Entries Tagged 'Planning Commission' ↓

City of Sioux Falls Housing Funding is Hypocritical

First off, many have wondered what happened to the housing coordinator. Not sure if Chellee Unruh was terminated or quit, but I guess she departed in April with no fanfare and no press release from City Hall. Seems a lot of Paul’s directors seem to disappear these days in the dark of night. There are often rumors of termination but no verifications from the big man himself. He must be busy taking selfies on bike rides or something. There was even a funny rumor a few weeks ago that Stoneless fired a public works minion (personally) after a citizen video-taped him flipping the bird. Not sure if that is true, but if it is, I got a good laugh. Hope he gave him a hug and a Guadd Bles Yah before he walked off.

Either or on housing, yesterday at the informational meeting a non-profit wants $500K from the city for a victim’s home for women saved from the sex trafficking industry. While I have no issues with this funding (except that they are probably one of those Christian conversion places) I find it a bit ironic that this administration AND police department can’t get a handle on all the illegal massage going on in our community when they know exactly where these places are. Heck, everyone knows where they are. You would have to be a complete dolt to not know where to get a tug and rub in Sioux Falls!

I think if I was on the council I would include an extra $1 million to the sex crimes unit with the PD to show that they are serious about it, I would also get the new Police Chief to make it his top priority. Kind of seems pointless to help a victim’s home if we are not going to do anything to stop these businesses in Sioux Falls. Isn’t prevention the key?

Also, doesn’t anyone find it a bit odd when these rare stings happen, the ‘victims’ are always apprehended but somehow the Johns and Pimps slip a way? Things that make you go Hmmmm.

Public Input at Sioux Falls City Council and Planning Meetings

FF: 1:38 (official newspaper of Sioux Falls city government)

FF: 1:49:45 (Med Mary Task Force)

FF: 2:12 (Regular Public Input, TIFs and riding scooters on the sidewalk)

FF: 1:06:50 & 1:17:45 (TIF)

FF: 1:25:15 (Public Input, Recommended Approval)

My 15 Minutes of Fame at the Sioux Falls Planning Meeting

Towards the end of the meeting I got to touch on TIFs and ‘Recommended Approval’ by Planning Staff. I appreciated Planning Commissioners Larry and Sean actually asking staff about some of the things I brought up. Thank You.

UPDATE: Is TenHaken’s idea of Neighborhood Revitalization a Bulldozer?

UPDATE: I got an update last night. I guess the administration has been pushing hard on property owners along the loop on 11th street to buy the property so they can ‘revitalize’ it. Many property owners are thumbing the mayor and not agreeing to the offers.

A SouthDacola foot soldier reached out to me last night and confirmed something I have speculated about for a while. The city does have a plan to clean up the core and it probably involves a bulldozer and a wrecking ball;

One of those is neighborhood revitalization, and TenHaken today announced a new organizational structure to address it.


The newly created division will combine the city’s code enforcement arms under one entity that reports up through planning and development services. The team, led by Matt Tobias, will address “how do we take care of our core and make neighborhoods cleaner and acquire properties,” TenHaken said.


The bigger vision is to assemble and invest in land and amenities such as parks to create neighborhoods in the center of the city that appeal to residents and businesses, “so people aren’t looking to the ‘burbs but look inward,” he continued. “Some of the best neighborhoods are in the core.”


Notice the 2 words, ‘acquire properties’. This is essentially code for tearing down affordable housing that can be easily renovated in our core to tear it down instead and turn it into apartments or subsidized houses that don’t fit in the older neighborhoods. There is NO reason that these houses can’t be fixed up for a fraction of the cost and make excellent first time houses or retirement homes, but developers need to make a buck so they want to start from scratch.

They did a presentation on the proposal today at the city council informational meeting, and it had few details and a lot of things needed to be worked out. Councilor Brekke asked about TIFs and more importantly tax rebates. Councilor Erickson ripped them a new one about how the council had very little input on this and how they need to be involved. Yeah, no Sh!t Sherlock, wondering when the council was going to wake up from their Covid Coma and get back to making policy instead pulling a Biden in their basements.


