Entries Tagged 'Pettigrew Heights' ↓

Rumors still circulating about 9th & Grange greenspace

The Cathedral and Pettigrew Heights neighborhood associations have already made it clear they do NOT want the greenspace and community gardens at 9th & Grange to be used for affordable housing. Both associations have shown that there are plenty of empty lots and houses that need to be torn down throughout both neighborhoods that can be used to move affordable houses to the neighborhood without using the greenspace.

As I mentioned in the past both associations have plenty of evidence that the school district and the city have been quietly working behind the scenes to take over this space for affordable housing.

A person who attended the most recent Pettigrew Heights association meeting said a city official(?) told some of the attendees that there is still a plan to move affordable houses to the greenspace (Sanford expansion was mentioned).

The land is currently owned by the School District and they may have to get an appraisal on the land before transferring it. If that happens the school board and the city council would have to approve a land transfer (there may be some legal issues with usage). The city could take it over as a park or they could try to transfer the land for affordable housing (the city already maintains the space for the school district).

I guess the first place to watch is the school board, who currently make most decisions behind closed doors, then show up to the public meeting to rubber stamp those nontransparent decisions. The agendas will have to be scrutinized closely because they may try to slip it in on the consent agenda.

As of today, the school district maintains they have NO plans for the space . . . but would they tell us if they did?

Proposed Coffee Shop at 9th & Grange is becoming quite the city welfare project

The property owned by Alex Halbach (who just happened to be the Campaign treasurer for Central District Councilor Curt Soehl) may get a FREE parking lot. Item #32. (FF:55:30)

Mr. Halbach decided to skip the meeting last night, but his neighbors did not, and they said they have been trying to meet with him but he ignores them. The council deferred it 30 days. Rumor has it that Halbach made threats about stopping the project if he didn’t get this to go thru so there may be a re-consideration vote on the matter next week.

Interesting that Curt Soehl did not recuse himself from the vote because of his conflicts. So far Soehl has re-instated the facade easement program (so Halbach could apply for it).

Getting him a free parking lot (Halbach says he doesn’t want to ruin the greenspace in his backyard) and when he applies for the facade easement that will likely pass also.

This is how councilors pay back supporters with YOUR tax money.

Pettigrew & Cathedral Neighborhood Associations Body Check the City & School District

I attended the almost 90 minute meeting tonight (I will have a YT video up soon if you don’t have FB) and it was pretty clear what the neighborhood wanted, GREENSPACE! There was a standing vote, and besides the reporters and city/school staff, everyone was standing in approval of leaving it a park.

The most interesting part was that it seems now the staff from the city and the school district said they have NO PLANS for it. Kevin Smith from the city further pointed out that they don’t own the property but help maintain it.

Funny how transparency works, SUNSHINE WINS THE DAY!

Was the City of Sioux Falls planning an affordable housing project without Neighborhood input?

It appears that the city was working behind the scenes with the Sioux Falls School District to build around 14 single family affordable houses on this empty lot owned by the school district. The Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood association got wind of the back door negotiations (they were NOT included in the discussions) and put out a survey to the neighborhood (it is closed now) to see what the neighbors think.

Let’s just say they are NOT happy about how this was being planned (in the dark). While I certainly would support a project like this, I don’t live near it or in that neighborhood so I can’t speak for the people who live there, but it seems they would like to keep it as is and add a park instead.

No matter who is involved with this backdoor plan, I will say this is NOT how you go about it. You have to engage the citizens in the neighborhood in a public meeting setting and work with them on shaping the project.


I think a mixed use of townhomes, apartments and homes with a park and urban garden in the center would be a good way to go. But we NEED the public’s input first and foremost.

They are having a meeting Monday to address the issue. I think some city staff from the planning office are going to be in attendance.

