A new package of zoning rules was approved by the City Council by unanimous vote in 2013, but will be approved or rejected by the voters in the form of Referred Law Three.  

The current zoning laws in place for Sioux Falls have been in place since 1983.  Shape Places was designed to upgrade the previous statute, though opponents want a little more tweaking done before the 200-plus page standard is adopted.

Greg Neitzert wants the measure to pass.  “Shape Places gives homeowners more rights and more options.  It makes the new zoning ordinance consistent, predictable and upfront.  It eliminates surprises in your neighborhood like having homeless shelters show up.  In commercial districts, you know what size of building is going to get built.”

Dana Palmer helped lead the effort to bring Shape Places to a vote and is against passage because of a few major issues though she readily admits that most of Shape Places is beneficial.  “The lack of public input and the upzoning and downzoning without public notice are problematic.  For example what would be considered C-4 under the old rules would look much different if classified C-4 under Shape Places.  We want to fix those issues before the law goes into effect.”

Many consider this item on the ballot the most crucial, but least understood of the issues that voters will decide.  Please take the time to inform yourself before making your choice.  To get an in-depth feel for the issue, please sample the debate in six separate segments.

Segment 1:  Introduction to Shape Places.

Segment 2:  Digging deeper in what zoning rules can and cannot do plus defining “Green Dots.”

Segment 3:  A quick response to a previous volley in Segment 2.

Segment 4:  Breaking down Residential Zones in the City and buffering from Commercial Districts.

Segment 5:  Passing the law doesn’t mean closing the door.

Segment 6:  Final thoughts from both sides of the issue.