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HB 1029: Further Limitation of County Authority over Condition Use Permits Not Overwhelmingly Popular in House

The Department of Agriculture (and Natural Resources) is pushing another favor for factory feedlots and other corporate exploiters of the earth. House Bill 1029 makes two substantive changes that make it easier for developers of concentrated animal feeding operations and other business activities to get conditional use permits from their counties.

First, HB 1029 changes the vote required to approve a conditional use permit from a majority of all members of the county commission or zoning board or whoever else may be deciding the merits of the application to a majority of members present and voting. That means that if you have a five-member county commission and two members are absent because they’re out combining, a conditional use permit may pass with the votes of just two members.

Second, HB 1029 gives more time for developers to get their ducks in a row and finish their projects. Current law gives developers two years after approval and resolution of any appeals to start building; fail to turn dirt in that time, and the conditional use permit expires, and you have to come back and ask the county for a new permit, which opens the door for residents to protest and appeal again and for new commissioners to change the commission’s inclination. HB 1029 leaves that two-year dig-or-die provision in place, but weakens any timely-completion clauses the county may impose in the conditional use permit: counties can still require that developers complete their projects within a certain time, but that time can’t start ticking until the developers start construction.

These are small weakenings of local control over zoning, but more than a few legislators appear to recognize that every weakening matters. After proponent testimony from Agribusiness Secretary Hunter Roberts and the regular suspects from Big Ag and just a little opposition from the lonely Izaak Walton League, HB 1029 squeaked out of House Ag (and Natural Resources) on a 7–6 vote, then struggled out of the House this week Monday on a 40–30 vote.

HB 1029 and the Noem Administration’s continued war on local control gets its next hearing before Senate Ag (and Natural Resources), date still TBD.


  1. grudznick 2023-01-28 13:42

    We need to crush the powers of the counties until they acquiesce to consolidate. Make the big ones eat the small ones.

    35 counties. 35 school districts. 35 sheriffs. And take away the sheriff duties inside city limits unless they have a compact with the town to do policing.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-01-28 13:53

    Goat sausage! Now do East River!

  3. Prairie Sod 2023-01-28 14:40

    Grudznick- I am new to this site. Why do you want what you wrote to happen?

  4. e platypus onion 2023-01-28 17:33

    The pendulum always swings back the other way? South Duhkota seems to be the exception to the rule. At no time in the Earth’s lasr 5 billion years do I see anything approaching sanity control your state’s cluster-effed gubmint.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-28 20:17

    Despite the fact that they are one of the units of government “closest to the people”, the workings of county boards are certainly the most obtuse. Nobody seems to know exactly what they do, other than worry about culverts, gravel roads, and jails. Their work is reported usually in the agate type section at the back of the newspaper. When South Dakota washes away in a tidal wave of hog and cattle manure, someone will ask, “who caused that to happen?”. No one will know the answer.

  6. Lucy M 2023-01-28 20:44

    We keep getting evidence of the old truth, “The people are never safe while the legislature is in session.

  7. Mark Anderson 2023-01-28 20:46

    The pubs want total control. It’s simple. Kristi is a small wanna be dick tator. Right Ian?

  8. Richard Schriever 2023-01-29 10:05

    grudz “And take away the sheriff duties inside city limits”, So no more Sheriff’s auctions or jails in city limits, eh?

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