Council Says No to Third Set of Petitions on Riverwalk Landing-Issue Likely Headed to Court

Fort Pierre City Council Meeting June 17, 2013 (KGFX Photo)


FORT PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) A third set of petitions that sought a public vote on some elements of the proposed Riverwalk Landing project were rejected by the Fort Pierre City Council Monday.  An election date of July 9 has already been set after an initial set of petitions were approved for a vote on the development’s boat storage plans.  Mark and Glennis Zarecky have been working for more than five years on the $16 million dollar project, which would include a marina, restaurant, retail shops, a boat servicing location, dry dock and convention center.  Diane London, who owns Perkins Restaurant, located near the proposed project, has objected to the some of the council’s decisions on the project.  The most recent opposition is to the council’s May rulings on a deferred development fee and zoning changes for the project.  The council said no earlier this month to a second set of petitions that were turned in-saying the topic of the petitions was too broad.  At Monday’s meeting, City Attorney Dick Tieszen told the council that the first set of petitions that were placed on the ballot dealt with legislative actions by the council and the last two petitions were attempting to refer administrative acts.  He said though the third set removed a reference to a project not related to Riverwalk Landing, they were as defective as the second set had been.

Now,London’s lawyer, McLean Thompson Kerver says the next option is taking Monday’s decision to circuit court.  She says the council’s ruling was legislative in nature and says she had expected the council might change their opinion on allowing the vote on the newest petitions.

Thompson Kerver says now, plans call for trying to get the court to place the latest objections on the ballot and to change the election date so that both issues can be voted on at the same time.

Mayor Sam Tidball says the July 9 election date on the initial petitions can not be changed.

He says he is confident in the decisions made by the council Monday on the most recent petitions.

Tidball says looking back; he never anticipated that the project would go through what it is currently facing.

Thompson Kerver says she is ready to file paperwork this week to bring the issues to court.

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