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Shape Places Not Tied To Walmart

February 20, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Shape Places Not Tied To Walmart

In April, Sioux Falls voters will answer two questions about city zoning. The same group put them both on the ballot, which is leading to some confusion.

One ballot question would affect zoning for a single location. It would stop Walmart from building a new store of 85th and Minnesota on the south side of town.

The other will impact projects in every corner of the city. Shape Places has been in the works for years, and was approved by the city council.

The people who put it together are speaking out in hopes of sharing their vision, but also clearing up any confusion.

Shape Places is a comprehensive plan that would tweak city zoning ordinances that haven't been updated since 1983.

"Ultimately I think it's really, really good for Sioux Falls, I think how we live and work in Sioux Falls today is a whole lot different than it was 30 years ago," City Planning Commissioner Jessie Schmidt said.

Schmidt says Shape Places provides clarity to developers with something they've been wanting for years, clarity. 

"In our zoning ordinances that we're operating under now were really pretty rigid. You had two kinds of fences. It has to be this far. You have to build this big. Shape Places takes in a lot more considerations and if your building in this big, you have to have this," Schmidt said.

But there's been some confusion about Shape Places and the Wal-Mart store proposed to be built at 85th and Minnesota.   Some people think the two are tied together. City Planner Jeff Schmitt says they're not. Both items just happened to appear on the city council agenda last year at the same time.

"It got confusing for people to see both on the agenda at the city council and go whoa, obviously these things are the same thing, they're not the same thing," City Planner Jeff Schmitt said.

So Schmitt wants voters to know, when they go to the polls in April, Shape Places is a separate ballot question all on its own.

Those are just two of the issues on the April 8 Ballot.  Learn more by visiting the city's 2014 Election Information page.

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