Congratulations to Citizen Advocate Sierra Broussard on her nomination

While a little rough around the edges, Sierra has proved to be a staunch advocate for her Neighborhood Association (Pettigrew) and other crime stricken neighborhoods in the core. If she gets picked, I believe she will be the 1st Transgender Female to receive the award.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Curt Soehl plays an interesting game tonight

At the council meeting tonight, Soehl recused himself on Item #45, which is a rezone of an historic building in Pettigrew Heights to be converted into a coffee shop. I’m am not sure why he recused himself because he never told the council and the public, but my guess is he may be investing in the project but I do not know for sure. Let’s just say he has a conflict and admitted to it, whatever it is.

After coming back he co-sponsored item #53, a resolution to pull $120K from streets to re-establish the core facade program. He claims he has NO idea who would want to use it but has heard several people are interested.

So imagine my surprise when the main developer of Item #45 was interested in applying for the program after his rezone was approved.

Coincidence? I think not.

So how is it that Soehl walked out on the coffee shop project because of an assumed conflict, then turns around and sponsors a program that MAY benefit the project he has a conflict with?

Hey Curt, we can connect the dots . . . unfortunately you cannot. This will be brought up time and time again when your re-election campaign heats up.

UPDATE: Apparently the Developer of the Coffee Shop is Curt’s re-election campaign treasurer

Best place to get cheap beer in town? Pettigrew Heights.

I’m kinda jealous, I always thought my neighborhood liquor store in McKennan Flats was the best place to get cheap beer, until now;

Prices for alcohol are a lot cheaper in Pettigrew Heights.  For instance, a 30-pack of beer costs $2 less than other liquor stores in Sioux Falls.   The results also show parents’ and grandparents’ drinking habits as a big influence on the neighborhood trend.

No shit! People drink in Pettigrew Heights? When I drive thru in the summer, I always thought they were drinking Arizona tea not Camo. Wow! I’m shocked!

While I think trying to curb teen drinking is a good thing, I almost kinda of chuckle at ignoring the bigger picture. Rich or poor, trailer park or association, kids drink in Sioux Falls. They act like drinking in Pettigrew Heights happens more frequently. Poppycock.

When I went to HS in a suburb of Seattle some 20 years ago, everyone partied together, rich, poor, black and white. Kids don’t give a shit about semantics. As a past long time resident of Pettigrew Heights I almost feel bad for all the crappy press they get. It actually is not that bad, NOISY, but not bad.

You wanna know why people live in that hood? The same reason I did, cheap rent. I lived a block from the best coffee house in town, and the best C-Store in town (cheap beer).

Enough of demonizing Pettigrew Heights. Put out an olive branch not a night stick for once and you don’t need a study to determine that.

More on Citi’s ‘GIFT’

Some people wonder why the local news is so pathetic, and I say, just read the stories sometimes. I had a friend who worked as a producer for a major news TV station in SF for awhile. He hated the mediocrisy so much he quit. Not only was the news coverage awful, the on air personalities had little ‘attitudes’ like they were famous or something.

Just look at this line in the CITI story;

Citibank continues its generosity, donating $140,000 to help a crime-riddled neighborhood. 

Christ! The heck with Citi giving our money back to us – we need Batman to clean up this neighborhood!

Some might question why Citibank is donating money when it’s dealing with its own financial struggles.  Citibank is a part of the government’s multi-billion dollar bailout plan.

Because they are not donating THEIR MONEY! Why not donate (our) this money to The Food Bank or the Banquet, it would get better use. Besides, Citi will get the money back in interest when SF has to pay back the loan they gave us, so it’s all a wash.

Citi to give some of it’s bailout money back to us as a ‘gift’

The ultimate re-gift (your money)

That’s really nice of them. Now if we can just auction those houses off for more then $1,000 bucks a piece Pettigrew Heights will be swimming in the dough. Is Sanford looking for some more land?

The Citi Foundation will be giving $140 thousand to the city to help support revitalization efforts under way in the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood.

Start the presses, I think we need to mailout a Pettigrew Heights Calendar too. I betcha this money will be spent by Wednesday.

Pettigrew Flats