Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Old Ming Wah site looks promising


Leaked letter of intent about future industrial park


Cory does a better job than I in explaining Salter’s ruling on the petitions

I would like to thank Cory for weighing in on the topic;

The petitioners argued that they “substantially complied” with the law in seeking signatures from Sioux Falls voters. Indeed, no one has demonstrated that Team Danielson sought to pad its signature count by seeking signatures from non-Sioux Falls voters. Clerk Greco’s own review of the petition found sufficient local signatures to validate the petition if the oath hadn’t fouled things up.

But Judge Salter doesn’t ask whether the petitioners substantially complied with the signature requirements. He asks whether the petitioners substantially complied with the requirement to swear the municipal initiative petition oath by swearing the statewide initiative petition oath. Judge Salter says that swearing the latter does not substantially comply with swearing the former.

Bruce also weighs in on Cory’s post;

Cory, the courtroom experience was interesting and Judge Salter was very engaged in the questioning. I was impressed in his involvement.

There is a misconception needing to be cleared up. The statement from the ruling “Danielson knew he had obtained the Statewide Form and not the correct Municipal Form when he began his petition effort in late July” was never addressed in the courtroom.

I did not learn of the oath error until a week AFTER the petitions were submitted for validation. Had the city website been functional or the Clerk been willing to assist in construction of the petition, I would not have used the wrong oath.

This narrative is what happens when anyone makes decisions on what you think happened without knowing all the facts. I could have been asked the question when I was on the stand. Now it is part of the permanent record without being part of the evidence.

I have argued that if Judge Salter would have ruled in favor of Danielson, he could have possibly set himself up with an even bigger decision, whether or not to rule an injunction against the bond sale. By ruling against Bruce, based solely on the oath and not signatures Salter freed himself from having to make a very ‘political’ decision. Judges try to stay out of politics, and who can blame them? I’m not saying that was Salter’s angle, I’m just saying by not ruling in favor of the petitions he saved himself a lot of headache.

Taxpayers duped once again by the pie in the sky dreams of developers and big business

I was very reluctant to post about this story, simply because it was no shock to me that this happened. I was waiting for the day to come when we would read this;

The company that would have been the first to build in the new Foundation Park development park has decided to look at other locations.

Stuless Whunder makes a great point;

Others question the role of taxpayer-supported public entities in the area of private development, especially if urgency to find companies to fill parcels at Foundation Park drives down the market.

In that same vein, I question why taxpayers (State and Local) are putting up over $20 million in infrastructure for a project that didn’t even bother to secure a solid purchase agreement? We should have never authorized the expenditures unless we had a ‘real’ promise from a prospect, we went ahead with the possibly of spending $20 million of tax dollars based on a ‘letter’.


Another reason we can’t run government like a business. Unlike private enterprise, government shouldn’t be in the business of taking risks and land speculation.

As for saying I wasn’t shocked that this happen, it is because we have had precedent. For one, just peruse available industrial park land the development foundation and other realtors have available already. It’s like deciding to build a 3 car garage for your Fiat 300 and bag of golf clubs. There isn’t a need for more land, it’s a classic case of urban sprawl. Remember Phillips to the Falls? How did that work out for taxpayers? We spent millions so we can have a new location for German Fest. Also don’t forget the fiasco called EB-5. There is also the employment factor (I’m guessing that is why Logistics Buddy backed out). Capital One is leaving solely based on the fact we don’t have enough workers. There is also the promise of living wage jobs that has never been hammered out before we moved ahead with this project. But hey the city is throwing thousands of dollars at businesses for the “Welfare for Want Ads” project.

I know I often sound negative and am really a cynic at heart, but it pains me to be right about something so wrong. I hope things will work out in the end. But hey folks, it’s Meth Week in Sioux Falls, so don’t worry about failed developments and petition drives. We gotta nip this dang problem in the butt. You go Tiger Mike!

Car Dealership tears out wetlands after promising SON neighborhood they would not


A before and after pictures of Charis corner when an ‘Act of God’ occurs (85th and Audie)

In all fairness nothing under the eyes of the law was done illegally. The car dealership (well at least its owner) got permission from the CORP of Engineers and SF planning department to tear out the wetland behind the dealership and adjacent to the SON neighborhood. The proper forms were filled out.
But according to those who live in the neighborhood, that wasn’t supposed to be the case. There was a promise while developing the car dealership lot that they would leave the wetlands, even improve the look of them, now they are saying they are going to ‘put up a big fountain’. Whatever that means.
This a prime example of how those in power use the back door of government and loopholes to do whatever they want to. Besides the CORP approving this, the city should have never allowed the wetland that served as a retention pond to be torn out knowing the issues with drainage in the neighborhood.
Our planning department is increasingly becoming the laughing stock of our city.

