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Sioux Falls City Council to Debate Sweeping Zoning Changes

SIOUX FALLS – The “Shape Places” zoning ordinance is up for approval at Tuesday night’s Sioux Falls city council meeting. This is an updated zoning ordinance package that has been in the works for nearly four years and consists of nearly 300 pages. The current zoning ordinance laws have been in place since 1983.

The “Shape Places” zoning plan makes developing areas more efficient. But it may leave many home owners feeling left in the dark.

Currently under Sioux Falls law if a developer wants to build a 15,000 square foot business on a vacant lot that business must apply for a conditional use permit from the city. This action allows for public input from neighbors.

Under the new “Shape Places” all zoning laws are set in advance. If a lot is zoned commercial, the owner of that property can start construction on a 75,000 square foot building without a hearing for a conditional use permit, according to Sioux Falls City Councilor, Greg Jamison.

“It’s efficient for developers but the only thing that’s missing is the neighbors want to be involved,” said Jamison.

The potential construction of two additional Walmart stores in Sioux Falls is what may drive the city council to wait before adopting the ordinance changes.

“By all accounts a citizen should be better informed as to what could be built in a vacant lot in their neighborhood,” said Jamison. The maps are defined and available online at Siouxfalls.org http://www.siouxfalls.org/planning-building/planning/shape-places-zoning-ord.aspx

The Sioux Falls City Council meets tonight at Carnegie Town Hall, 235 West 10th Street at 7:00 pm.

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