Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Will ‘Shape Places’ be tweaked?

Before the election I warned that passing Shape Places would not force the city council to tweak the bad parts of the ordinance.

There has already been questions shot at the Planning Department as to when these tweaks would take place, no plans as of yet.

I do know that SOME councilors have asked for another review of Shape Places to shore up some of the issues with the ordinance. Hopefully today at the 4 PM informational it will be brought up in open discussion.

I was told last night that former city planner, Steve Metli was against the ordinance change and had a post about it on Facebook. He said something about beaucrats in the city planning office having to much control of planning. In other words, many of the checks and balances that have existed before have been taken out.

I wish Mr. Metli would have been more publicly vocal about Shape Places before the election, if his FB post is indeed true.

If someone is friends with him on FB, would love to see his take in the comments section.

Is the mayor or his wife investing in ANOTHER development recommended by the planning commission and planning department


Only one week from a municipal election and the mayor suspiciously steps out on Item#35 (FF: 1:18) without explanation;



That the preliminary plan of Pinewood Addition to the City of Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, SD, is hereby approved, and the City Clerk of the City of Sioux Falls is hereby directed to endorse on such plan a copy of this resolution and certify the same thereon.

Date adopted:

Mayor __________________


City Clerk________________

Notice that the mayor is required to sign this document. Will he? That all depends if he is investing in this development. Even after many in the media, his mayoral opponent and many people in the public have said they prefer the mayor and his wife DO NOT invest in developments that have to be approved by his staff members, the council and planning commission.

He is hard of hearing I guess.

Since he didn’t explain why he stepped out on the vote and discussion, I guess we will have to see if this document gets signed before the election, and if so, by who?

UPDATE:Why are so many former community leaders spreading mis-information about the WM Rezoning?

Sent from a SYN, member;

If you read the Argus Leader this morning you likely saw the quote from Carol Twedt, former Minnehaha County Commissioner, implying that the homeowners near 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue are at fault for not verifying the City’s plans for the area when they built their houses. “I think when you purchase property, it behooves you as a citizen to find out what the city’s plans are for your area, especially on a thoroughfare like I am,” she said.

Having been active in county planning, Commissioner Twedt understands the need for proper planning. She also recognizes that people rely on the government’s plans once adopted. The single family homeowners near 85th and Minnesota relied on the City’s plans when they built their homes. Going back to the 90s the City’s plans called for the area where these homes exist to be developed into single family neighborhoods. There was no plan for heavy commercial development in the area. Some of us asked at the time as Commissioner Twedt suggested.

While we appreciate the service Commissioner Twedt has provided her constituents, there are times when politicians must admit their have misspoke. Many others have also been mistaken in their understanding that the City long planned the area for significant commercial development well in advance of homes being built. Therefore, we ask that Commissioner Twedt publicly acknowledge that the City had not adopted any plans for large commercial development at the 85th & Minnesota intersection before 2009 when most of the homes were built. To insinuate otherwise is a misrepresentation of the facts.



Twedt needs to concentrate on retirement instead of spreading mis-information:

Carol Twedt, a former Minnehaha County commissioner, said 85th and Minnesota is the right place for a Walmart. She’s lived in a condominium on Minnesota Avenue south of 57th Street for more than 20 years, and she’s watched the city grow around her.
“I think when you purchase property, it behooves you as a citizen to find out what the city’s plans are for your area, especially on a thoroughfare like I am,” she said.
“Growth happens in a vibrant community,” she added.

Here is the facts: The City didn’t have a plan for that corner until it designated it a sub-regional employment center on December 7th, 2009, by that time (see above).  We always expected commercial development on that corner, but under Shape Places C-4 commercial development can be an unlimited size, and a 185,000 sq ft super-center is absolutley the biggest and most intense commercial development imaginable.

Q-Tip Smith is right, development by the new Events Center is starting


Of course, with the help of more tax subsidies;

City officials announced that Fairway Suites will develop a hotel on the southeast side of Elmwood Golf Course.

The City and Fairway Suites will begin negotiations on a lease agreement for the proposed site. A final agreement would then need to be approved before a project could proceed.

“We are very pleased to be working with the City of Sioux Falls to develop a hotel on the Elmwood site,” says Brian Burton, Chief Operating Officer for Fairway Suites, LLC. “With the opening of the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and efforts focused on the redevelopment of the surrounding area, we feel that the long-term outlook for the location is very promising.”

While I am not opposed to leasing the land to the hotel, the city in no way shape or form be involved with subsidizing or building this facility. The city should not be in the business of providing lodging. We have already given away millions (TIFs & River Greenway bulk head) to the DT Hilton. This a prime example of why hand-out Mike and his team (Smith) need to go.

