Planning and Building Services Top 10 Wins

  1. Record Building Permit Valuation: For the fifth year in a row, the City of Sioux Falls set a record for total construction value for commercial and residential building permits . The new high mark for 2017 was $739,324,818, which was a 5.34 percent increase from the previous record of just more than $700 million in 2016. This number was driven in part by the addition of 2,410 dwelling units constructed in 2017 and the construction of 11 commercial buildings with a valuation of more than $10 million each. Building Services staff also performed 56,382 inspections in 2017.
  2. Customer Self Service (CSS) Implementation: In order to make the permitting and payment process more accessible and convenient, Planning and Building Services was the first City department to roll out Customer Self Service (CSS). By allowing online access, licensed contractors and residents can now search more than 1.5 million records including plans, permits, and code cases via the CSS online portal in real time at www.siouxfalls.org/css. People are now able to apply for certain permits, schedule and track inspections, make payments, and access additional applications for conditional use and rezoning plans. They can do this from the comfort of their office or home and at any time of the day.
  3. Annexation Task Force: In 2017, the Annexation Task Force held seven public meetings and developed a five-criterion system to determine when property owners should be approached by the City regarding annexation. The first criteria must be met, which requires that all land surrounding the proposed annexation area be 100 percent developed. In addition, one of the remaining four criteria must also be met prior to annexation discussions. These findings were accepted by the City Council and are available at www.siouxfalls.org/annexation.
  4. Rental Registration Ordinance Update: In 2017, Code Enforcement took the initiative to revamp the Rental Registration ordinance to capture a larger audience and to ensure that all rental properties in Sioux Falls were registered with the City. As a result, the City now has a much more efficient way of tracking all of the properties that are registered. This benefits both the City and property owners and allows for more effective communication.
  5. Floodplain Map Amendments: 2017 was a big year for floodplain updates . The City’s levee system was recertified through a multiyear process prior to 2017, and the revised floodplain maps resulting from this effort became effective early in 2017. As an outcome, about 3,500 properties were removed from the regulated floodplain. Additionally, in late 2017, new floodplain maps became effective for southwest Sioux Falls that corrected existing maps from predevelopment design to post development design. Approximately 270 affected properties in the southwest were removed from the regulated floodplain.
  6. 2017 National Electric Code Adoption: To remain consistent with the South Dakota State Electrical Commission, the City adopted the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC). This is the world’s most widely adopted and up-to-date electrical code . Published by the National Fire Protection Association, the NEC is revised every three years. It establishes minimum standards for the installation of all facets of electrical systems and features the latest and most technological advancement in industry standards for the practical safeguarding of the public and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.
  7. Comprehensive Plan and Joint Jurisdiction Updates: While talks began in 2016, the City of Sioux Falls was able to finalize agreements with the neighboring municipalities of Crooks, Tea, and Harrisburg and with Minnehaha and Lincoln counties in 2017 to revise the comprehensive plan and joint jurisdiction boundaries. These agreements will enable continued growth and organized development for the next 25 to 35 years for the entire Sioux Falls area. The previous plan was adopted in December 2009.
  8. Downtown Design Standards Adopted: With increasing construction activity in the Downtown Planned Unit Development, it was time to amend the 1998 design standards. The new document requires buildings, parking, open space, and signage to be compatible with the character of the district and fit in with their surroundings, thereby reinforcing the visual quality of the area, preserving property values, and supporting the tourism potential of downtown.
  9. First Citizen Planning Academy: In 2017, Sioux Falls residents were encouraged to apply for the first Citizen Planning Academy. Classes were held and involved two sessions covering comprehensive planning, zoning, the public hearing process, transportation, neighborhood planning, urban design, and topics suggested by the attendees. The goal of the Citizen Planning Academy was to empower residents to achieve a better understanding of community planning so they could effectively engage in neighborhood and community planning efforts. Twenty-eight people graduated from the academy and said they would “highly recommend it to other Sioux Falls citizens.”
  10. Strategic Plan Implementation: In the second full year of implementation, a number of strategic plan tasks for Planning and Building Services were administered. A staffing plan was implemented, including job cross-training and new hiring policies. There was an increased emphasis on promoting value to the community, including 15 item-specific presentations to the City Council. Additionally, staff and customers were trained on new software and efficiency policies. The department was successful in staff knowing priorities, engaging in these priorities, and communicating them to customers.