This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: A document issued Friday afternoon was from Smart Growth Sioux Falls and not the court.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Construction has finished on the butcher shop built by Wholestone Farms near Interstate 229 and Benson Road, according to Luke Minion.
Minion is the CEO of Pipestone Holdings and Chairman of the board for Wholestone Farms. He told KELOLAND News Friday he believes the butcher shop has all the proper permits in place and there’s been no judge order or court ruling telling Wholestone Farms to stop moving forward with opening the “custom slaughterhouse.”
Minion did not say when Wholestone Farms plans to open the butcher shop, but added he was not aware of any future court hearing dates as of Friday morning.
On Oct. 19, a judge ruled Smart Growth’s findings of face was not accepted and rejected by the court. That document was filed Friday, Oct. 14 from Smart Growth says “Smart Growth’s motion for preliminary injunction is granted. The City may not take any action relating to the butcher shop that might alter or preempt the effect of the initiative.”
Earlier on Friday an affidavit was filed from Richard “Butch” Warrington (court document attached). Warrington is the Chief Building Services Official with the city of Sioux Falls. Minion said Warrington’s affidavit argues the city followed all the proper channels when granting permits.
On Thursday, a memorandum from Wholestone was filed “in opposition to Smart Growth’s application for writ of mandamus, writ of prohibition and declaratory judgment and certificate of service.”
The memorandum from Wholestone Farms argues the “writ of mandamus” can’t compel the undoing of a completed act.
“South Dakota law is clear. The South Dakota Supreme Court has consistently held that mandamus is not available to undo acts that have already been completed. Mandamus is not available to undo the city’s issuance of the building’s permits or certificate of occupancy in this case.”
Earlier this week, Smart Growth Sioux Falls announced Judge Sandra Hoglund Hanson ruled in its favor to “revoke all permits approved by the city for Wholestone since the slaughterhouse measure qualified for the ballot.”
Smart Growth Sioux Falls treasurer Robert Peterson told KELOLAND News Friday Judge Hanson found that all of Wholestone’s permits are illegal.
“So if they try to operate they are breaking the law,” Peterson said in a statement to KELOLAND News. “Once again, Wholestone chooses to cherry pick the laws that they want to follow while thumbing their nose at the voters of Sioux Falls.”
The amended complaint filed says “Smart Growth Sioux Falls asks this court to issue a declaration that any action by the city to advance or issue permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals related to the butcher shop prior to November 2022 election is in violation of South Dakota law, and enjoin the city from issuing or moving forward any new permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals related to the butcher shop prior to the November 2022 election. Smart Growth also asks this court to declare that any permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals issued after the submission of the Initiative petition are void and must be revoked, canceled, or withdrawn.”
Smart Growth Sioux Falls legal counsel Brendan Johnson told KELOLAND News there was a ruling issued at a motions hearing Tuesday. He said the judge ruled the city failed to follow South Dakota State Law 9-20-11. That law says “Pending the election, the governing body may take no action with respect to the subject matter of the petition that would alter or preempt the effect of the proposed petition.”
KELOLAND News reached out to Reed Rasmussen, the Aberdeen-based attorney, representing the city of Sioux Falls to confirm if any action has been issued against the city. Any response will be added to this story.
Minion, who noted he is not a lawyer, said he was not aware of any permits being revoked as of Friday morning.
On Friday, access to the Wholestone Farms butcher shop was open off Benson Road, but Bahnson Ave. was closed to traffic from the south. Bahnson Ave. was also closed just to the south of the butcher shop.
Since July, when the petition was approved for the ballot, Wholestone Farms had said construction to finish the smaller-scale hog processing shop was aiming to be finished by the middle of October.
Smart Growth Sioux Falls also said Tuesday it was notified at 4:56 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7th, 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. Election Day is Nov. 8.