RE-zoning hearing at the Lincoln County Commission meeting 3/25

From a South DaCola foot soldier;
This hearing could have a significant impact on future Lincoln County development policy.  A parcel that is 250 feet from city limits of Lennox,and just a few hundred feet from city utilities may be allowed to be developed as “Rural Residential”. As an un-annexed housing development, this would mean a huge loss of potential sales/excise and property tax revenues for the city of Lennox. The Lennox city attorney is on the record as feeling it would be detrimental to the city. The city engineer has stated his opposition to this approach  to this style of development.
And yet Lennox Mayor Orville Wiebers has sent a letter of support for this to the County Commission.  At the County Planning Commission on Monday night, they voted to send it to the County Commission as recommended for approval. This was despite the opposition of all the surrounding land owners, half the Lennox City Council and a petition from over 50 Lennox residents. If it becomes the policy of Lincoln county to reopen the permitting of this type of development (a moratorium has been in place for over a decade) this could change the face of development for every city in the county.
Sioux Falls, Tea, Harrisburg, Canton, Beresford, Worthing.

UPDATE:Larry, Curly & Moe must think the citizens are really that stupid

Just watched the informational, apparently Karsky is the one to bring this back up, he wants it postponed until after the election for a work session, which makes sense, BUT here is the kicker, he is bringing two amendments forward tonight, 1) to postpone until after the election OR 2) to vote on it again tonight. So there is still a possibility this will get killed tonight. Hold tight.


It seems Jim, Michelle and Mike really want to get the TIF disclosure amendment in the application process dropped, and before the election. Someone (I am assuming one of them) got it put back on the agenda for Tuesday night. They not only want the spousal disclosure removed, they want to bury this TIF change before the election.


Last Tuesday, the council voted 5-3 to postpone the change until April 1st (a week before the election). I have a feeling there was a discussion after the vote with the two swing voters (Dean & Sue) to try to get them to change their votes for this Tuesday.

It begs the question, “What is Michelle, Mike and Jim trying to hide?” This is all about transparency and ethical practices when it come to elected officials. It is no secret that Huether and his wife are investing in properties throughout our city. But why are Michelle and Jim so concerned about this?

Remember, Jim has property adjacent to the new Events Center and Michelle’s donor list reads like the ‘Who’s Who’ of SF developers. Either these three are trying to protect someone’s investment or their own.

There is a deeper story here.

Is it even legal to mention Walmart on the ballot for Referred Law 4?

Someone pointed this out to me today, that Walmart is being mentioned on the ballot language for Referred Law 4. Not sure if this will get on the ballot this way (because the city attorney and city clerk are not allowing anyone from the public to view the ballots before they are printed). You have to remember, this is a zoning issue NOT a Walmart issue. In fact, as far as I know, Walmart doesn’t even own the property yet, the Homan family does (Springdale development). And even if it gets rezoned by the vote of the people, it doesn’t mean a Walmart has to be built there. Kinda reminds me of providing the public with indoor pool drawings when an indoor pool isn’t even on the ballot.



The Chamber seems to have it backwards when it comes to Shape Places

So the Chamber admits that some things with Shape Places needs to be fixed;

While the chamber supports Shape Places, board members agree with Save Our Neighborhood on one point. They recommend the city review the ordinance to address concerns about how the new rules would change the opportunities for the public to give input on a project.
Palmer said the best way to ensure that happens is to revisit the ordinance.
“Voting No on Shape Places in April will give the city and interested parties the opportunity to work together to make the necessary changes before it goes into effect,” Palmer said.

Palmer is right, if it passes in it’s current state, there are NO guarantees the new city council and mayor will ‘fix’ those problem areas. There is one way though the public can make sure they do, and that is by voting NO. This will force the city to re-visit the ordinance, and fix those problem areas before passing new zoning rules. Like I said in the past, it is a good piece of legislation for the most part, but there are some areas that need to be tweaked before implementing it.

Who is Councilor Erpenbach trying to protect?

It was a very strange debate between most of the council and councilors Entenman & Erpenbach (Item #64 FF:) about the TIF application disclosures, Michelle comes to the defense of the mayor’s wife then partially admits to her husband’s investments? Huh?

Jamison raised concerns last fall after learning that the mayor’s wife, Cindy Huether, was one of the investors in a TIF project, the Bancroft Place apartments in the Whittier neighborhood.

Jamison is running against incumbent Mike Huether in the race for mayor this spring.

“This amendment is about one person,” Councilor Michelle Erpenbach said. “I don’t appreciate the way this conversation has been going.”

