The administration has been busy pushing it’s agenda onto the city council just waiting for their rubberstamp approval;

The new zoning districts, referred to as “midtown mixed use,” are specifically aimed at increasing population density and walkability in fitting parts of the city. An ordinance that would introduce them into the city’s zoning options passed to a second reading unanimously Tuesday.

They range from three-to four-story buildings that could fit near single-family homes to seven- to 10-story buildings that could only be built along some of the city’s busiest streets, or perhaps a whole city block.

Councilor Rich Merkouris said increases in this type of zoning could hopefully be accompanied with improvements to the city’s transit system, and Councilor Greg Neitzert said bicycles should be taken into account while sidewalks and roads around the buildings are developed.

With most proposed city ordinances, the devil is in the details.

I support building density and finally cleaning up corridors like Minnesota Avenue, but I’m starting to get the feeling this will be more like the old Westerns with the fake main street facades. We can clean up the curb appeal of Minnesota Avenue all we want but it is what is behind the street that concerns me more.

When cleaning up neighborhoods it starts with the lowest rung on the latter, that means a total overhaul of our core neighborhoods FIRST then we can concentrate on the window dressing.

And Rich and Greg are correct, there are many other issues we must solve first in our core before dreaming about moving next door to George Jefferson in the high rise with an awesome view of the Pita Pit roof.

Of course Wealthy Welfare Developer Queens have their prince on the council;

And Councilor Alex Jensen said there would need to be incentives to make the zoning appealing, saying it was easy to go buy land on the outskirts of the city for a one-story project, if the location made sense. Convincing that hypothetical landowner to get into the core of the city could take some extra work.

Which means tax rebates and TIFs. Ironically there is a natural incentive to those who actually play the FREE market system fairly, instead of waiting for government handouts, you get to build 5 to 10x the square footage on the same plot of land in the core as opposed to a cornfield next to Brandon.

Besides transit and walkability I also have other concerns about transitioning these buildings from well established core neighborhoods. So does councilor Soehl;

“If Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been living in their house for 40 years and now we’re gonna put a seven-story building in the same city block, explain to me how you’re gonna alleviate the city council from making that hard decision,” Soehl said. “Because it’s gonna end up with us. The complaints, the packed room, it’s gonna end up here to make those hard decisions.”

Once again councilor Soehl is choosing to take the safe and easy road and wanting to throw out the entire proposal based on the fact he may have to make a decision. This kind of zoning WILL require a case by case basis review and approval. DUH! What works well at 18th and Minnesota may not work at 33rd and Minnesota, I think the public and developers get that.

Building density is always a good idea, this is NOT complicated.

12 Thoughts on “Mixed Use Zoning in Sioux Falls is needed

  1. Actress Felicia Facade on April 25, 2023 at 3:21 pm said:

    What about Vista Towers, is that a good example of density building? They never built the second tower. Terrorists scratched it off their list. Some say that when others go low you must go high, but is that true with housing, too? AND, what one calls a facade another might call a parapet, a cornice, or a baluster. Some say it’s just Hollywood, but where’s the sign? It’s perhaps a sign of our times. Hilltop is the highest point in our fine city. Would they want the sing? It’s dotted with smaller homes and no skyscrapers. Perhaps, that’s how they want it, but how do others want it? Hollywood can deliver. Some are good and some are bad, but some always win the Oscars. Who should win them this time? The actors, or the ones acted upon. Either way it will be an act with the extras – who went to see themselves in a film – paying the final bill…. ATTENTION Hilltop, Taupeville, Tuthill, McKennan Park, Riverview Heights, West Sioux and more!…. Lights, cameras, ACTION!….. Fiction is ready to be made, or is that just history written by the victors?

  2. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on April 25, 2023 at 3:45 pm said:

    Clint Eastwood got his start in KELOLAND…. No, I’m serious:

    Many say ‘Dirty Harry’ is his best film, but I disagree. I prefer ‘Paint Your Wagon’ where he and George Kennedy married a Mormon woman (What?). Or, what about ‘Gran Torino’? In that movie, he was Trump before Trump. It was a warning we missed, or was his talking to a chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention his best act, probably not. It folded like a crumbling seat. But I think I’ll stick with the gig with Kennedy and the digging for cash or a car in Dakota Territory/KELO-LAND…. At least then some didn’t have to paint their car like a facade to make it look good again, or sell their Torino for cash in order to look good again…. ‘Play Misty for Me’, you ask? That was a psycho thriller, which Eastwood directed and acted in… On second thought, maybe that has some relevance here, too.

