First of two Citizen Planning Academy meetings this month held
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - By 2040, Sioux Falls is expected to grow to 280,000 people, with even more living in the surrounding area according to the City of Sioux Falls’ Planning Department. There’s a lot of growing pains and opportunities ahead for the city. So as the city grows, so does the planning department.
Part of their outreach to residents in the city is helping others understand what the department handles, and how they can get involved. For the past seven years, the department has hosted it’s Citizen Planning Academies; classes for anybody to learn more about the department and how they operate.
“We kind of adjust it every year. But we have two or three staff people that just go over different topics, and give them a cursory, like with college, a 101 class.” Planning Coordinator Jeff Schmidt said.
Thursday night’s meeting is the first of two in October. Those involved learn about the restraints that the planning department has to deal with, as well as what they’re looking for in new and current areas in the city.
“I like this quote, ‘Long range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.’ The things that we’re doing today really do impact what happens in the next 10, 15, 50, 100 years even.” Senior Planner Sam Trebilcock said.
But it’s more than just a crash course for those in attendance. It’s a chance for the department to emphasize that their doors are always open for any and all questions.
“I met somebody at a coffee shop where we were discussing something, so, ‘Can I have a follow up question with you to ask you something about housing in Sioux Falls, or roads in Sioux Falls?’ We’re like, absolutely lets do this.” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the important thing to take away from each class isn’t every rhyme or reason why they operate or follow the actions they do. But that anyone can come into their offices in the City Center, or call or email questions about the future of Sioux Falls.
“We just want to build that discussion and that back-and-forth with the citizens.” Schmidt said.
The deadline to register for the other planning academy meeting has already passed. But recordings of both meetings will be available online later, and can be found here. Schmidt said though that they’re always open for questions.
Copyright 2022 KSFY. All rights reserved.