Well it did not take to long for a landlord to challenge the ordinance.

There was a public* hearing last week in which a landlord challenged the city over exactly what constitutes a vacant property and the hearing examiner judge ruled in their favor.

At issue is the definition of occupant, and the judge agreed with the defendants.

I am still awaiting a summary of the ruling and what that may mean for the vacant house ordinance and it’s recent change of a 30 day requirement. Either the city will have to repeal the entire ordinance and rewrite from scratch, or ditch the entire thing.

It’s unfortunate on some level, because there really are some places that need to be fixed up and rented out, but I do agree with the landlord that challenged this, as long as someone is using the property or working on it, technically it is occupied.

I was told a few weeks ago that their has been some investigative reporters digging around on all the vacant home rentals Sanford has hoarded and boarded up just east of Sanford between Grange and Minnesota Avenue. I rode my bike around the area and you could see dozens of vacant homes. I think one one block I counted three in a row.

I’m not sure what the happy medium is but if a landlord is actively trying to improve their property, leave them alone.

*The city has been telling people in the press that these code enforcement hearings are NOT open to the public unless invited by the defendants, but that is not true, anyone can attend.

5 Thoughts on “Will the City of Sioux Falls have to repeal the Vacant House ordinance?

  1. D@ily Spin on August 6, 2023 at 11:21 am said:

    30 days; you’ve got to be kidding. Snowbirds leave homes vacant 3 months. What if you’re traveling overseas? How about in the hospital more than a month? The city behaves like a tyrant without sympathy or rule of law. The Authoritarian Charter is out of control.

  2. D@ily Spin on August 6, 2023 at 11:37 am said:

    The city never wins in court. Why? There’s more than a dozen in the legal department and a big budget. They hire a private law firm to minimize loss. I’m thinking you work at the city because you can’t support yourself in the real world. If you can change your own Depends, you are a qualified director.

  3. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on August 6, 2023 at 5:07 pm said:

    So, let me get this right. We have a housing shortage and a vacant housing problem? #OnlySiouxFalls #OneSiouxFalls

  4. Mike Lee Zitterich on August 6, 2023 at 5:53 pm said:

    The 30 Days is a statutory thing, not a local rule. IF you want to change the rule, get out your pen, and paper and draft an amendment to the statute, and change the law. Only the People and, or their Legislature can change it. The RULE was adopted by the people long ago, to protect Homesteads, and there is no limit to how long you can keep your Homestead, they are forever. And it is very tough to change that belief, as it is well grounded in our constitutional, protected right…It goes all the way back to prior the “State of South Dakota” being formed, to the 1840’s with the Preemption Act of ’41’. Good Luck. Your local govt does not have the power to force people out of their homes, yet alone remove your Homestead.

  5. Rights on August 9, 2023 at 10:01 am said:

    The City has never believed in proper rights for “those” people who happen to look or sound “different “ or own property the “right” people want to exploit.

    Daily fought the City won and fiddle faddle had the rules changed to make sure the City could continue to break the law and abuse our Constitutional civil rights.

    The mayor wants kids to think he is special, a Reagan gipper type. Well, he ain’t. Stories are told of back door deals we’d like to know more about. As long as the City and mayor continue to abuse our rights, they can be subject to jail time. We will find a deep throat who will help us “follow the money”.

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