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Neighbors upset about West Sioux Falls rezoning

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 6:16 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As the housing demand in the Sioux Falls area continues to increase, the planning of apartments in a West Sioux Falls neighborhood is causing some friction between residents and the developer.

Around 20 neighbors gathered Sunday to show their frustration against the rezoning.

“The community does not want this out here, this is single-family dwellings out here. There are three entrances to this community and if you drive through here it’s all single-family,” said neighborhood resident Brandon Oetken.

The rezoning proposal would make the corner of 22nd Street and Mary Beth Avenue a live-work zone, allowing Nielsen Construction to build three-story apartments. Which has neighbors concerned about safety and traffic.

“The entrance is going to be on Mary Beth Avenue and 22nd, bringing so much traffic,” said Mary Beth Avenue resident Neal Bennett.

“Extra 200 cars and trucks within this development right here in six city lots and parcels like this, are you kidding me? Seven of my eight neighbors have little kids and you’re trying to bring an extra 200 cars in.” Oetken added.

With the rezoning still in its early stages, in a statement to Dakota News Now, Nielson Construction said “We know that many young families are looking for options in this type of neighborhood, with daycare that is close by and where they can be part of a growing community.”

They also highlight trying to make the best use of the space, but Bennett says apartments were never expected in this neighborhood.

“I bought my house one year ago with the understanding that this was never going to be an apartment complex. It was going to be single-family homes or an office,” said Bennett.

Nielson Construction says they are listening to concerns and will continue to refine the design of the space, and neighbors say they plan to continue to make their voices heard.

“We’re going to fight back and we’re going to do what we can. We’re going to let the city council know, we’re going to let the planning commission know. We’re going to do whatever we can, and we have a limited amount of time to get our evidence in, but, hey, we’re not going down without a fight,” said Oetken.

The rezoning proposal is set to go to the city planning commission on December 2nd, and if approved it will then go to City Council.

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