Entries Tagged 'Planning Commission' ↓

Sioux Falls Planning Department’s Jeff Schmitt trying to influence Planning Commission Members

Jeff was at it again last night at the Planning Commission meeting (Item#12). Before the meeting he was trying to stop residents from testifying about a rezone for 3 story townhouses. He continues to say that the commission MUST rezone property based on the law. That is NOT the case. The reason we have the commission is to STOP inappropriate zoning. IF every re-zone was supposed to be approved, why even have a commission? Just send it straight to the City Council, seems like a waste of time.

During the meeting, Jeff reiterated himself and said that the commission must pass re-zones within the law. No they don’t. That is why we have them, to stop re-zones that are NOT appropriate, not to be rubber stampers that send the flaming football to the city council.

If the re-zone will have detrimental affects on the neighbors they can deny the rezone. In fact, one of the commission members, John Paulson, did VOTE NO. Was he following the law? Definitely.

Jeff is full of crap and needs to go. He shouldn’t be able to influence public officials, whether they are employees, elected or volunteer. He needs to keep his opinion out of the matter and stop trying to deflect people before the meeting in the lobby of Carnegie. It should NOT be Jeff’s concern whether something gets re-zoned or not, unless of course Jeff is getting kickbacks or a promise of a golden parachute? Are you Jeff?

There was several obvious drainage issues associated with the rezone. One home owner said he has already installed 3 sump pumps in his home since the church was built there, and said it will only get worse.

Besides Jeff, Mayor TenHaken needs to start replacing some of the commission members. If you are just going to rubber stamp all the rezones, you might as well just put monkeys up there.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Aug 7, 2018

Budget Hearings – 2 PM

They will discuss the department budgets of Finance, HR, Central Services, Police Fire and Public Parking

Regular City Council Meeting – 7 PM

Item #1, Approval of Contracts. Here we go again, another expensive consultant ($200K) to give us a Master Strategic Plan on our Parks. 1) We just did one a few years ago, why can’t we just update that plan and make some small tweaks 2) We pay our parks director a lot of dough, shouldn’t it be a job requirement for him to do the research with his staff and put together a report himself?

We also are spending $177K to put a fence around the RR redevelopment area. Why didn’t we set aside some of that $37 million for the fence, or make BN pay for it or better yet the developers of the land?

#42, 1st Reading, City council wants to be aware of change orders over $25K from CMAR’s. While this is a good idea, we really shouldn’t be using CMARs, there is way to much secrecy with them. We found out the hard way with the Denty and how we never really got a $1 million dollar settlement, just our money back.

#43, 1st Reading, Creating an overlay district for the RR redevelopment area. I really don’t know much about this and I wish we would have gotten an informational about this ordinance.

#44, 1st Reading, Surplus property within the RR redevelopment area. Again, I wish we would have had an informational explaining this.

#46, Resolution, they are discussing whether to allow the property behind the Huey to be surplus. Not only has the Equity Square people to the North fight this because of access but I guess now the Phillips Hotel to the South now is also objecting due to access. This may get deferred, again.

Planning Commission – 6 PM – Aug 8

Item #11, Lifescape parking lot rezone. I expect a lot of public testimony against this move.

Items #13 & 14, More Telephone Booth Casinos.

Item #16, Presentation on Buffer Yard Effectiveness

Is Legacy giving up a lot of opportunities by hiring Ketchum?

While Legacy maintains that Ketchum will not be involved with the DT Mixed Use PPP Parking Ramp, moving forward, what does his 2-Year conflict of interest agreement mean?

I have been asking different city officials this question, and awaiting some responses.

The way I see it, since Ketchum will be VP of Operations for Legacy that essentially means he will be directly or indirectly involved with ALL of their projects (even the DT parking ramp). Moving forward, could this mean for the next two years Legacy as a development company can’t be involved with city projects such as;

Street Vacations

TIF’s

Façade Programs

Public Private Partnerships

Infrastructure upgrades

Special Rezones

Of course Legacy will probably try to play some fancy tricks with LLC’s, as they have done in the past. If I were the city planning department/mayor’s office I would send a letter immediately to Legacy informing them of the two-year moratorium while Ketchum works for them. And trust me, if the city chooses to ignore the conflict rules, the media and others will be quick to remind them, because we already got hoodwinked on the asbestos dumping, the building collapse and the parking ramp.

Legacy doesn’t get another by, not this time.

Sioux Falls Planning Commission throws another flaming football to City Council

Citizens and neighbors oppose Item #3 and contest it should be commercial development instead of housing (FF: 21:00). Even the West Central School district Super opposes it because it will be less in property tax revenue.

The Planning Commission approves it without little discussion. City council gets to do the heavy lifting once again.

What’s up with the ‘white stained’ brick on the new building downtown?

Several people have commented to me that the white stained brick on the new building downtown going in the old Copper Lounge space doesn’t look that historical. Well join the club. A lot of the new construction downtown isn’t that historical. Just look at the condos across from Sunshine or the apartments and condos across from city hall and on Phillips to the Falls. They lack historical design.

But some are wondering how this brick facade got approved. Oh, the old ‘bait and switch’. I guess when the planning department was shown a sample of the brick that was going on that building, the developer, Legacy, showed them ONE brick that was the darkest from the crop with little white stain on it.

When the planning department was questioned about the relapse in judgement and what they were going to do about it they said moving forward they would require contractors to show a bigger cross section of the brick design.

But how does that solve this current problem?

You can’t make change stick unless you stick it to the original offender. I suggest the city informs Legacy they must paint the brick to come into historical compliance or tear it off. Once again, Legacy is given a free pass. Shocker!