I have been hearing that the city is negotiating purchasing large sections of property in the downtown and core areas that they can prepare for development and sell to large developers for subsidized housing. When I think of cleaning up the core, I think of rehabilitating the existing neighborhoods and houses. If you don’t think these smaller homes are not in demand explain to me why I get 3-4 offers a week on my small 1889 home in central Sioux Falls? BECAUSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS IN HIGH DEMAND and I am wondering how bulldozing these properties will address that problem?

I will be curious how this rolls out, but I think the major part of the plan involves a very large Caterpillar.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, May 3-5, 2021

State of the City Address • Mon, May 3 • 1 PM (State Theatre)

This address can be viewed via livestream at www.facebook.com/citysiouxfalls

Informational Meeting • Tue, May 4 • 4 PM

Presentations;

ADA Transition Plan by Sharla Svennes, Assistant City Attorney and Human Relations/ADA Coordinator; Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D.  and James G. Felakos, J.D., Blanck Group LLC (I have no idea what this is about, no supporting documents)

Comprehensive Housing Plan by Jeff Eckhoff, Director of Planning and Development Services; and Matt Tobias, Development Services Manager (I have no idea what this is about either, no supporting documents)

Regular City Council Meeting • Tue, May 4 • 6 PM

Item #6, Consent Agenda;

Sub Item #29, South Dakota Research Park, Inc. dba USD Discovery District, Funding Agreement providing innovation focused economic development strategies, development of public-private partnerships and to foster innovation driven industry growth. Actively support economic development and workforce development initiatives. $150K (while this is a good initiative, it would be nice to have a presentation from them on what they are doing instead of just shoving this into a consent agenda item).

Items #24-25, So this is interesting, Sanford’s Golf Shots is transferring it’s liquor license to the Sanford Event Barn, and then in the next item, the Barn is transferring its license to Golf Shots. I’m so glad one of our major health systems in Sioux Falls have all this time to horse around with liquor licenses and their ownership 🙁

Item #26, Most people know that a bar is likely going in the corner space of the Washington Square building on the main floor (even though a roof top bar would have been much cooler). So where has their liquor license been parked while they are waiting to open? Two doors down at Parlour ice cream shop. Funny, that was one of my favorite places to get ice cream last summer, and I never saw a full bar in there 🙁 The lax rules on how licenses can be ‘parked’ is ludicrous and needs to be changed.

Item #53, Second Reading, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, REZONING PROPERTY LOCATED NORTH OF W. BENSON RD. AND WEST OF N. MARION RD. FROM THE PO-PUD PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED PUD DISTRICT TO THE RA-1 APARTMENT RESIDENTIAL—LOW DENSITY AND RA-2 APARTMENT RESIDENTIAL—MODERATE DENSITY DISTRICTS, NO. 14007-2021, AND AMENDING THE OFFICIAL ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS. This is the rezoning for apartments next to the new Amazon Warehouse. As we know CountCilor Jensen has a financial conflict, and some think Selberg does also. We will see if they both recuse themselves and tell the public what that conflict is. This is a controversial item because the neighbors who have homes out there were lied to by developers, as usual, and of course the planning department plays along and says, ‘You can always ask us questions.’ Here’s one, ‘Is it hard to breathe with your heads stuck up developer’s asses?’

Item #55, 2nd Reading, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 77: PARKING REGULATIONS, SUBCHAPTER: PUBLIC PARKING ADVISORY BOARD. During the 1st reading several councilors suggested that they need to streamline the public boards qualifications.

Planning Commission Meeting • Wed, May 5 • 6 PM

Item 2E, Rezone for Foundation Park so they can chop up lots and spend our TIF money.

Item 2I, Rezone for Water Reclamation

Item 2J, Expansion of an existing VL Casino. Just what we need 🙁

Item 2K, More details on the expansion of the Sanford Sports Complex;

Item 5A, Rezoning from C1 to C2. This will be just north of the gas station on 18th & Cleveland. I am not sure if there is any neighborhood opposition. But what I find interesting is if you read all the documentation there is not one single mention of Dollar General in the documents. How did I figure it out? It was flagged that way in the document name ‘Dollar Gen.doc’.

