staff, who guides the governing body, misrepresents the powers and duties of the commission?

If staff wants to force the Planning Commission (and City Council) to grant every conditional use permit, they should bring the ordinance forward

Similarly, if staff wants to force the PC and CC to restrict its considerations and conditions to a list of specific items for a use, bring the ordinance forward

All citizens should be very concerned if this is the direction staff is giving to the Planning Commission

Under these arbitrary rules, the deck is stacked, and the conditional use permit hearing essentially serves no purpose

Even in Death, Sioux Falls code enforcement asks you to pay.

Item #11 on next weeks council agenda, resolution for lawn mowing/weeds…
#34 in the list of Minnehaha county weed mowing,
Deloris J Heuther
5200 W 35th St
Poor lady, even in death she can’t escape the reach of city code enforcement :)
DELORIS J. HUETHER~ 5200 W. 35th Street, Sioux Falls, SD; Died: Friday, October 27, 2006, Sioux Falls, SD; Age: 70 years, 3 months, 28 days
Must be a house still titled to her, I guess.   Or, maybe “the city hasn’t updated their records yet” (smile). I also think it is odd they misspelled her name in the city listing.