SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Eight years ago, Dustin Powers’ first task after being hired by the City of Sioux Falls was to help with the 2025 Downtown Plan.
Now the city community development coordinator is focused on a new plan for 2035. But before a draft of the plan can start, months and months of community engagement and public feedback is needed.
“A lively and successful downtown really reflects on the city,” Powers told KELOLAND News. “We want all of the residents, whether they live downtown or work downtown or just visit downtown and live somewhere in the community to really provide their feedback and give us their thoughts and opinions.”
So far, an advisory committee has been created and a public workshop has already been held, which Powers said around 75 people attended one of the two sessions. Feedback can be provided through an interactive website, run by a professional architect and urban planning company called Confluence.
On the website, there’s a short survey and mapping activity for the 2035 Downtown Plan. The survey asks people about how they use Downtown Sioux Falls and for ideas about the future of downtown.
Powers said the interactive website will be active all summer for public comments. In addition, the city is accepting applications for resident work groups for the 2035 Downtown Plan. The work groups will focus on nine topics: Amenities and Services, Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Environment and Design, Growth and Development, Identity and Branding, Infrastructure and Public Improvements, Parking, Safety and Transportation, Connectivity and Mobility.
“We’ll host probably three or four sessions with each group and facilitate discussion to get their feedback specific to that topic and different elements of that topic,” Powers said. “If you are interested in any of those specific topics or have any background in any of those topics, there’s a lot of different opportunities there that anyone can really get involved with.”
The deadline to apply for the workgroups is 5 p.m. Friday, June 24. You can submit an application online.
Powers said members of the Downtown 2035 plan advisory committee also plan to attend community events, farmers’ markets and other community gatherings seeking public feedback.
“We’re In the visioning process,” Powers said. “Part of that is just getting all those big ideas and bringing them to the table.”
Portland, Oregon-based Leland Consulting Group will complete a market analysis of downtown Sioux Falls which will also help the group form the final 2035 plan.
Early in the feedback process, Powers said a lot of discussion has been about handling rapid growth and development. He said he believes there’ll be “some big goals and things” that come out for the final plan.
“Our downtown has been very successful and growing over the last decade, and we want to continue that momentum,” Power said.