Entries Tagged 'Planning Commission' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, June 4, 2019

City Council Informational, 4 PM (6/4/2019)

Internal Audit report of the Zoo & an Executive Session.

Regular City Council Meeting, 7 PM (6/4/2019)

Item #15, Applications, Arc of Dreams dedication party moved to July 24th. I hope they have a few bones left over from the $2.6 million dollar ego expenditure for crackers and cheese at the party.

Item #40, 1st Reading, Ordinance, Leine’s isn’t popular anymore, we have to go back to the old standby of Coors Light. Yeah, this is some of the stupid crap the city council has to endure. Speaking of stupidity, I guess more and more people are turned off by the ax throwing venues. Besides the obvious that they are trendy and expensive, the number one complaint is ‘They are noisy’ and not in a good way like dance music or live rock bands . . . thump . . . thump . . . thump. I went into the one next to Book COOP about a month ago, and I lasted about 2 minutes before I left. Sioux Falls, we need more poetry readings and less axe throwing. Now if West Mall can get on the Coors Light Express.

Item #41, 1st Reading, Ordinance, Cable Tax increase. This should be an interesting discussion. But no worries, the RS5 will make sure your taxes go up!

Items #42-43, Resolution, So this is interesting that we are going into OVS agreements with this telecoms BEFORE the tax increase has been approved. HMMM.

Item #46, Resolution, Approving more diagonal parking on Main. I find it curious there was NO informational on this.

Planning Commission Meeting, 6 PM (6/5/2019)

Item #2, Consent Agenda, items C & E, Looks as though Councilor Erickson is looking to change a couple of nice McKennan Park residences into another Air BNB properties. I hear her and her husband have been snagging up properties around the hospitals for short term rentals to temp nurses and other hospital staff. The question is if Erickson is using her position on the council as a way to help the people she serves or herself? I talked to a person who lived a couple houses away from one of the properties and they had no idea that it would become an Air BNB. I find it a little curious also that the Planning Department put these on the consent agenda instead of the regular agenda to make sure this goes under the radar of the public when there is clear conflicts.

Item #5B, new restaurant on North Minnesota Ave.

Item #5C. my new favorite restaurant, Abelardos is seeking a beer and wine license. I find it interesting the property is still owned by Jim’s Burgers. Someone needs to figure out ‘curb appeal’ because the weed fest they have going on outside isn’t drawing in the customers. The food however is fantastic!

Item #5D. Garbage handlers being possibly denied a new parking lot.

Item #5E, St. Francis House to change plans.

Click to Enlarge Calendar

Sioux Falls Planning Commission’s biggest Rubberstamper has left the building

I didn’t know whether to clap, cry, laugh, or scream out loud last night when I saw after a decade of rubber-stamping and ignoring citizens and small business owner’s pleas, Planning Commission member Nick ‘Know-it-All’ Sershen has ended his service to the fine citizens (I mean wealthy developers) of Sioux Falls. It’s all about who you know in Sioux Falls, and the fat cats loved Nick.


Over the past decade, Nick has always laid his stamp of approval on re-zones and plans that benefit the rich and powerful developers in town in spite of neighbors disapproval. He also was good at denying any small business owner the same rights of passage he let the big guys have.

Nick’s actions actually helped me coin the phrase that the Planning Commission was “throwing a flaming football” at the city council.

Nick always had an excuse, “I have to approve this because it is within our zoning standards.” No, Nick, you approved it because of who it was for without any re-guard for the neighbors. He was also so smug about it during the meetings that I was surprised he didn’t have his own security detail to walk him to his car after the meetings.

He will NOT be missed.

Minnehaha County/Sioux Falls Zoning Board & Joint Planning Meeting • 4/22/19

UPDATE: Will the new Sioux Falls Planning Director be named on Tuesday?

I guess so. I find it interesting that the new title includes the word ‘Development’;

Mayor Paul TenHaken is excited to announce the appointment of Jeff Eckhoff as the City of Sioux Falls’ next Director of Planning and Development Services.

Eckhoff is a 1982 graduate of South Dakota State University and completed his master’s degree in administrative studies from the University of South Dakota in 1997. Originally from Hurley, SD, Eckhoff and his wife, Gea, live in Sioux Falls and have two adult children, Lynnea and Logan.