Planning Department offers ‘Amenities’ and ‘Quality of Life’

In a very strange twist, towards the end of ‘Planning Preview’ (FF: 13:40) Jeffrey decided to talk about all the Amenities and Quality of Life projects the Planning Department makes possible. It was almost like Jeffrey was trying to sell himself to the new mayor, hey look Paul, I actually work for my 6-figures a year. Yes, while the planning department is approving millions in taxpayer debt (actually the city council approves those projects) and letting the big guys like Sanford and Lloyd build whatever and whenever they want to with the help of TIF’s the little guy has to come before the board and beg to put up a tool shed. Make no mistake, the developers and hospitals run this town and get whatever they want, no questions asked. The rest of us? We get to enjoy the ‘Amenities’ these fine folks bestow upon us, like destroying our core neighborhoods while overcharging us for medical procedures.

Another falling wall after city building services department was warned

Here we go again, except this time, fortunately no one died.

The city building department was warned several times about a possible wall collapse, and ignored it;

In a string of emails between her and Warrington, Roti expressed her concerns, repeatedly asking whether a structural engineer had looked at the wall.

Warrington assured Roti and several others included on the email — multiple times over two months — that the situation was being handled appropriately.

One thing I have heard from a lot of contractors and citizens during this latest campaign season is that the city employees need to get better at customer service. Whether that is police, fire, code enforcement or building services.

The next mayor needs to support a renewed agenda of bringing customer service back to city hall, before more people die or get hurt.

AirBnB mysteriously changes from Bed & Breakfast zoning to short term rentals

Short term rental or short term friendship with the mayor?

First off, I agree with the city, a ‘short term rental’ like AirBnB should be just that, a rental. For it to be considered a Bed & Breakfast it has to have a ‘service’ kitchen that serves food to the renters that needs to be inspected by the health department. Since it does not, it is pretty much like any other apartment, but just for a shorter time. But this could ruffle the feathers of your homeowner neighbors who ARE not short term renters.

The rules seem simple. The state requires a tax license;

Beginning Sept. 1, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting state and municipal taxes on all eligible bookings in South Dakota.

The City of Sioux Falls requires rental registration;

Short Term rental properties (such as Airbnb, VRBO, etc.)

This all makes sense, taxes paid, registrations in check.

But here is where it gets a little ‘sticky’ and all that ‘transparency’ thingy a lot of council candidates like to talk about lately. This story from 2015 paints another picture;

“A bed and breakfast requires a Conditional Use Permit and approval of the Planning Commission for that permit to be approved,” said Shawna Goldammer, Sioux Falls Zoning Enforcement Manager.

Goldammer says an Airbnb is considered a bed and breakfast. Chances are, Airbnb hosts are unknowingly operating illegally.

“What the ordinance does for us in Shape Places makes residential residential. So when you live in a residential area under a residential zoning district, you can expect residential in your neighborhood,” said Goldammer.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t consider short term rentals a bed and breakfast. What I take issue with is that after Shape Places passed and Goldammer made these statements, somehow the rules disappeared into the night without any action from the city council . . . that I can find.

What is also very interesting is that council candidate and incumbent, Christine Erickson’s main business is ‘short term rentals’ and AirBnB. Please tell me the rules didn’t change quietly in the night after a secret handshake with our mayor and code enforcement?

The irony of this is that Erickson could have had a very public debate about it, and would have probably won and got citizen support. Or maybe not. Would you want to own a home next to a short term rental in a residential neighborhood? I have renters in my neighborhood, I don’t take issue with it, but it’s not a revolving door either.

I would really like to know how these rules just magically change when it affects a city councilor’s business and a mysteriously renewed friendship with the mayor.

Kind of like the Downtown Parking ramp deal, Erickson got a little back peddling to do.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda (March 6-7, 2018)

*Note: City Finance Director Tracy Turbak will return to the March 13 informational meeting to finish answering budget questions per request of councilors Starr, Stehly and Kiley.

City Council Informational Meeting

The city council will get a review of the Open Data Initiative. They will also hear from the Health Department about noise ordinances. They will also hear about some ordinance updates.

City Council Regular Meeting

The first SIOUXPERHERO awards will be handed out.

Item#1 Contracts, we will be approving $300K to construct new exhibits at the Pavilion’s Kirby Science Center. I’m curious about this one, because I thought we had major sponsorship from Sanford?

Item#58, Resolution, Renew contract for Great Bear. There has NEVER been an RFP to change the contractor at Great Bear.

Planning Commission Meeting (2/7)

Pretty normal meeting, with no controversial items.

Item#9, Preliminary Subdivision Plan for Sanford Sports Complex

Item#14-16, Amending ordinances

Item#17, Updating Planning Commission Bylaws

Augustana plans major developments including a street vacation in 2020

Augie wants to close Grange Avenue between 33rd and 37th in 2020 (Item #11);

Traffic – Grange Ave. closure (2020): Applicant has indicated on the plan, their

request for closure of Grange Ave. between 33rd St. and 37th St. The Applicant,

Engineering and Planning Staff reviewed the closure at the time of the IDP

Amendment and provided the following comments regarding the street closure in

the future:

1. Reroute storm water from Grange to BMP

2. Combine un-platted parcels on Grange.

3. Properties addressed on Grange would have to be readdressed to 33rd or

37th St.

4. Any Xcel or MidAmerican Energy lines would be have to be relocated.

5. Must provide a route from 33rd to 37th (see amended plan)

6. Applicant doesn’t anticipate closing Grange until 2020.

As you can see, they have many developments in the hopper in their Initial Development Plan Amendment. It will be interesting to see how the street closure goes.