Meade County Planning docs indicate Hideaway Hills stakeholders knew about mine in as early as 2006

STURGIS, S.D. — The Meade County Equalization and Planning and Emergency Management offices have gone through years of documents dating back to the origination of the Hideaway Hills subdivision in Black Hawk where a sinkhole revealed a mine weeks ago.

The documents, found in archives, reference project plans and meetings dating back to July of 2000.

Both departments have declined to comment on the documents, that show multiple references to a mine before homes were ever built.

On July 17, 2000, a resident who lives adjacent to the subdivision, told the planning board at the time that there was a “serious drainage problem.” In the area and was promised it would be fixed by Doug Spierlich, whose role is unclear in the documents.

The final phase of the project was approved October 2, 2002.

Bill Rich is the current Deputy Director, Equalization and Planning, he says, “We actually go to the properties and look at them. We see any anomalies we’ll bring that up and make recommendations whether we feel there should be more information submitted.”

Information about a mine was introduced to stakeholders on July 19, 2006, meeting notes read:

There was discussion about a road issue in hideaway hills #1. Kale McNaboe (engineer) said he would try to answer any questions the board had. The original developers want to close off part of daisy drive because it is caving into the old underground mine. They want to use private driveways for the emergency turnarounds where the road will end. They have tried to repair the road, but it is still sinking. The planning board told Mr. McNaboe to tell his clients to fix the road properly because they will not approve the closing of Daisy Drive.

“We have rules on looking at geology. There are subdivisions built on former garbage dumps, refuse dumps. I don’t know if that’s a good idea. So we try to be careful with what we’re looking at.”

And Meade County has no zoning meaning there’s nothing to regulate what goes on a tract of land.

“If there are concerns then they’ll have to come up with professionals, staff to say why it will work. We have denied projects in the past, probably will in the future because it’s the wrong location or it doesn’t work.”

Newscenter-1 has attempted to reach out to the planning director at the time the subdivision was approved, Kirk Chaffee, and to Developer Keith Kuchenbecker and McNaboe, but no replies

To view the docs, visit HERE.

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