Entries Tagged 'Code Enforcement' ↓

Retaining wall at 300 North Duluth Avenue still not fixed

A South DaCola foot soldier told me this retaining wall fell down months ago and still nothing has been done to clean it up let alone start to rebuild it. The stone wall fell onto city property and now the area is blocked off with plastic fence. They have school kids needing to walk to school in about three weeks. We also have winter weather coming. I think it would be interesting to hear just where this is with the city. Remember the city was warned that this wall would probably fall over and did nothing to stop it, now they are doing nothing to fix it. I guess they are more concerned about making sure a hotel is built downtown.

Don’t think our sign regs in Sioux Falls are ridiculous?

Last year I found out that you cannot hang a sign on a business unless you are a certified sign installer with the city (There is a yearly licensing fee) And this isn’t just signs that require electrical hookup, this is any permanent sign. A downtown business owner told me that after having one of his employees make a custom wood sign for his business (no electrical or lighting) he was NOT allowed to hang it himself, he had to pay a certified sign installer to bolt it to his building. I guess drilling a couple of holes and holding a level requires a special license.

(Image: Siouxfalls.business)

Now the city is considering a pipe in a statue’s hand as a ‘sign’

Initially, city officials told him that according to zoning rules there wasn’t sufficient square footage on the property for the addition of the fiberglass statue. He hired a lawyer to work through that issue, but he couldn’t get the city to budge on another one: Mr. Bendo will go up without the pipe in his hand because that makes him a sign and the business already has one.

“I’ve never heard anything so dumb in my life,” Wallenstein said.

That’s because code enforcement under Former Mayor Bowl Cut & Buck Teeth didn’t want to allow people to have anything that looked out of place or to kitsch. That’s why people were getting tickets for 8.5″ grass, including a city councilor.

Some on FB have suggested they dress up Mr. Bendo. One person said they should make him into a Pirate. I have suggested they make a giant dress for him and have him in drag. Or put a bullwhip in his hand and a bondage ball in his mouth. Let’s see what code enforcement says than?

Moving Sale?

5/17/2018 (c) southdacola.com

UPDATE on Unresponsive Bidders

On the Sioux Falls City Council agenda, Item#2 for Tuesday’s meeting has more details on what disqualifies bidders. Here is the full Doc; BID-Dis

I highlighted the items that ‘could’ apply to Legacy and Hultgren;

City to hold bake sale to help fund notepads and pens

The city announced this today;

The City said because of Falls Park’s popularity, a loss control consultant contracted by the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance (SDPAA) evaluates the park with a risk manager annually.

These reports, which were done orally, were completed in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017.

I called Central Services Director Sue QuanBeckBabbaling and asked why NO one with the city’s risk department, fire department, police department or parks department didn’t take notes during these ‘ORAL’ reviews.

She replied, “I know, kind of embarrassing isn’t it? To tell you the truth, the city just forgets to budget for pens and notepads each year for staff. That is why this year we are offering a solution by having a bake sale at city hall to fund these necessary office items.”

I wondered with all the other ‘expensive’ things the city spends it’s budget on, how such a oversight could happen. Tracy Turncoat the city’s finance director said this,

“Well, I thought we had the budget shortfall handled once we implemented the rule that city employees must bring their own bathroom tissue to work and making it SOP for SFPD officers to do their duty at McDonalds. But it just couldn’t shore up the shortfall enough.”

He did however tell me that they will see some cost savings once the notepads can be donated, “We will be spending less on chalk in the engineering department.”

Just when you think your city is doing fine financially, the little things rear their heads.

The sale will occur this Friday from 9 AM-4 PM, and for an extra dollar per cupcake the mayor will personally lick the frosting off the top.*

*Sorry, no refunds if you have a gag reflex.

Why is the City of Sioux Falls Code Enforcement ignoring obvious Junkyard?

There was some interesting things that came out of Angela’s story;

The City’s own definition of a junkyard: includes any land used for the “storage, wrecking, dismantling, salvage, collection, processing, purchase, sale or exchange of abandoned and discarded vehicles.”

Junkyard Definition according to Sioux Falls City Ordinance:      

JUNKYARD: Any lot, land, parcel, or portion thereof used for the storage, wrecking, dismantling, salvage, collection, processing, purchase, sale, or exchange of abandoned or discarded vehicles, goods, waste, and scrap materials including but not limited to two or more abandoned or inoperable motor vehicles, glass, tires, appliances, machinery or automotive and mechanical parts. A JUNKYARD does not include operations entirely enclosed within buildings.

If it walks like a duck . . .

However in 2012, Circuit Court Judge Stuart Tiede ruled that IAA did operate as a junkyard when the owner wanted to add a location near Crooks. Tiede overturned a Minnehaha County Commission decision to allow a permit for the operation as something “other” than a junkyard.

Tiede wrote in his decision: “The wrecking or dismantling of motor vehicles is not required in order for the use to a salvage or junk yard.”

Imagine that, another judge disagreeing with local government.

Angela Kennecke: Is the City taking regular inventory reports?
Tobias: No, At this point in time we’re not and what I can say from our perspective is that there are no violations on site at this time.

Uh, wrong answer. If you are NOT taking inventory how do you know there isn’t any violations? Funny how code enforcement in this city, using snow gates and planning and zoning depends on who you are NOT what you are. It’s a poor neighborhood so who cares about the rats and junk. Maybe they can put up another Bishop Dudley House up there.

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.

Is Sioux Falls city government bailing on changing Downtown noise ordinance?

A great view, of a nightclub roof.

After several citizens showed up last week to ask the city to AT LEAST do a study of decibel levels downtown, it seems not much is happening, except more complaints.

Common sense would tell you if you have mixed use with commercial (a nightclub) next to residential, the one producing more decibels would get precedent, NOPE. The quieter use is used instead of a fair balance between the two uses.

As we all know, ambient noise downtown alone is probably between 58-60 decibels. Wouldn’t a study by the PD and Health Department using the ‘L’ scale be worth it? The scale takes a 10 minute reading of the lows and highs of decibels and gives a 90% average reading. Makes sense.

I think 10-20 locations should be picked downtown to do the reading, and each location should take readings every 2-4 hours, Monday-Sunday. Once those readings come in, we could figure out an average at those different times for downtown.

I think the city just ‘telling us’ what is acceptable is unacceptable until we really know what is reality. Maybe 55 is a good place to be, but until we know what the averages are, we don’t know where the starting point is.

I also think some building codes and zoning needs to be changed for residential units. Even if we didn’t have a nightclub next door to a residential unit – traffic, trains, airplanes, etc., are probably louder than what current code is.

Let’s face it, if we are going to continue to develop housing downtown and other development like hotels and commercial we are going to have to come to grips with the fact we have turned downtown into a bustling entertainment district. We MUST make changes NOW while we are still growing, otherwise we are going to have a code enforcement nightmare down the road as downtown gets more dense.

City to spread their version of ‘Propaganda’ about Downtown noise ordinances

I got a reminder this weekend from a fellow city hall watcher that the city already had a discussion about noise ordinances . . . 10 years ago! I remember the discussion, it involved outdoor music at Stogeez and the time that music needs to stop.

Well, my response is that we need to revisit the topic, especially with the enormous growth of downtown over the past 10 years. I don’t think it is unreasonable to maintain a 70 decibel level during the day and 65 at night. Even without entertainment facilities downtown, the ambient noise downtown during the day hovers in that 68-70 area.

I can’t wait to hear the city’s argument on this;

One important fact the public should understand is that all of downtown is zoned to allow residential uses. The zoning for downtown also allows for commercial, retail, and a mix of other uses, which creates the unique atmosphere we all expect from a downtown environment. No changes have been made to zoning or the noise ordinance as a result of any new residential units in downtown.

If that is the case, how is a downtown nightclub able to operate for 6 years with NO intervention until residential units are built next door with an easement to hang patios over the roof of the nightclub?

It is no surprise to me that the city will fight any changes. Why? The building department once again screwed up and authorized something that should have NOT been authorized without a thorough discussion with the neighbors.

What? Code Enforcement? No, citizen abuse and dumpsters

Who would have thought this video would touch such a nerve when we posted it in 2014. City employee Darin McDonald was fined for his dumpsters during an interesting time of property transfers in his neighborhood. Dan Daily had the SD Supreme Court declare code enforcement process in Sioux Falls unconstitutional and still has not been fixed. Cameraman Bruce was arrested for raspberries and garlic only to have the judge tell the city to leave his yard alone.
Project Trim, flowers in the boulevards, campers, grass, snow, sidewalks and so many citizen irritations caused by overzealous out of control city administrations. There are so many more and we will be highlighting them as we can get the information. If you have a story to tell, let us know. You never know what can be done.
The fallout is happening and it is filling dumpsters. South Dakota has already declared this process unconstitutional but Sioux Falls keeps doing it anyway. Testimony on Tuesday September 9, 2014 was an interesting day for the City Council of Sioux Falls SD.
During the open discussion portion of the regular council Informational session, Kermit Staggers brought up a discussion of code enforcement abuse performed by city officers on behalf of troubled neighbors. It was a good topic to bring up.
Some of the councilors did not understand why it was an issue. It seems the people being abused don’t feel their councilors care enough to help them to even ask them for help. Who is left to answer and fight for the average public? Kermit.
Michele Erpenbach and Dean Karsky decide to stick up for the mayor and his administration. Nothing new from them. Greg Jamison tries to discuss the compromise reached among the council a few years ago but they seem to have forgotten to reach out to the community, like usual.
At the Public Input portion of the regular Council meeting, Darrin McDonald had a great presentation on the city snitch program. Dumpsters, dumpsters and more dumpsters mostly owned by the city are in violation of city code. Where are the citations due the mayor, Pavilion, Sheraton?
Before the City Hall lurkers bombard us with abuse they should look at their own backsides.
The Council needs to rein in the code enforcement mess in Sioux Falls. Code enforcers are used by nasty ‘Good’ neighbors to hurt many neighbors in this best little city. Once a citizen tries to work with our code enforcement staff, they know you are a sucker, so look out. Once they know you are weak, they will find ways to abuse the law to hurt you. So look out.
Cameraman Bruce Danielson