Sturgis Council approves second reading on changes to Camping, Use on Review, Zoning Ordinances

Gary MatthewsNovember 16, 2021Local
courtesy/file photoSturgis Council approves second reading on changes to Camping, Use on Review, Zoning Ordinances

STURGIS, S.D. – At their meeting Monday night, Sturgis council members approved second and final reading on some changes to a couple of ordinances.

The first makes several changes to the residential camping ordinance.

Among the changes are limiting temporary residential camping to 21 days in a 365 day period without a permit, as well as requiring any residential camping with more than 8 persons on the property for more than three days to obtain a temporary porta-potty and trash receptacle from the city.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says they are not trying to limit people’s ability to provide  camping on their property.

“So you can still have up to 19 people, we’re not trying to limit people’s ability to have camping on residential properties and that’s a part of Sturgis and people rely on that income for their families and that’s absolutely great.”

Ainslie says what they are trying to do is to cut down on the non-conforming use.

“If you have a lot that has nothing on it and is used solely for camping, you’re able to keep doing that until you don’t do it for one year or until you transfer it. That’s because we have a lot of lots that end up being sold so that someone can use it solely for  camping. The reality is we don’t want that.”

Also passing second reading was an ordinance making some changes to Title 18, the procedures for obtaining a Use on Review.

Currently, the Planning Department sends notification letters to neighboring landowners asking if they approved of the proposed use. Ainslie says the change will require sending requests for comment.

“If it’s a variance or Use on Review, everyone would be sent a notice and be able to provide comment,” Ainslie says. “In the past, it was just, the only people that were able to do that, were if you were a property owner. So, there were residents that were renting a house sometimes next to a property but they weren’t able to provide comment.”

The changes to the Zoning Amendments would require neighboring landowners to return their notices with a confirmation or denial of the request. Previously a “no response” was considered an approval.

“It really reflects on state statute where the vote for someone who’s requesting a zoning change, the vote for that is going to be weighted on the square footage of the parcel. Before, it was based on the assessed valuation.”