Council Candidate Soehl bows to the Sanford Altar

While watching the online interview today between Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidates DeBoer and Soehl, Argus Leader Metro Guru Joe Sneve asked them what they thought about developer impact fees and specifically Sanford tearing out affordable housing in the core of our city.

Sanford has mentioned in the past that they would like to expand the 18th and Grange campus all the way towards Minnesota avenue. In that process they have bought several properties in that swath, which includes some of the most affordable housing in our city.

Soehl answered the question first and pretty much towed the tired old line that Sanford has done so many things for our city including employment opportunities (South Dakota has some of the lowest healthcare salaries in the nation) that we should be careful about stopping such expansion.

DeBoer had a different twist on the topic. Besides pointing out that Avera has decided to expand in an area that doesn’t require tearing down affordable housing, he says the Sanford expansion has been detrimental to affordable housing in the core of our city. He reminded listeners that these are some of the most affordable housing options in the city that help first time homebuyer pull themselves out of poverty and rental living. He also pointed out all the blacktop Sanford is putting down in these neighborhoods in the form of parking lots. While he admitted to the economic impact of Sanford, he also said they could expand elsewhere in our city without tearing down these houses.

Zach is right. Instead of Sanford giving several acres to the school district, they could use that land for expansion.

But Zach brings up a bigger point, why does the city, and particular the council and city hall always bow to the altar of Sanford. The Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the City Council could easily say NO to Sanford when they want to tear up more affordable housing in the core of our city, or impose heavy impact fee penalties to dissuade them from doing so.

We need more councilors like Zach, who are looking out for the best interest of the citizenry and not the bottom line of Sanford.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.23.18 at 8:44 pm

The hugh size of the millennial vote, that will probably show up for the mayoral runoff, more or less guarantees a Zach win.

#2 Notafan on 04.23.18 at 9:19 pm

Are you really surprised by Soehl’s answer considering he’s a Huether minion?

#3 My Mistake Mike on 04.24.18 at 8:05 am

Amen, Zach! The destruction of these neighborhoods has nothing to do with job expansion – but everything to do with Sanford doing it cheap (surface parking lots) versus doing it right (parking ramps).

And it’s now happening south of 26th Street – south of Christ the King Church, east of Edison Middle School. The city is currently tearing down more affordable homes – including off-campus housing for the colleges – leaving expansive vacant lots to help with flood control downstream from Sanfordland. As a taxpayer, this pisses me off!

#4 WRONG on 04.24.18 at 8:49 am

Zach got caught with a hot mic at the very end of the stream. If he isn’t very excited about speaking engagements during the campaign he’s not ready for the commitment it takes to be a counselor.

#5 Michael Wyland on 04.24.18 at 9:45 am

MMM – my wife and I had this conversation yesterday. The short-term logic of building parking ramp(s) near the current Sanford complex depends on the longer-term “master plan” for the complex when (or if) it’s built out to Minnesota Ave. What would the reaction be if a ramp or ramps were built, only to be torn down or “reclaimed” as a later phase in the master plan were implemented?

#6 l3wis on 04.24.18 at 9:53 am

MW- missing the bigger point. We need to stop Sanford from expanding in our core. Any future expansion should be on land they already own in parts of town that have free and clear space.

#7 Matthew Paulson on 04.24.18 at 3:55 pm

Well, supporting Zach’s candidacy is one thing we can agree on. Zach is a great guy and would make to be a great councilor.