Updating Downtown Development Standards

When it comes to building in downtown Sioux Falls, The City uses design guidelines put in place in 1995.

With those being more than 20 years old, city leaders feel an update is needed to draw more people to the area.

To help with the process, they hired two consultants from Colorado.

At a public forum tonight, those consultants stressed that the most important thing is making downtown more pedestrian friendly.

Brian Dunbar with the ‘Institute for the Built Environment’ based out of Fort Collins says having more accessible entry-ways will help; possibly enforcing a maximum 10 ft. width for doorways on corner buildings.

He also suggested having consistent height regulations with the minimum being 2 stories.

The Executive Director for Downtown Sioux Falls says these standards are not meant to be restrictive, but instead welcoming.

“It’s meant to make a predictable environment for developers and property owners so that developers know what’s expected with the new development, and existing developers to know what to expect with what might go next to their property,” says Joe Batcheller.

The updated design standards will not apply to existing buildings or ones being built in the historical district since that area has its own set of standards.

And they’re not set in stone yet.

City leaders wanted to get some public input Tuesday night, so some modifications and then present them to both the Planning Commission, and City Council.