  3. "Woodstock" on April 26, 2023 at 11:14 pm said:

    “Say, did you see where we are going to get a mobile grocery store?”….. “I’m not sure if it will be boutique or not, but man, talk about the ultimate food truck…. WOW!”…. #MobileLimitlessMale #MobileMifepristoneClinic #ReadyWilling&Mobile #MobileAlabama #FoodDesertDessert #BoutiqueShopFoodTruck

  4. Further Fear & Loathing on April 26, 2023 at 11:25 pm said:

    Just for fun, they should paint this mobile grocery store to look like a Filipino Jeepney. Or, would it get confused with our Sip-N-Cycles?…. That’s it, what about a mobile beer truck? AND, I know my neighborhood could definitely use a mobile fireworks truck in the Summertime:

  5. Very Stable Genius on April 26, 2023 at 11:35 pm said:

    How sad, that in a town with a Steel District, Cherapa developments, and a $20 million bridge, that all the poor and working poor get is a mobile grocery store to hopefully tame their food desert realities.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “If they put a visor on that food store/truck would that be considered a facade or a DOT necessity?”…. )

  6. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 27, 2023 at 3:09 pm said:

    I am attempting to put together a group, to establish the West Sioux Falls Business District, allowing the Mayor to appoint a public board to allow us to ‘tax’ ourselves to help promote, invest, market, the West Sioux Area. I envision the West Sioux Community to be a competing organization with the Downtown Sioux Falls Business Improvement Board. The two organizations would be a great asset for the “City” and could better plan for, and redevelop the area, using TIF’S to help improve the district. By creating a B.I.D organiation, we will be able to assess a tax on the business activity just as Downtown. This area of town has the W.H Lyons Fairgrounds, Event Center, Arena, Convention Center, the Ball Park, Howard Wood Field, and three awesome Community Parks such as Elmwood Park, Terrace Park, and Lyons Park, and Veterans Memorial Park, not to leave out the Historic “West Sioux Falls Business District” with a street – West Madison Street that connects the Town of Ellis to Downtown Sioux Falls by utilizing a network of roads – Madison Street, N. Menlo Ave, and W. Brookings Street. This “Roadway” can become “our” Historical Phillips Ave.
    I have been meeting with business owners, residents, and property holders in the area discussing the future of the area…

    For more information click the link below:

  7. Steve on April 28, 2023 at 2:11 pm said:

    Lol. Always good for a “laugh”. Thanks Mike.

  8. Fearing the Fuhrer & More on April 28, 2023 at 3:53 pm said:

    “West Sioux: It’s not your Father’s West Sioux”

    That motto might work, or how about: “West Sioux: It’s no longer Badlands”….

  9. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 28, 2023 at 4:48 pm said:

    People who laugh at West Sioux Falls, let alone laugh at people have no respect in the community. I have responded less and less to people like Steve, mostly cause it is not worth all the time anymore.

    People need to know, and understand the history of West Sioux Falls, and how it all came together long ago, back in 1902. It was the first Bread and Breakfast Neighborhood of the area, and it once was its own town as well. The history of this area is enourmous, and is why the CITY, behind the current Mayor, a great Mayor by the way, is investing dollars in the area today.

    W.H Lyons Property is a protected Land Patent/Homestead Section of Land, the Fairgrounds will be in my neighborhood for a very long time, and I am proud of that fact…

  10. No one is laughing at your neighborhood, Mike.

  11. Sick of Fearing on April 29, 2023 at 4:00 pm said:

    I had a dream that someone painted all of the modular homes at the Starlite Trailer Park in taupe shades. #TaupevilleNorth

  12. The Guy From Guernsey on April 30, 2023 at 10:32 am said:

    For this type of high density housing project to work, the City must commit to transportation alternatives to the automobile.
    Public transportation. Walkability and bikability.
    With the current sorry state of public transportation, the City is actually moving in a direction oposite of that needed for this type of housing density.
    The consideration of and commitment to alternative methods of getting around the entire town need to be implemented BEFORE this zoning is approved.
    Put a stake in the ground, Pastor Rich!

    Otherwise there will be 5+ stories of apartment dwellers, 2-4 occupants per unit, each with a car (in order that each can, at the very least, get to / from work).
    Absent onsite parking, their cars will be scattered for blocks around these units on arterial streets ill-designed to accommodate cars parked on both sides of the street (likely the main complaint from residential homeowners about dense housing units adjacent to their property?).
    And where do the occupants put there cars for snow removal?

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