With a strong background in economic development, project management and organizational leadership, Eckhoff will add incredible value to the City in his Director role. Since 2012, Eckhoff has led the South Dakota Small Business Development Center. Prior to SBDC, Eckhoff was the executive director for the Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations (LCEDA/MCEDA) from 1996 to 2012 and director of operations for Turning Point (now Volunteers of America) from 1993 to 1996.


Sioux Falls Planning Department Director Mike Cooper says commissioners can vote NO

Last week when Director Cooper was addressing Dem Forum I asked him a simple question, “Can commissioners vote NO on an item the Planning Department recommends approval of?”

He said ‘YES’ and quickly clarified they are ‘volunteers’.

I have often argued whether or not board members are paid or volunteer doesn’t matter. You still have to understand your duties affect many people and you still have to approach the position with integrity. In other words your decisions matter.

I asked the question because I often hear members of the commission (past and present) say they HAVE TO vote to approve something that is recommended. By law, they don’t have to. So the next time a commission member tells you that from the dais, remind them that they have the power and legal right to vote against a recommendation or as Cooper said to me, they can also amend it.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda • April 2, 2019

City Council Informational Meeting • 4 PM

Presentations on;

• CVB Strategic Plan

• Administrative Goals from COS Beck (I guess after almost a year in office PTH has goals)

• City Council Budget Discussion (wonder if anyone will have anything to add this time around?)

• City Council Leadership Election Ordinance (There is an attached PDF of the proposed changes by Councilor Brekke). I don’t know all the details, but it seems now there will be public council discussion about the nominations instead of it getting all decided ahead of time thru private phone calls and emails.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM

Item #7, Approval of Contracts, while I understand that we have to dispose of the sandbags & we will probably be reimbursed by FEMA. I betcha if you asked the public they would take care of those bags real quick for FREE.

Item #8, Change Orders, apparently now we are giving contractors (who work on outdoor infrastructure projects) extra money due to ‘weather’. Isn’t that something you would pad in your bid? “Oh, I didn’t realize it would be harder to work in the winter than in the summer. Who knew?”

Item #56, Ordinance, 1st Reading, the first set of bonds for Water Reclamation

Item #57, Ordinance, 1st Reading, Changing ominations and election for council leadership

Item #61, Notice of Appropriation Transfers, there seems to be a lot of money being transferred from arterial road repairs.

Planning Commission Meeting • Wed, April 3 • 6 PM

Lifescape’s Damage Control? (Guest Post – Jannelle Cain)

Did anyone notice the shout out on KFSY News last night they have a half hour special coming up Saturday night, March 30 from 6:30-7 pm called “Empowered by Lifescape”. It will run every day next week at noon on the CW channel. How does a nonprofit have enough money for a fully produced half hour advertisement in the aftermath of a public lawsuit on the abuse of a resident last summer? And let’s not forget the fiasco of how they tried to force the street closure of Elmwood Avenue and all the bad press they have created for themselves through their tactics not just in the neighborhood but throughout the city.

Are they looking for donations or something bigger?

In the news recently, Sanford Health partnered with the VA for research with a $25 million research grant from T. Denny. Does Sanford have expansion plans in the VA neighborhood?

Lifescape had their orders and failed to get the street donated and made A LOT of people angry in this city.  They may have even lied directly to the City Council about moving. Lifescape has already admitted once in this process they want/desire to move within 5 years, but as these things go, they need a buyer.

I would love to still support Lifescape as a neighbor, but the process they used to close the street has left a bad taste in my mouth and a rather chapped hide. I was denied a meeting with the Foundation, and with CEO Steve and VP Rick DeSanto when I requested it on the safety issue of the parking lot for their employees. I received a call at exactly 5:30 pm, one half hour after my business closes so Rick thought he would get my voicemail, however, I answered personal. It was obvious it was a written/prepared statement 8 hours and 20 minutes after my call to request the meeting and told them what I wanted to discuss.  In the return call I was told “Your intentions are “disingenuous” and that I do not believe in the mission of Lifescape or care about their employees or the people they serve.”  That could not be further from the truth, if they would have taken the time to talk to me, they would know that my aunt and maternal grandmother and grandfather were all crippled from mercury poisoning during my Mom’s senior year in high school.  So by the end of that year at graduation she was working 3 jobs, buying them a house in town, and had her younger sister enrolled in the ND Cripple Children’s School after she was released from the University of Minnesota Hospital.

