Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Drainage Issues? What Drainage Issues?

FF: 1:57:40, as councilor Stehly introduces video of the drainage issues around Item #34;

The neighbors of this potential project have asked that a serious drainage study be done before approval and that the building face the opposite direction. It has all fell on deaf ears so far. This was the 1st reading last night, 2nd reading will have final action.

While I feel for these people, I just don’t see 5 councilors voting against a project headed up Mark Mickelson, Former Head Dude in the House of Lords in Pierre and CAFO King. Peasants be damned!

City News, Rumors, Odds & Ends

The Glory House rehabilitation apartments are one step closer to opening with the tearing down of the old ice rec center.

BLACK IRON PUTS RAILROAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT ON HOLD

I kind of saw this coming;

The couple deferred the final vote to review costs.

Power’s say the Billion’s are revising their plan and changes will be made.

As I understand it, it was going to be very costly to provide underground parking due to quartzite issues, so I’m sure they are trying to revise the parking situation to include it above ground in the planned structure. But I’m not sure. I do know that the city requested the building be a certain amount of stories (6?) due to density and there may me a disagreement on just how that may be done with including above ground parking. I never understand why developers want to get involved with private/public partnerships with the city.

SHOULD THE SIOUX STEEL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT GET A TIF?

There has been rumor floating around from city hall that a TIF may be applied to this project. Now while you may argue that the land Sioux Steel currently sits on is probably contaminated due to decades of manufacturing and this would be classified as ‘blight’ do you think it is fair to give a tax rebate to developers who contributed to that blight to begin with? Kind of a philosophical/ethical question. While we know clean up will have to occur before redeveloping the site I suggest applying for EPA grants and NOT taking away money from public education in the form of TIFs.

PLANNING DIRECTOR MIKE COOPER PLANS PRESENTATION ON JOINT JURISDICTION

Mike is going to address the Sioux Falls City Council about the purpose of joint jurisdiction after the recent fluff up over the wedding barn. The city must be getting nervous that the Minnehaha County Commission may be planning to withdraw from the ‘Polite’ agreement.

AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH SIRE TO WORK PROPERLY, CITY DECIDES TO RENEW CONTRACT WITH THE CRAPPY SERVICE

Not sure why the City Clerk decided to renew this contract with all the problems with the service?

PARKS DEPARTMENT MOVES AHEAD WITH $200K CONTROVERSIAL CONSULTING CONTRACT AFTER ALL

Even after the city council told them to explore other options the Parks Department (director) convinced the TenHaken administration they still needed the studies done. So much for the legislative body’s input on this one. I also find it ironic we are seeking a parks accreditation but don’t seek the similar credentials for our police department. Because you know, green grass is far more important than public safety . . .

GENERAL PUBLIC INPUT RETURNS TO PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS AFTER CHIDING FROM DETROIT LEWIS

I posed this question to Head City Attorney Stacy Kooistra this week in an email;

Stacy,

I noticed after state law changed concerning public input that the planning commission started having public ‘general’ input at the end of the meeting. They did it for a couple of meetings than in last week’s meeting they did not do it (only on agenda items).

While I understand that maybe NO ONE came and spoke that doesn’t mean it can be eliminated. In fact in my 12 years or more of attending city council meetings there were several meetings in which people did not speak, but it still is offered.

I am wondering why they ended offering this at the planning meetings?

Stacy responded to me that he would meet with planning staff to discuss. I got this response today from Jason Bieber, Urban Planner in the Planning department;

Scott,

Thank you for the email regarding the agenda item for Public Input at the monthly Planning Commission meeting.    As indicated in SDCL 1-25-1, “The Chair of the body shall reserve at every official meeting by the public body a period for public comment, limited at the chair’s discretion, but not so limited as to provide for no public comment.”  Therefore, our Planning Commission Chairman made the decision to remove the agenda item for Public Input on non-agenda items at our monthly Planning Commission meeting for the simple fact that it had not been utilized by citizens so far.  He also felt that we allow public input at our 12:00pm Planning Commission Briefing the day (Tuesday) before the Planning Commission meeting and that may be a better opportunity for Citizens to provide public input.  In doing public input this way we do comply with SDCL 1-25-1.

This meeting of course, while open to the public, is at city hall with limited parking in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. The meeting is also NOT recorded or live streamed.

After receiving your comments as well as those from Councilmember Stehly, Planning Staff and the Planning Commission Chair have decided to add the Public Input Agenda item back on the Planning Commission Meeting agenda.  Our intent was not to limit Citizen Involvement at our Planning Commission Meetings, but to provide the best avenue for Public Input.

As I mentioned in my original email, doesn’t matter whether anybody shows up or not, as long as an opportunity is provided. The irony is even if NO ONE speaks it only takes a matter of seconds to ask if anyone is present to speak and is little inconvenience to the Planning Commission or their chair.

