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City, Group Reacts to Walmart Decision

June 23, 2014, 6:02 PM by Brady Mallory

City, Group Reacts to Walmart Decision

A group that spoke out against a Sioux Falls Walmart says it will, "respect the decision of the South Dakota Supreme Court."   The high court has upheld a lower court's decision, allowing the annexation of land into the city, which is now slated for the Walmart store. 

"For us, it really verified that, yes, we are following the right process," Sioux Falls City Planning Director Mike Cooper said.

The Save Our Neighborhood group had argued the land annexation was illegal because the City didn't first get Lincoln County's approval.  A circuit court judge ruled the City did not need Lincoln County approval because the landowner voluntarily wanted the land annexed into city limits.

In a statement to KELOLAND News, Save Our Neighborhood's spokesperson wrote:

"Our concern with the annexation of the Holman property was not that the property should never be annexed.  Rather, we were asking the City to be certain that the annexation and development of the property was done in an orderly manner by working with Lincoln County to ensure that traffic concerns and the potential impact on drainage for downstream property owners was fully studied and taken into consideration.  Although the South Dakota Supreme Court recognized that our state annexation statutes are unclear, they resolved the ambiguity in favor of the City.  While we would have preferred a different outcome, we respect the decision of the South Dakota Supreme Court."

Cooper said this decision also impacts future annexation projects because it could be looked at as a precedent for when a landowner volunteers his or her land for development.  As for the Walmart itself, Cooper said we could see the next steps in the project in the upcoming months.

"It does open up, we believe, the next step that if Walmart chooses to come here, which we believe they probably will, to keep moving forward," Cooper said.

The next steps involve City officials finalizing building and development plans for the site, according to Cooper.

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