PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A change that the South Dakota Legislature wouldn’t make three years ago to let county zoning boards have a lower threshold for approving conditional-use permits might become state law this year.

The state House of Representatives voted 40-30 on Monday for HB-1029 that its prime sponsor, Republican Rep. James Wangsness, described as a clean-up measure.

“This bill has no impact on local control,” Wangsness said.

Republican Rep. Marty Overweg told Wangsness, “I’m going to need a little more to get behind this.”

State law currently says that approval of a permit requires a majority of a county board’s members. The legislation would reduce that to a majority of the members who are present and voting.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for action.

That smaller majority is similar to the wording of the original bill that Governor Kristi Noem brought in 2020. The final version that year however left the majority at the higher level.

Republican Rep. Jon Hansen noted that the 2023 change would reduce the votes needed for approval. “It draws my ire a little bit,” Hansen said.

Countered Republican Rep. Drew Peterson, “This is a really important issue in rural areas, especially on farms.”