SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A group looking to stop future meatpacking and animal production plants from being built in Sioux Falls city limits has submitted signatures. 

The group called Smart Growth Sioux Falls has been trying to gather 6,000 signatures, 5% of registered Sioux Falls voters, to get the question of banning animal production plants from being built inside Sioux Falls on the ballot. 

On Thursday, Smart Growth Sioux Falls says it gathered more than 10,000 petition signatures and submitted the signatures to the city.

The signatures will need to be validated by the Sioux Falls City Clerk office. 

Specifically, the ballot measure wants to amend zoning ordinances for Sioux Falls to so that “no new slaughterhouse may be constructed, or be permitted to operate, within the city limits.” The second section says it would not apply to any existing slaughterhouses already operating in Sioux Falls and it would not prevent them from expanding. 

The issue would be voted on by registered voters that fall inside city limits, including voters in both Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties. 

“Collecting this many signatures, far above the 6,089 required, in such a short time frame demonstrates the high level of concern Sioux Falls residents have about adding more slaughterhouses within our city,” Robert Peterson, treasurer of Smart Growth Sioux Falls, said in a news release.

The petition started in response to Wholestone Farms, which announced in 2021 it purchased 175 acres in Sioux Falls near Interstate 229 and Benson Road for a hog processing plant. If passed by voters, Peterson said the new city code would halt the Wholestone Farms project.

Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone Holdings and Chairman of the board for Wholestone Farms, told KELOLAND News in April the location where Wholestone Farms bought land after years of working with the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the city of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. 

Glenn Muller with the South Dakota Pork Producers Council told KELOLAND News the petition’s language would set a bad precedent for Sioux Falls. 

“I think it sets a strong precedent that could be used in other businesses that could be very concerning for further economic development of Sioux Falls,” Muller said. 

“Citizens should choose whether or not they want new slaughterhouses stinking up our community, destroying our water, and piling up traffic within city limits,” Peterson said in the release.