Public input helps planners look at city development differently

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Residents got a chance to speak with city planners over coffee about the future of Rapid City.

One of the hot topics Wednesday was the combination of commercial and residential development.

City Planning Manager Vicki Fisher said that having residential areas close to commercial development would make it easier for residents to access services.    

"One of the things that we are continuing to do with the developers as they come forward is trying to create those developments that provide services to the residential development that they're creating,” said Fisher. “We see that. If you look around at some of the newer developments along Highway 44, along Mount Rushmore Road, you will see a residential component, but there's also a commercial component being built right next to it, closer to the arterial streets to service the needs of that community."

Fisher said having residential and commercial areas next to each other is important. But after community input, the City Planning Commission is looking to remove mixed residential-commercial development from existing city ordinance. 

"The feedback that we got today was concurrence that single family and town homes including duplexes may not be appropriate along some of these arterial streets that support this kind of commercial activity,” said Fisher. “However, apartments may be appropriate. And because we are currently working at promoting mixed uses within our commercial corridors, residential that would be above the ground floor would still be something that would be available to a future developer."

The commission will host their next Coffee with a Planner in three months. That meeting will feature a new format where the public can speak to planners in smaller group settings.  

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