SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — According to Smart Growth Sioux Falls, Judge Sandra Hoglund Hanson ruled the city of Sioux Falls is not to take any further action on the Wholestone Farms project until after the November election.
The decision came from a motion hearing Tuesday morning in Sioux Falls.
Wholestone Farms has started construction on smaller scale custom butcher shop on 175 acres near Interstate 229 and Benson Road. The site would also be the location of a larger meat processing plant within the city limits.
“The judge’s ruling will revoke all permits approved by the City for Wholestone since the slaughterhouse measure qualified for the ballot,” Smart Growth said in its news release.
The lawyers representing the city of Sioux Falls made a motion to dismiss a court injunction. The motion from attorney Reed Rasmussen, the attorney for Mayor Paul TenHaken and Sioux Falls City Council members, says Smart Growth Sioux Falls lacks standing and the “complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
The decision may effectively stop any construction of the Wholestone butcher shop. Smart Growth Sioux Falls said it was notified at 4:56 p.m., four minutes before a deadline, that the city issued a permit of occupancy for the butcher shop at Wholestone’s request.
Voters will decide on a ballot measure focused on whether the city of Sioux Falls will prohibit construction of new slaughterhouses within the city limits.
Sioux Falls Open for Business, the group opposing the slaughterhouse ban, said the court ruling won’t change anything.
“We will continue working to defeat this ordinance, protect business development in Sioux Falls and keep our opponents from changing rules in the middle of the game,” Christine Erickson said in a statement to KELOLAND News.
Construction has been moving along on Wholestone Farms’ “custom slaughterhouse” and Wholestone Farms is advertising positions for business manager, lead butcher and assistant butcher for its Sioux Falls butcher shop.
Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone Holdings and Chairman of the board for Wholestone Farms, told KELOLAND News in mid-September construction to finish the smaller-scale hog processing shop is on schedule to be finished by the middle of October.
On Monday, Smithfield Foods, which would be allowed to continue to operate at its current location on Weber Ave. near downtown Sioux Falls regardless if the ballot measure passes or not, said it is not taking a position on the slaughterhouse ordinance.
Jim Monroe, Smithfield Foods’ vice president of corporate affairs, told KELOLAND News the company has no plans to build a new facility in Sioux Falls.