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Citizens Petition New Zoning Ordinance

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The city of Sioux Falls passed a newly revised zoning ordinance called Shape Places back in March, which means some big changes will go into effect Friday, April 19, 2013.

However, there are some Sioux Falls residents who aren’t happy with the changes and they’re hoping to put a stop to them.

Over the past few days, this group of concerned citizens in Sioux Falls has been on a quest for signatures. It’s a petition that would stop Shape Places in its tracks, and instead; put the ordinance to a public vote.

While Shape Places updates rules that hadn’t been touched in about 20 years, it also changes zoning requirements for some commercial buildings; and it’s that part that has some a little upset.

“If it’s zoned C-4, then under this new zoning ordinance; you can build a building of unlimited size. That does concern us because it takes away a lot of the public input in the zoning process,” says Dana Palmer of Sioux Falls.     

This Thursday evening, the group met at the Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. They’ve gotten the 5,100 signatures required for a public vote, and now those signatures have been notarized.

Now, it’s just a waiting game. The city must verify the signatures for it to be official.

But if it does happen to make it on the ballot, the measure would require businesses over 75,000 square feet to apply for a permit before they start to build.

This would affect businesses like Wal-Mart, which is looking to build a new store at 85th and Minnesota; but that’s not the only business it could impact.

“It affects a number of areas around town and we think it adversely affects a number of places around town because it has up-zoned a number of areas,” says Palmer.      

But even if they have enough signatures, it’s still a long road ahead; and they realize if it does come to a vote, the final decision would lie in the hands of all Sioux Falls citizens to decide the fate of Shape Places.

“If the public weighs in and decides that they are happy with the ordinance, then you know; we have to live with that,” says Palmer.

If you’d like to know more about the petition, you can visit “Save Our Neighborhood” online here .
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