Group Explains Lawsuit Filed Against SF
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
July 10, 2013 9:06 PM
A group that has been fighting the City of Sioux Falls to stop a Walmart from being built near 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue has filed a lawsuit against the city. The group called ‘Save Our Neighborhood,’ claims the city and the Sioux Falls City Council missed a crucial step in the annexation of the land the store is set to be built on.
The group said the city and the city council didn’t ask Lincoln County Commissioners if the land the Walmart is set to be built on, can be annexed into the city. So they filed the lawsuit saying that new steps need to be taken before anything else happens.
“Mayor Mike Huether has told us and the citizens of Sioux Falls a number of times to trust in the process. But the problem is that the very process we were told to trust in hasn't been followed in this case,” said Dana Palmer, 'Save Our Neighborhood.'
In a 66 page lawsuit, the residents of the a neighborhood across from the proposed Walmart on 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue stated that the City of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls City Council should not have annexed the land without seeking approval from the Lincoln County Commission.
“(We want) To enforce state law as it pertains to annexing of the property behind us,” said Palmer.
According to the petition filed, South Dakota Codified Law 9-4-5 states that, ‘Municipal annexation is subject to approval by the county commissioners if the territory is unplatted.' And that is exactly what the 39 acres of agricultural land is.
“The city made a misstep when they didn't seek the Lincoln County Commission approval,” Palmer said. “And again, we did bring that to their attention and they chose to proceed none the less.”
On Tuesday April 2, the land was annexed into the city.
“The second thing the petition does is it asks the court to put a halt so to speak on the proceedings that are occurring,” said Palmer.
The residents are asking this because they believe since the annexation wasn't done properly, the rest of the decisions made haven't been valid.
The group is also doing its own independent traffic study on how the big box store will affect the area. Walmart already did its own study and presented it to the city council. But the group said the council will benefit from seeing another.
Sioux Falls City Council members said they cannot comment on the lawsuit at this time.