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention and we look forward to Citizen Public Input at the November 7th Planning Commission Meeting.

That kind of sounds like an invitation to me. I’ll keep my calendar open that night. I always have plenty to say about planning in this community.

*I would also like to thank Councilor Stehly for looking into this for me initially. We kind of tag teamed this effort.

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken getting closer to the Dawn of the TIFs

So he makes this announcement today;

“Taking care of citizens is job number one for the City,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Our economic and workforce growth is dependent upon a healthy construction and housing industry, and this reorganization will help industry thrive as well as our citizens who are the housing consumers in Sioux Falls.”

In other words get ready for TIFiliscious 2.0. They are trying to slowly smooth us into this. But as I have said about city government many times, it is extremely predictable.

I asked a city councilor when this press release came out at 4:50 PM today if they knew about the reorganization. You know the answer.

UPDATE: I also find this video below of Dusty Johnson talking about ‘welfare’ while the company he works for took a ‘corporate welfare’ in TIFs. So it is OK for YOUR parents to take welfare, and it is okay for YOUR company to take welfare, but gosh darn it, you are going to crack down on all the other people? It reminds of Leslee Unruh who had an abortion but doesn’t want anyone else to have that right.

Republicans; Do as I say, NOT as I do.

UPDATE: Is the TenHaken Administration getting ready to get ‘TIFaliscious’?

Well, that wasn’t to tough, they got Brian Allen at KSFY to roll over and talk about how great TIFs are. Funny, the important part missing from Allen’s story, the actual economic impact;

A KSFY review of active Tax Increment Financing projects in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota shows there is a dramatic drop-off in TIF usage.

You know why? Because several studies have been done showing they have very little economic impact. I also find if comical that Allen only interviewed PRO TIF folks and NO one who is against them. I also like how some in the interview talk about how South Dakota does them ‘different’. Good stuff. Yet there has been NO extensive study done in South Dakota showing the actual economic impact of them. Why? Because the results would be grim.

What other people don’t realize is that when we give wealthy developers TIFs we all pay more in property taxes to supplement them to fund things like our counties, cities and public education.

I think the TenHaken administration is gearing up to start handing them out, literally like candy. His COS, Beck, wrote the Sanford Sports Complex TIF while working for the city (the largest in state history) and she also wrote the most recent one while working for Lloyd Companies for the Cascade project that is mostly marketplace apartments.

Tonight the city is hiring a finance director who worked for the Costello Companies (a major developer in SF) who is also an expert in TIFs.

It is pretty clear to me they are getting us prepped and they are probably chiding our local media behind the scenes to talk about the ‘positivity’ of TIFs.

Let’s face it, they are simply a tax rebate for private developers who could easily pay the taxes with or without the TIF. We don’t have a growth problem in Sioux Falls. In fact we are developing so much and building so fast we can’t hire people fast enough. The city council even gave SE Tech $100K for more job training programs. This tells me we don’t need to be subsidizing growth and development in Sioux Falls, it actually tells me we need to find ways to slow this growth and concentrate on SMART-STEADY growth not FAST URBAN SPRAWL.

The TIF model in itself isn’t a bad idea, but I think it should be applied to cleaning up neighborhoods. Giving tax rebates to single family homeowners and small apartment owners to clean up the neighborhoods would be a better approach, and it would be a visible economic impact. When individuals have to spend less on taxes and divert that money to improving their properties and lives that means they spend more money on other things that help with sales tax revenue that truly impacts our community. Businesses who use TIFs to expand their businesses don’t pay sales taxes, they just collect them. Give the rebates to individuals who will actually use them to improve lives and contribute to sales tax revenue.

Let’s face it, TIFs right now are truly ‘Corporate Welfare’ and not much else.

UPDATE: Did anyone catch Dusty Johnson in the interview? Mr. Fiscal Conservative ANTI-WELFARE wants to raise the Social Security age gladly preaching the ‘WINS’ about TIFs? We know exactly what Dusty would do in Congress, handout to big business while stepping on the little guy. If I was the Bjorkman campaign I would be clipping this little piece of corporate welfare pie for a future TV commercial.

Harrisburg School District proposing a $40 Million bond with NO tax increases

I know, you must be scratching your head a little, as am I. How can the Harrisburg school district propose a $40 million dollar bond without a tax increase? Oh, I don’t know, it’s that little thing called GROWTH!

Rasmussen said there are enough new homes and businesses in the district to support the proposed $40 million dollar bond vote without increasing taxes.

This was my argument about the SFSD bond, with record breaking building permits for over 6 years and the massive growth in Sioux Falls, why would we have to increase property taxes for our bond? Or better yet just build the schools out of the capital outlay without bonding and paying a $100 million in interest. How can a small community like Harrisburg figure out this simple math problem and NOT Sioux Falls? Sometimes arrogance gets in the way of prudence.