This is something I have been railing on over the past couple of years where documentation in the agenda items in all the city’s public meetings is vague and hard to understand. I believe the attorney’s office in cahoots with the clerk’s and planning’s office is doing this on purpose. Why? It all goes back to the HATEFEST of Open and Transparent government.

Sioux Falls City Council meetings still don’t livestream properly

Unfortunately it is NO surprise to me that the city council meetings didn’t stream properly yesterday. They were both replaying fine today (INFOREGULAR) The SIRE system they use to post agendas and stream video has been marginally working for over a decade. In fact the past three city clerks have struggled with the system. You would think by now it would be scrapped. At the very least you would expect them to just automatically livestream the video on YouTube, and heck, on Facebook also. In fact, the Mayor is doing his state of the city address from the State Theatre(?) and it will only be streamed on Facebook, which is questionable since you must subscribe to FB to watch it. The ongoing Hatefest towards transparency is mind boggling.

With our Mayor and his administration consistently talking about the technological advances of the city you would think that with over a DECADE of problems with SIRE it would have gotten the boot a very long time ago. A Dotard could have figured that out, but somehow two mayors, three city clerks, multiple councilors, consultants and city IT personnel still seem to be baffled with a system we have thrown millions at when we could use a FREE service called YouTube.

VET HOME TO BE MOSTLY FUNDED PRIVATELY

Of course the Devil is in the details. During the informational meeting the city got a presentation on the new proposed facility. While Sioux Falls taxpayers are footing the bill for the land and pipe upgrades (hey Noem, that is called infrastructure), the organization will provide all the other funding privately. When asked where that money will come from, they really didn’t have an answer. Kind of reminds me of the Bunker Ramp and just taking the developer’s word on it. Here we go again. The city council never learns.

I also found it interesting that the agenda item for this presentation was posted on Friday with NO attached documents (Power Point) which seems the SOP for this administration. But when I checked back on Tuesday morning, the presentation was still absent (Until about 2 PM) But interestingly enough Pigeon605.com had a story up that morning about the vet village, then the Argus and Dakotanews soon followed. So how is a presentation that is put on the agenda on a Friday not have supporting documents until 2 hours before the meeting yet everyone in the media knows what the presentation is about? Taxpayers should always take priority. If my tax dollars are being used to pay a communications specialist, which I am ok with, the public should receive those communications before the media. I also wonder if Pigeon is getting PAID to post these stories? The city has a way of getting information out to the public without using private media except in press releases.

• Put the details/presentation in the Agenda online when posting the agenda on Friday (DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)
• Post on main city website
• Put on Citylink or do a YouTube video
• Post on Facebook and Twitter
• Send the media a press release and grant interviews (this should be done last)

I’m all for the media doing a story about this, and I learned a lot from the Pigeon story, but when tax dollars are being spent on projects, that information should be granted to the public before the Fourth Estate.

DO WE EVEN HAVE A FUNCTIONING SIOUX FALLS PLANNING COMMISSION?

During the Sioux Falls City Council Regular meeting, Councilor Starr asked a planning department staffer how the planning commission can even function when only 5 members are approving plans with a 9 member board. You could hear Mayor Stoneless grunt and sigh into his microphone. Of course excuses were given because we all know that planning decision are directed by the mayor and granted by the ‘approval’ process of the appointed, paid, planning staffers. The Commission meetings themselves are merely Bread & Circus.

South Dakota leadership is getting dumber by the day

First, let’s go with Noem’s idiotic statement of the week;

“I was on a call with the White House today with all of the governors talking about the specifics of this package and I was shocked by how much doesn’t go into infrastructure,” Noem said. “It goes into research and development. It goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy. And it really is not an honest conversation we’re having about what this proposal is.”

