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Building Permits Surge

April 17, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Building Permits Surge

Now that the weather is getting nicer, construction projects are picking up all over Sioux Falls.

Contractors have been standing in line at city hall applying for building permits, but the nice weather isn't the only reason there's a seasonal surge.

One by one contractors and homeowners have been filing into the building service's desk at city hall.

Some are applying for building permits, others are just asking questions and a lot of those questions pertain to the new zoning laws called Shape Places that was overwhelmingly passed during last week's citywide election.

"They say I don't know what the new thing is, but I know what I was dealing with the old, can't we just do what was here before and you go no there was an election, it got passed and they go huh," city planner Jeff Schmitt said.

Whether it's a home or a large apartment complex, Shape Places tells builders and contractors what they can and cannot do.

"What we tell them is you have to have this many parking spaces, the building can only be this size, you can have this many trees and you can be on this location," Schmitt said.

Schmitt says some contractors waited to apply for building permits this week to see if Shape Places would pass, but it's not the main reason people are standing in line. 

"We're going to be busy because it's Sioux Falls and it's construction season, we are not going to be more or less busy because we passed new zoning laws," Schmitt said.

Anyone who got a building permit before Shape Places passed will get to finish their work under the old zoning laws.  
Shape Places re-places a 30-year-old zoning ordinance with one that follows the City's growth plan.

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