I think it would be safe to assume that the Harrisburg bond will pass the 60% threshold easily, especially with NO tax increases. It will just be interesting to see if they hit 85%. Yeah right.

Councilor Neitzert says people had ‘Moronic’ arguments against parking ramp

The the Sioux Falls City council got a presentation (FF: 33:0o) update on the Village on the River project at the informational meeting.

When talking about the costs associated with the parking ramp portion of the project, the city engineers(?) admitted that they had to put in a special foundation to support the ramp and hotel.

As we have argued from the beginning the ramp is costing more, not because of the number of spaces or size of spaces but because we would be footing the bill for the special foundation for the hotel.

Councilor Neitzert claimed that some people (I assume other councilors, blogs and the media) had ‘moronic’ & ‘dishonest’ arguments about cost per space and that it is costing more because of the special foundation.

Costs DOC: Site-costs

If there was anything ‘moronic’ about our arguments, it would be that Greg and the other councilors who voted for this boondoggle fiasco of a public private partnership didn’t listen to us when we told them the foundation was going to cost more due to the height and size of the hotel, not the parking ramp.

So who are the morons? Certainly not the councilors who voted against this project. They knew all along why it was going to cost so much, because the developer took us to the cleaners.

Also, councilor Brekke asks why the developer for hotel portion doesn’t have a performance bond. Funny, the administration didn’t have an answer.

Can you still sue if your only defense is ignorance?

Of course we saw this coming a mile away, more lawsuits over the big yellow ego, uh, I mean, house in McKennan Park;

The former owners of a McKennan Park house who were forced to demolish their newly constructed home this summer are suing the city’s Board of Historic Preservation and the companies who designed and built their home for a slew of damages and misrepresentations.

If you read the article you will find a lot of ‘interesting’ claims.

First off they want to sue the Historic Board, even though the drawings/plans they showed the board are not the same as what they decided to build. The same goes for suing the ‘original’ architect, they also did not use his original plans to build the house. As for suing the city, they may have a suit since they didn’t make sure the house was up to code. Also the neighbor, the McDowells warned them in a letter when they started building that it wasn’t up to code and they ignored them. I have a feeling if this even makes it to court with a jury trial they may be laughed out of court. But what do I know, I’m not an attorney.

Brown Family sells controversial property

It seems the Brown family finally sold their property in the NE part of Sioux Falls and they are having a big rummage sale. I don’t know the details of the land sale, but am happy that this chapter is behind them. Hopefully it can be developed to the benefit of all the neighbors.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council to Dissolve TWO TIF’s on Tuesday

UPDATE: It seems they are moving forward with a ‘Market Rate’ apartment project and this is why the TIF is being dissolved. Funny how a TIF is now not needed since they are going to build apartments that they can charge whatever for rent. Further proof all TIFs are is developer welfare.

Many people have been asking about a supposed project North of Sunshine Grocery Downtown that received a TIF and why it hasn’t proceeded.

It seems that TenHaken administration is taking action by asking through resolution to have the council dissolve that TIF and the TIF that COSTCO never accepted. As I understand it, Norm Drake from Legacy is somehow involved with the Downtown TIF (part of it is where the current temporary dog park is located) and COSTCO opposed their TIF from the beginning because they don’t like how TIFs take from public education funding.

As I have been saying about the $190 million dollar bond issue, why are we borrowing so much on the backs of homeowners while wealthy developers are getting tax rebates? Just another reason why the Bond issue AND TIFs are flawed.

Council Agenda Items #46-47

Details Below;

UPDATE: Without a Narcissistic, Sadistic, Egomaniac Bully as Mayor, the council is free to get things done

The City Council did their due diligence last night and saved a historic neighborhood from another commercial development that are eating up our core.

A developer thought they were going to play the game of buying crappy houses, let them go to sh*t and than have an excuse to tear them down. The council said, ‘Not so Fast.’

Watch George Hamilton school the council on what exactly the developer was up to.

UPDATE: So in this KDLT story, the developer states the obvious;

Developer Sam Assam will need to get a cost-estimate for repairing the homes and see if that outweighs the cost of demolishing them, then bring his case before the Board of Preservation again.

Well DUH it is cheaper to bulldoze a house. I think we have established that McFly. But what I can GUARANTEE and Hamilton is right, it way more cheaper to refab these houses if their structures and foundations are solid than it would be to tear them down completely and build a whole new structure. At the informational meeting on Tuesday, the Affordable Housing manager said a starter home costs about $220 now in Sioux Falls.

But the bigger question is not whether they can be demolished or not. Why are we allowing commercial development to creep into a neighborhood. I don’t even care if it is a Historic neighborhood. We should keep our affordable housing neighborhoods.