Meeting over coffee simplifies dialogue about city projects, regulations

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The Rapid City Department of Community Development has begun a new program to improve communication with the community about city development projects.

The first “Coffee with Planners” event at the City/School Administration Center (CSAC) attracted nearly 60 residents and business owners Wednesday, who had a chance to talk with city planning officials over complimentary coffee and donuts.

Among the topics discussed were residential and downtown development, as well as plans for lots vacated by businesses that have moved to the outskirts of town.

READ MORE: Vacancies present revitalization opportunity for downtown Rapid City

Current Planning Division Manager Vicki Fisher said this event is an opportunity everyone to better understand each other and the city’s policies, as well as make the CSAC an easier and friendlier place to do business.

“The rules and regulations are fairly black and white, but sometimes just not understanding what could be clearer, or hearing what may be redundant, gives us an opportunity to have those discussions one-on-one with a group of folks such as the one we had today to improve that procedure,” Fisher said.

Wednesday’s turnout exceeded expectations, and the Department of Community Development plans to seek a larger venue for the next Coffee with Planners, to be held in February.

In the meantime, any questions and concerns can be directed to the Department of Community Development online or by calling 605-394-4120.

“This is exciting for all of us; it’s a step forward for our community,” Fisher said.

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