More groups campaign for city ballot issues

Two new ballot committees have formed in hopes to see through a set of issues they petitioned to put on the April 8 ballot.

One group that filed with the Sioux Falls City Clerk today changed its name slightly. You might remember Save Our Neighborhood from its opposition to a south side Walmart. Now they’re trying to save your neighborhood, too. The issue affects more than just those across the street from the proposed supercenter at 85th and Minnesota, says the group’s spokeswoman Dana Palmer.

Ballot committees must register with the city and file financial statements if they’re spending money to advocate for or against a certain measure.

Earlier this month, Walmart dropped $250,000 into a campaign supporting a ballot measure that would rezone the land for the south side store. Palmer has said her group can’t compete with that, but she’s hoping people won’t be swayed by the Building a Better Sioux Falls campaign that Walmart is funding.

“If the city allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development next to this residential area, it makes every neighborhood in the city susceptible to the whim of developers,” she said in a news release Tuesday. (See the full statement below.)

Citizens Saving Spellerberg is another ballot question committee that registered Monday. Save Spellerberg petitioned to vote on building a new outdoor pool at the neighborhood park.

They’ve got their own competition. It may not be funded at the Walmart level, but Community Swim 365 started a campaign last month to push for a no vote on the Spellerberg Pool issue. Instead of an outdoor pool, Community Swim members want the city to build an indoor aquatics center at Spellerberg Park. The group had raised $10,000 at the time it filed its first financial statement about a month ago.

Forward Zoning joined the crowd last week, hoping to convince people to support the Shape Places zoning ordinance. That leaves only snow gates without a group to tell you how to vote. 

The city will make its own attempt to explain the four measures on the spring ballot. Officials will announce dates later this week for a series of educational meetings. 

Here’s the news release from Save Your Neighborhood:

A new ballot question committee, Save Your Neighborhood, registered with the City Clerk today.  The Save Our Neighborhood group submitted the registration under a slightly different name, Save Your Neighborhood, to reflect the fact that the issues it faces and have addressed, affect neighborhoods throughout the City.  Save Your Neighborhood’s aim is to educate the public on the FACTS surrounding the rezoning of the land at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue. 

While Save Your Neighborhood lacks the financial resources of Walmart, it encourages the citizens of Sioux Falls to look past the vast funds that Walmart is expending to influence the voters’ decisions.  The group encourages citizens to discover the FACTS regarding the rezoning of this area, including the impact that rezoning of this area will have on the residential area next to it and the impact that the City’s decision will have on neighborhoods around the City.  If the City allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development next to this residential area, it makes every neighborhood in the City susceptible to the whim of developers. 

Save Your Neighborhood is not opposed to the City’s growth, but maintains that such growth must be logical and consistent.  Further, the group welcomes commercial development and a Walmart to the south side of the City, but maintains that a large commercial development is inappropriate at this particular location.  There are far more appropriate building sites in southern Sioux Falls for this store.  Those locations would replicate the same proper buffering and improved access that our fellow citizens will soon enjoy at the new Walmart at 60th & Marion.

Save Your Neighborhood urges the citizens of Sioux Falls to send the City a message:  that our neighborhoods are not for sale to the highest bidder and zoning in this City cannot be bought.  Vote “NO” on Referred Law 4.