City of Sioux Falls Internal Audit on the Development Foundation; show us measured outcomes

Giving the Sioux Falls Development Foundation tax dollars each year is a debate of it’s own. My stickler with handing over this money for workforce development is that we never see what kind of results there is. I have often called the practice as ‘Welfare for Want Ads’. If you pay good wages and are a good employer, workers will seek you out. If you have to ask the government to fund your want ads because you are struggling finding workers, maybe you are not a good employer to begin with. If you can’t find ‘qualified’ workers, maybe offer a worker training program. I often hear these same business owners and the Chamber scream about the FREE market, then turn around and ask tax payers to bail their asses out. So which is it?


Developer doesn’t get it

The Oakview neighborhood was successful, for today anyway;

Lloyd Company plans to withdraw its application to rezone this land at 6th and Bahnson at the next city council meeting after hundreds of neighbors complained.

So what were those main concerns the neighbors had? They were really simple; density, drainage, traffic, crime. They have gone to several council meetings and expressed these concerns to the council after the Planning Commission was tone deaf;

. . . it’s just more about the density and the affects of that rippling down to water, traffic and overall safety,” Burke said.

So how did the developer respond to these very simple requests, that’s right, by ignoring the 700 Pound Gorilla(s) in the room;

Lloyd Companies went on to say it has a long standing history in Sioux Falls of building and managing apartment communities that provide safe, clean and affordable housing.

The statement goes on to say ‘While we appreciate the neighborhood’s concerns and have withdrawn our request to rezone the land, despite having taken the time to address key points from the neighborhood, we know that the end result of our project moving forward would have meant that families had an opportunity to live in an area where their kids could get to and from schools, a community center, a park and a library safely – which is something that we believe is incredibly important and should all want for our community.

Huh? The neighbors never really brought up affordable housing, but they did talk about density. Their major concerns were evident. Drainage and Traffic.

Why is it so difficult for developers or better yet our planning department and planning commission to wrap their heads around the fact Sioux Falls is built on a pancake? It can only soak up so much syrup before it starts running off the sides of the plate. It time the planning department faced the facts and grow up already.

Is anyone listening at city hall? Nope.

After all the hoopla about transparency over the $25 million bond for a city administration building, you would think the administration would get the picture about transparency. They still don’t have a clue;

Details of the proposals aren’t public, but the city plans to contribute as much as $17.9 million for the project, which city planners hope to break ground on next year.

“Once a selection has been made, and we have an executed contract, we can share more information,” said Scott Rust, purchasing manager for the city.

The developers aren’t talking either, saying they are bound by a confidentiality agreement included in the city’s RFQ.

What!? You are going to spend $17.9 million of our money and you cannot share the details until AFTER a contract is cut? Not only are they NOT filling us in on the proposals they don’t even want to share details of a contract.

And they wonder why almost 6,500 people signed the petition.

What is going on with the Lacey Estates and Oakview Neighborhood?

Back at the June 21, 2016 Sioux City council meeting, (Item#48) the city council decided to postpone the 2nd reading of the Apartment project until September so the developer, the city planning office and the Oakview neighborhood could get together and ‘chat’ about a compromise;

A motion was made by Council Member Michelle Erpenbach and seconded by Council Member Christine M. Erickson to set a date of hearing and 2nd Reading for Tuesday, September 13, 2016, for Item 48.

I didn’t support the delay, I think the council should have voted the project down and sent it back to the Planning Commission/Department. Councilors Stehly and Neitzert agreed. Neitzert even said ‘by law’ if any changes are made to the plan, it HAS to go back to the planning commission.

The Oakview neighborhood was asking for a traffic study and drainage study, which would result in major changes. As far as I have heard there has not been any real major meetings between the developer, the neighborhood and the Planning Department, and the developer has no plans right now to make any changes.

So why the delay to begin with? Good question. Maybe they were hoping the flaming football would exstinguish by stalling this a few months? That tactic may have worked in the past, but I am guessing the new council isn’t going to stand for it.

Stop the Funding & Veto Pressers