She said the investments held by an elected official’s spouse should not be open to scrutiny.

“You elected me; you did not elect my husband,” she said.

I found it baffling that Michelle felt she had to defend the mayor’s wife or the mayor, and tried to make this into a political football.* Michelle, this is about transparency and ethics, this isn’t about an election. Secondly, are you admitting that your husband has made investments with properties that have received TIF’s? I found that statement interesting. It got heated at times, Entenman was almost scolding and yelling at the rest of the council (gee, I wonder how many property investments he has made around town?) Then in one of Karsky’s misguided moments, he asked for the vote to be postponed. Not realizing the can of worms he had opened (They won’t vote on it until a week before the election) four councilors voted for the postponement, and of course Karsky realized he had to follow suit, since he proposed it. Michelle and Mike WERE NOT happy.

It got comical at times, especially when Erpenbach came to the defense of Huether, he looked like he was melting like an ice cream cone in his chair, and looked like he was going to start crying at any moment. It was theatrics at their best between Erpenbach and Huether, it was almost like it was rehearsed. See seems to be very concerned about hurt feelings, but doesn’t give a damn about ethics. *What this is really about is Huether’s re-election. It is crucial to Michelle’s political future that Huether is re-elected, especially if she is. Everyone knows Michelle’s plan in four years is to run for the empty seat of mayor and for Huether to run for governor. So if Michelle is re-elected (let’s hope not) she must have Huether re-elected to follow through with her plans.

The other part of the discussion that disturbed me was testimony by Darrin Smith claiming we have to give TIF’s to develop land for the public good, and brought up the COSTCO site that wasn’t developed for 25 years. First off, that property sitting empty hasn’t hurt or helped citizens in our community either way. There was very little public benefit to developing that land, and not developing has not been harmful either. Ironically, as Smith brought up the COSTCO TIF, he admitted that COSTCO has asked to not use the TIF that was granted. So basically admitting that a TIF was not needed to develop the land. But yet we need them? Huh?


Also worth checking out is public testimony from myself and Bruce about the city’s ‘ADVOCATIONAL’ videos and meetings, (FF: Public Input) and the possibility of breaking state law.

‘Save YOUR Neighborhood’ Ballot Committee filed today w/the Clerk’s Office



A new ballot question committee, Save Your Neighborhood, registered with the City Clerk today.  The Save Our Neighborhood group submitted the registration under a slightly different name, Save Your Neighborhood, to reflect the fact that the issues it faces and have addressed, affect neighborhoods throughout the City.

Save Your Neighborhood’s aim is to educate the public on the FACTS surrounding the rezoning of the land at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

While Save Your Neighborhood lacks the financial resources of Walmart, it encourages the citizens of Sioux Falls to look past the vast funds that Walmart is expending to influence the voters’ decisions.  The group encourages citizens to discover the FACTS regarding the rezoning of this area, including the impact that rezoning of this area will have on the residential area next to it and the impact that the City’s decision will have on neighborhoods around the City.  If the City allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development next to this residential area, it makes every neighborhood in the City susceptible to the whim of developers.
Save Your Neighborhood is not opposed to the City’s growth, but maintains that such growth must be logical and consistent.  Further, the group welcomes commercial development and a Walmart to the south side of the City, but maintains that a large commercial development is inappropriate at this particular location.  There are far more appropriate building sites in southern Sioux Falls for this store.  Those locations would replicate the same proper buffering and improved access that our fellow citizens will soon enjoy at the new Walmart at 60th & Marion.
Save Your Neighborhood urges the citizens of Sioux Falls to send the City a message:  that our neighborhoods are not for sale to the highest bidder and zoning in this City cannot be bought.  Vote “NO” on Referred Law 4.

While I think there is many good things about Shape Places, I am also encouraging a “No” vote. Why? I believe if Shape Places fails, it doesn’t mean we have to shelve it and start from scratch, it just means we can tweak it. First thing I would like to see is it split up into sections, and have the council amend it (require CUP), study it and discuss and debate it in these sections. And instead of voting on all the sections at one meeting, Break the sections up into several meetings, so the council has time to focus on the different areas of Shape Places. Presenting an over 300 page document at two meetings then expecting the council to vote on the entire thing in one quick swipe was short sighted. Most of them confessed they didn’t read most of it because of it’s size. Of course, I believe that the Planning Department did this on purpose so the council wouldn’t bother with amendments or actually studying the document, I guess they were depending on good old apathy from the council, as usual, and the bigger rubber stamp, except, they didn’t count on SON referring it. I hope they learn a lesson from this and presenting legislation in such a half-ass way.