South Dakota justices agree Pennington County Commission violated state law on zoning ordinance

Capitol News Bureau
Pennington County Map

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
This story was updated to clarify that Pennington County’s new zoning ordinance was declared invalid .

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Circuit Judge Jane Wipf Pfeifle ruled correctly that the Pennington County Commission didn’t follow state law when it adopted a new zoning ordinance on mining last year, the South Dakota Supreme Court said.

The high court publicly released its unanimous decision Thursday in favor of citizens Duane Abata, Donald Burger and Barrett Wendt.

The justices said the circuit judge was right last year, when she found the 2018 zoning ordinance was void.

The judge said the county commission failed to comply with notice and hearing requirements in state law, by not providing legal notice of each of the continued hearings.

The citizens live near Perli Quarry, owned and operated by Croell Redi-Mix.

The citizens have argued that broader mining operations at the limestone site south of Rapid City would affect water quality, create dust and increase traffic.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson said the county commissioners needed to file public notices for each of the meetings when the issue was on an agenda. The commissioners twice pushed back their decision.

“The legal notice advertised the board’s discussion of the amendment as taking place on January 2, 2018. Yet, the board did not consider (zoning amendment) OA 17-02 until February 6,” the chief justice wrote.

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