I wish Lifescape luck on their attempt to the gain positive public opinion and raise money with their half hour commercial. It’s unfortunate that a few bad apples at the organization are over turning the apple cart of an otherwise useful and well intentioned institution.

Sioux Falls Planning Commission, Wed, March 6, 2019

Planning Meeting, 6 PM (Carnegie)

Item#3D, Reifel Middle School Rezone from AG Land

Item#6D, Another Telephone Booth VL Casino, it looks like the Planning Commission is recommending denial of the Conditional Use Permit. It will be interesting to see why. When I viewed this last night, there was a spreadsheet about the incompatibility, It’s not appearing anymore in SIRE.

Item#6F, Avera’s 2nd pot shot at ripping up a neighborhood, this one is about as clear as mud.

Does Avera plan to bulldoze an entire neighborhood?

FF: 4:56 (Ironically the Planning office says they are working with them so they don’t disrupt the neighborhood. Huh?)

Avera has new zoning notices up at 24th and Cliff AND also at 7th/8th  and 24th.

These are pink signs vs. the orange ones that were originally posted for the Feb Planning Commission meeting.  The NEW pink signs are posted at both locations.

Seems like a sneaky strategy to have zoning requests at 2 different planning commission meetings with 24th and Cliff now added in. Why wasn’t this done all at once? Hmmmm.

They own approximately 49 out of the 64 homes in the neighborhood.  It seems they plan to have 8th, 9th and 10th Avenues vacated at some point in the future! Do you really believe they will be able to move ALL of those houses? Not likely.

This cutting up our core neighborhoods like pie has got to end.

In Benders Market Outlook it was mentioned there was a at 9.8% vacancy rate with apartments in Sioux Falls and;

Overall, the multifamily real estate cycle is expected to remain in the recessionary stage.

I have often argued that many developers in Sioux Falls don’t have a long term plan with their properties, I maintain they are only looking on how they can make money TODAY without worrying about the future. I think by cutting up these core neighborhoods with affordable first time homebuyer houses they are forcing more younger families and seniors on a fixed income into rentals. I have even heard a planning official say that living in an apartment is appealing because it is a maintenance free lifestyle. What they don’t mention is when you move out of that apartment, you get $0 back for investing in someone else’s property. As a city we should be promoting home ownership over renting at all costs and we need to put the brakes on bulldozing our affordable neighborhoods, we also need to end TIFs for apartments and invest that money in saving our core neighborhoods.

Has the Midco Aquatic Center caused parking issues around the VA?

I won’t get into the argument about whether we needed an indoor public pool or not in Sioux Falls, that ship has sailed. But I do know the neighbors of Spellerberg opposed the location, mainly due to parking issues with the VA. We all knew at the time that the VA wasn’t going anywhere and was expanding. We also know that the VA has a quit claim deed on Spellerberg, so if they want to expand either buildings or parking, they have the right to do so in Spellerberg park. SAVE Spellerberg warned of these issues before the vote. They fell on deaf ears. Now we have an expanded VA, which needed more parking, so they cancelled their lease with Lifescape and we have an indoor pool with a parking lot next to the VA that sits empty most of the time. Earlier this week, a member of SAVE Spellerberg and a Veteran and Volunteer at the VA sent an email to the City Council, here is a portion of it talking about the parking issues;

Parking is a problem with all city projects going back decades.  The city and NFPs intentionally build where there is insufficient parking expecting residential street parking to be a cost savings option.  City leaders have routinely handed over streets to business for their convenience, making homeowners/taxpayers second class to the business of city hall.

Not only do I personally think Spellerberg Park was a bad location for an indoor pool, the evidence is showing that it was a HORRIBLE location. Destroying a park for larger parking, and not having any space for expansion of the facility.

I truly believe if the pool would not have gone in there, the VA would have been able to expand parking to accommodate their future needs as well as Lifescape. I found it interesting that NO ONE brought up the reason why there is congestion, because all of the facilities next to each other. Maybe this SAVE Spellerberg person is right;

Lifescape’s poor planning the last 30 years has caused them with the help of city leaders to promote the decline of the very neighborhood that has supported them.

Maybe this is one of the reasons they put Midco at Spellerberg, so they could institutionalize the neighborhood. Seems their plan hit a snag Tuesday Night.