In Noem’s mind, she thinks infrastructure is corporate welfare to Canadian oil companies or spending Covid relief money on go kart tracks, hunting lodges and developer bailouts. Her statement kind of reminds me of this clown from Alaska who said, “The Internet is a series of tubes,” the late Sen. Ted Stevens infamously remarked in a 2006 speech on net neutrality. Even Transportation Secretary Pete Beuttigieg made fun of her on the Sunday political shows saying that ‘Yes Governor Noem, pipes are infrastructure.’

MAYOR TENHAKEN TELLS US HIS MENTOR WAS JOEL DYKSTRA

Trust me when I heard Paul say this last week, I literally fell out of my chair laughing;

When Dykstra first met TenHaken, he was starting his business ‘Click Rain’ and became the Mayor’s first client. At the time, Dykstra was running for U.S. Senate against then South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. While the political backgrounds have been prevalent between the two, both say their conversations revolve around life.

After I caught my breath I soon realized that it explained not only Paul’s leadership(?) style but his relationship with the SD GOP and developers in town. As many may or may not know, Dykstra was a frequent target of the blog when he was running against Tim Johnson and got his butt whooped. Joel often appeared in my toons with a bag over his head like the unknown comic, because I called him the unknown candidate.

There was also a rumor swirling around City Hall that Mayor TenHaken was out of the office last week with little explanation. I agree the mayor deserves personal time off, but strangely his Chief of Staff was also gone. Not sure if they took a family vacation together, but my guess is the trip was political in nature. Wonder who was footing the bill this time?

If the trip was political in nature, that should be disclosed to taxpayers. Of course the Hatefest on transparency is alive and well at City Hall, so we may never know.

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Believe it or not, I couldn’t really find anything in the agenda that sparked my interest except item #66;

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN FEDERAL AID BRIDGE IMPROVEMENT GRANT APPLICATION RESOLUTION FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE W. 49TH ST. BRIDGE OVER THE BIG SIOUX RIVER.

Some have questioned if the city can receive this money, and the answer is yes since the bridge crosses a federally mandated waterway (Corp of Engineers manages the Big Sioux River).

In the Planning Meeting it seems the old track on the School for the Deaf land has found an occupant. Item 2I will provide space for the new Children’s Inn Facility. Surprised it was on the consent agenda. I have heard from people in the neighborhood they have concerns. The item can be pulled if people want to comment.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council set to approve/deny permit for private residential airport

It seems the march is on;

CONSIDER MOTION TO APPROVE, DENY OR AMEND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT #21-17 TO ALLOW EXPANSION OF A PRIVATE AIRPORT APPROXIMATELY ONE MILE WEST OF SIOUX FALLS

It looks like on Tuesday at a joint 5 PM meeting the two bodies will consider the permit for the airport. I am still wondering if the FAA has weighed in;

The airport shall meet all FAA requirements.

I have to admit I am still on the fence about this. The Minnehaha County planning commission approved this 6-0 and the Sioux Falls planning commission denied this 5-2.

While I think that rich folks can spend their money however they choose, and build ludicrous things like airstrips, my main concern is how it will affect their neighbors and the city and county in general. Your property rights end when they inflict harm on your neighbors. This will be an interesting meeting to say the least.

Proposed Residential Airport

READ THE MINUTES

Yes, in a town where most people are middle to lower income some rich folks in town want their own airstrip next to their homes. The two petitioners are involved with a large construction company and the ethanol industry. The developer helping with the project is former City Councilor and current State Legislator, Greg Jamison.

While the proposal was a tie/stalemate with Minnehaha County voting for it and the City Planning Commission voting against, that means it goes to the Minnehaha CC and Sioux Falls city council for joint meeting approval on March 23.

A city official told me today that it may not make that date because the FAA is rumored to have already put a kabosh on it. We will see.

Tax Reduction Program for Downtown Sioux Falls residential property

Turns out there is a program, but only 3 properties have taken advantage of it since 2007, and you have to invest $30,000 in the property before getting the program.

At the informational meeting today where they explained the program, most of it goes towards business, and not a surprise the part they want to expand. I’m all for it for local businesses but the program needs to be expanded to residential and the $30,000 expenditure should be drastically reduced to $2,500 or more.

But that of course isn’t the plan, more socialism to big developers and banksters and crumbs for the rest of us.