SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As an advisory council starts to seek public input, city council members brought up topics members should be prepared to discuss. 

The topics included past controversies regarding railyard development, parking ramp development, the 10th Street viaduct, scooters and walkability. Those were just a few of the topics city council members brought up after being updated on the 2035 Downtown Plan during Tuesday’s informational meeting. 

Business lawyer and member of the Sioux Falls Planning Commission Erik Nyberg said there have been four meetings by an advisory committee for the 2035 Downtown Plan. Nyberg called on city council members to reach out on the Downtown 2035 Plan advisory committee to provide input. 

City community development coordinator Dustin Powers said the committee will start meeting monthly and seek as much public feedback and input as possible. 

Powers, who was part of the 2025 Downtown Plan created in 2014, said growing the residential base of downtown was a big part of the 2025 plan along with walkability.  

Powers noted there’s been $300 million of private development to downtown and that number will be doubled in the next two years with development at Cherapa Place II and the Steel District. Powers said that number, $300 million of private development, may triple in future years. 

After the presentation, council member Greg Neitzert first asked about the boundaries of downtown. Neitzert noted the boundaries did not expand in the 2025 plan.

Powers said the group will take a look at expanding the boundaries. 

“I think it will be a major conversation,” Powers said. 

Neitzert also said a major focus needs to be on walkability and asked about scooters. 

“It’s something that comes up and people ask about it,” Neitzert said. “It’s a major discussion point.” 

Neitzert also called Minnesota Avenue and 14th Street “barriers to downtown” and encouraged ways to look at helping walkability around those streets. 

New council member Rich Merkouris asked about how current city assets for rail yard lots and the parking ramp will be considered. Director of planning Jeff Eckoff said the parking ramp will be a very scrutinized process, but hopes to have a timeline for city council members on moving forward soon. 

Council member Alex Jensen asked about the 10th Street viaduct and when it will need to be replaced or repaired. Jensen said there’s some people who would like to see them come down to help enter downtown from the east side of the city. 

Neitzert said current residents of downtown complain about cars and motorcycles speeding on the viaduct.

Neitzert also brought up surface parking lots and noted some cities ban surface parking lots within downtowns.