Group files lawsuit against Wholestone and City of Sioux Falls

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Last year, Wholestone unveiled plans to build a facility located near i-229 and Benson.

The scope of the project, which includes a wastewater lagoon, prompted pushback from the citizen group “smart growth Sioux Falls.

The group launched a petition drive to ban future slaughterhouses in the city.

Sioux Falls voters will decide on the initiative in November.

In response, Wholestone announced plans to build a butcher shop on-site first before expanding operations.

Now, an attorney for Smart Growth Sioux Falls is asking the court to get involved.

Brendan Johnson is the attorney representing Smart Growth Sioux falls.

The organization says they will take any actions necessary to leave this issue up to voters.

Attorney Brendan Johnson filed the lawsuit against Wholestone, the City of Sioux Falls, and the city council on Thursday.

He says it’s important that that the city steps in and slows down the process in order to give voters the chance to voice their opinion in November.

“The voters are actively considering this over the next two months. The people of Sioux Falls are going to be debating this in coffee shops, at churches, throughout the community, that’s awesome I think, let us have that debate. The city council, their job, is to protect us as voters so that that debate is meaningful, and we need them to do their job by issuing a moratorium,” said Brendan Johnson, Attorney for Smart Growth Sioux Falls.

Johnson also attended the city council meeting on Tuesday to urge the council and Mayor TenHaken to slow down the process.

“I was at the Sioux Falls city council meeting, and I said to them, I said Hey, guys, time to press pause, protect the voters of Sioux falls as they decide this issue,” said Johnson.

He says this is in hopes to keep slaughterhouses outside of the city limits.

“Having a heavy hog slaughterhouse facility, fine, but outside of the city. Let’s continue within our city boundaries to have room for citizens, for parks, for churches,” said Johnson.

He says the sooner this is paused the better.

“We want to get this resolved before the November election to make it very clear that voters in Sioux Falls are voting on Wholestone, and their voting on future slaughterhouses coming into the city,” said Johnson.

In a statement to Dakota News Now, a representative for Wholestone says the company is “following the rules and regulations that are in place.” Adding that “Smart Growth is jeopardizing future business development in the community.”

We also reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the lawsuit but they declined to comment due to pending litigation.