Local Musicians protest ‘Senior Housing’ last night at the City Council Meeting

I really enjoyed the public input last night at the Sioux Falls City Council meeting. It was also refreshing that the mayor was absent and wasn’t running the meeting. Council chair Kiley did an excellent job of running the over hour of testimony about Icon Lounge, noise ordinances downtown and allowing exotic pets in Sioux Falls.

The biggest group to appear were local musicians. One thing I learned long ago from hanging out at Nordic Hall and later the Pomp Room; Don’t F’ck with local musicians. They have to scrape and scrap enough the way it is to get gigs, so when you threaten to close one of their venues down, they get a little irritated. I will say though they presented their side of the argument very professionally, as did many other presenters last night.

As I told a councilor last night, the problem with public input isn’t the presenters it’s the smart ass running the meeting. He was absent last night, and it went well.

One of the funnier moments was when one presenter said that we are turning downtown into a senior living/housing district and it should be an entertainment district first, residential second. Noise ordinances should take precedent to commercial use first downtown and residential second. I couldn’t agree more.

The last presenter offered the best solution. He said that the city should do a baseline noise study all over downtown and see what the ‘average’ decibel is currently and determine a new sound level from there. I think several councilors agree. If I was a betting man, I bet you the average decibel level downtown on weekday afternoon is a little over 60.

Hopefully the city will do such a study and fix the noise ordinances downtown to cater to entertainment first and residential second.


#1 anonymous on 03.07.18 at 11:00 am

I saw all of the public input regarding ICON and our city’s current noise ordinance.

Other downtown establishments have co-existed with DT residential housing for many years.

I did not think the input in favor of increasing the decibel levels was compelling. It sounded like there is substantial proof that the Weilands have violated SF’s current noise ordinance on a regular basis.

I live in a residential neighborhood outside of DT. If my neighbors were disregarding my property rights by violating the noise ordinance and I complained, I would expect the City to enforce the ordinance.

It is not the residents of the Jones Bldg who are in violation of the law, it is the Weilands.

What did surprise me is there was no discussion from the Council. It was obvious this is an issue they do not want to engage in. Typically, when something like this arises, they refer it to a council sub-committee for further vetting, this was not done or even suggested by any of the eight councilors.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 03.07.18 at 11:43 am

It seems true that downtown is becoming a seniors retirement development. They are not big spenders. Alcohol and restaurants are ICONic sales tax revenue. Seniors are hard of hearing or you can supply them with ear plugs. The long trains passing more frequently through downtown are worse noise and rumbling. Downtown is a tourist draw because of the live entertainment. I’d like to see the seniors move out and the atmosphere become a musicians and artists enclave.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 03.07.18 at 11:50 am

More Nashville, less St.Petersburg FL. St. Pete is Arthur Murray dance studios and funeral parlors. Seniors are dancing or die-ing. Neither is tax revenue.

#4 l3wis on 03.07.18 at 12:14 pm

For 6 years no one complained until the Jones building was built.

I think the council would be smart to do a DT noise study and see where it is actually at, than determine if the decibels need to be changed. I agree there shouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction. It should be studied first. I have a feeling they are going to find out that the current standards are probably not even being met with ambient noise.

#5 LJL on 03.07.18 at 12:35 pm

I would agree with the opinion that the new downtown residents are not what the city was hoping or selling us on.

Icon should move it’s nightclub business next to the Barrel House and open a Denny’s in it’s current location.

#6 Theresa stehly on 03.07.18 at 1:13 pm

Just for the record anonymous, we can’t spontaneously respond to issues that arise during public input at the formal 7:00 City Council meeting.

We can address it during open discussion at the 4:00 meeting, as I did yesterday about my deep concerns about the Council’s lack of action to stop the partnering with citizens and Legacy development in the downtown ramp.

I’m sure there will be some ordinance coming for the noise issue. We also had a discussion about it at the 4:00 meeting yesterday. It must be listed on the agenda to be addressed by the City Council at 7:00.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.08.18 at 12:31 am

Here is the eventual future of Sioux Falls at FF 00:04 through 00:07:


“The evolution is obvious. First, there were the ‘Teenage Loopers,’ who were then replaced by the ‘Yuppies’ with their cigars and drinks in hand. Next will be the aging ‘Baby Boomers,’ who eventually will give in to artificial intelligence and its remake of the sculpture walk in locomotion fashion….. But the Falls will still fall and hopefully no more buildings for some time to come….. And oh, the train whistles will, however, ironically still linger from the not far distance….decibels and all”

(Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey)