Ms. Schwan asks the obvious question when it comes to the ballot initiative, ‘What about Smithfield’s?’

Second, my biggest issue with the initiative as written is that it allows Smithfield to continuing expanding downtown.

Not long ago, I stood on the top floor of the new 10-story Bancorp building at Cherapa Place and looked out at Smithfield in the distance. If we’re going to have a conversation about the suitability of certain locations for meat processing, my hope is that we also can talk about how we might persuade Smithfield to build somewhere else – or even partner with Wholestone, as Hormel did. That conversation can and will never happen if Smithfield’s only option is to expand downtown. The company owns enough land to do so, and by passing this initiative, our community will ensure that’s the only place Smithfield’s growth will occur.

This has been my issue with the petition to begin with. If we are going to ban these kind of operations, we need to ban all of them in the city limits.

I wish the community didn’t have to vote on this at all and that those opposed could have worked with Wholestone to ensure the highest possible mitigation of any environmental factors of concern. That’s typically how we do things in this community.

Yes, prior to Shape Places, the council would have been all over this.

This is why local government matters, because if you don’t pay attention to the baby steps you miss Bigfoot stepping on your head.

Something sadly missing from the stats of record building permits;

There’s more than a billion dollars of construction happening in Sioux Falls but where in all that money does affordable or workforce housing fit in?

It doesn’t so far.

“I just looked at the projects and we’re adding over 3,000 (housing) units,” said Jill Madsen, the president of the South Dakota Multi-Housing Association (SDHA). “From what I see I don’t see low income or workforce. I don’t see any tax credit housing and that has been workforce housing.”

It seems the permit values have risen because builders are building more expensive homes;

“There is still a lot of building going on but it’s more expensive houses that are being built,” Ingle said. “The (permit) valuations are going up because we are building more expensive homes.”

I still don’t understand what the end goal is with housing concerning city leadership? If you were to look at it from a distance as an outsider you would think city leaders are trying to push poorer residents out of our community, not just with permanent housing but with rentals also. I have said it is unsustainable in comparison to the workforce we will need.

Logan Penfield was tapped 2 months ago according to his profile. He does have educational and professional government experience (unlike some of Paul’s past appointments) but I found it interesting that the circles Mr. Penfield runs in probably contributed to his appointment.

When I think of affordable and accessible housing advocacy, the Republican Party usually doesn’t rank high on that list. (FF 9:40 to hear is introduction);

During the informational this afternoon the council discussed what next to do with the Bunker Ramp;

A public parking ramp that took nearly a decade and more than $20 million to build in downtown Sioux Falls could be sold to a private developer.

During a Tuesday informational meeting at Carnegie Town Hall, city councilors urged Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration to consider all options when picking a new partner to build at the Mall Avenue and 10th Street site.

And that includes selling the entirety of the seven-story ramp that opened in July 2020 and is equipped to handle up to eight additional stories. The site has gone undeveloped since a mixed-use parking ramp project fell apart in 2019.

I do agree with councilors that they should take the best deal and I also agree with councilor Soehl that we need to use a 3rd party to vet the investors properly. I am also partially in agreement with what councilor Merkouris said;

Rich Merkouris said he’s apprehensive about giving any tax breaks to the eventual buyer unless they use the space to add residential stock downtown.

“For me personally, I would struggle incentivizing anything outside of housing unless it was a part of the bigger package,” he said.

I would go a step further and say there should be NO incentives. Anyone who takes over this property is being given a site in a plum location with an opportunity to do well. The taxpayers have already incentivized this project, there is absolutely NO reason to hand out more candy. Find an honest free market developer who has a solid plan to make it successful, then you don’t need to worry about tax incentives. It was also pointed out it is in an opportunity zone which means there will be some incentives to build there without city tax payers help.

But what what really pissed me off was having councilor Selberg sit in on meetings and negotiations for future use. NO councilor that helped approve this pile of sh!t should be involved. It should either be handed over to a new councilor or Pat Starr who opposed this. It would be like hiring the guy who rear ended your car to fix it. Any councilor who approved this should not be in closed door meetings trying to cover up their mistakes. We need councilors with a clear conscience to negotiate this deal with a focus on hyper transparency.

These knuckleheads learn very little from past mistakes.

A group filed paperwork today in opposition to the Wholestone Foods ballot initiative. But all of this legal wrangling could have been avoided.

The mayor and council have stated several times there is nothing they can do to stop WF from building a slaughterhouse, but that isn’t true.

As I have mentioned in the past, after Shape Places passed both the council and voter’s muster it was set in ordinance (city charter law) but that doesn’t mean the city council can’t amend it. They have already amended it several times when it comes to signage and building codes.

As it stands right now, the power of the council to either accept or reject conditional use permits for large projects like this was eliminated in Shape Places.

BUT, after the ballot initiative signature drive started the council could have easily amended Shape Places within 30 days and brought back conditional use permits for projects of this nature. They could have rejected most of the permits, especially when it comes to water usage.

The mayor and council are telling you they are powerless to stop this train, but that isn’t true.