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SF City Council Approves Zoning Ordinance

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On Tuesday night, the Sioux Falls City Council voted seven to zero to change zoning districts throughout the entire city.

The new city ordinance is called Shape Places, and it now replaces the current ordinance, which had not been updated since 1983.

The public discussion lasted around two hours Tuesday night, and it was a full house, there weren't enough chairs to seat everyone.

Even though Shape Places has held 15 public meetings, a lot of citizens said they just found out about Shape Places and asked the council for more time, a wish they didn't get.

"There's 279 pages in this and to expect people who are just now hearing about it and just seeing the presentation for the first time to understand how comprehensive that is and where it goes, I think that's a little mind boggling,” said Michelle McMurray a Sioux Falls resident.

"If you put it off for a short period of time, I don't see any great harm after five years of developing it, "said Jerry Erickson, a Sioux Falls resident.

That's where Chief Zoning & Planning Official, Jeff Schmitt comes in.

Schmitt said the city-planning department has been looking into rezoning the city for years urging changes to areas such as residential and commercial districts.

Changes he said will help simplify districts for people in Sioux Falls.

"It has more development options, it's very consistent and predictable. It has new and innovative site plan options and has a much more user friendly format," said Schmitt.

Going along with the council's decision, Schmitt said revamping zoning districts in Sioux Falls, follows public input from citizens who are pushing for change.

During the meeting, some councilors said a big concern is citizens not being informed about the zones they live in and the possible changes.

They hope this meeting has helped people become more informed.

To find out more about Shape Places and how it could impact your neighborhood, visit

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