Who is Smart Growth Sioux Falls?

Smart Growth Sioux Falls is the official municipal ballot question committee for the promotion of forward-thinking, sustainable development within Sioux Falls city limits.

What is the goal of Smart Growth Sioux Falls?

We’re working to ensure the residents of Sioux Falls get a vote on controversial plans to open a new slaughterhouse near the heart of our city. That is why we are gathering signatures on a petition to put the issue on the ballot.

How can I help?

The rules for petition gathering require all signatures to be collected in person. Our volunteers are walking door-to-door and collecting signatures at events around Sioux Falls. To sign up for the petition drive or to volunteer, click here. You also can support our campaign by clicking here to make a donation.

What’s wrong with building a slaughterhouse within city limits?

Processing six million hogs annually near the heart of Sioux Falls raises serious concerns impacting our quality of life. The facility is so large it would have its own wastewater treatment plant and sewage lagoon, and “heavy industrial” use of this specific site ignores the city’s own 2040 Comprehensive Plan. We believe any new slaughterhouse should be built beyond city limits, where it doesn’t raise the same widespread concerns about odor, traffic, water quality, housing, and other issues.

What is your proposed solution?

The proposed ballot measure would add language to the city code stating that “no new slaughterhouse may be constructed, or be permitted to operate, within city limits.”


Notably, the petition expressly exempts any existing animal slaughter facilities, and it does not affect any changes or expansions at existing sites. Our focus is on the future, and we want to promote the next generation of jobs for Sioux Falls, without burdening those who already live and work in our city.


Here is the full text:


Section 1. That the Code of Ordinances of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Chapter 160: Zoning, is hereby amended by adding a new section, to be numbered 160.045, which section reads as follows:




(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, no new Slaughterhouse may be constructed, or be permitted to operate, within the city limits.


(b) This section does not apply to any existing Slaughterhouse constructed and operating before the effective date of this section. This section does not apply to the expansion or alteration of any Slaughterhouse constructed and operating before the effective date of this section so long as such expansion or alteration occurs at the existing site.

Why are you focused on the new slaughterhouse?

This massive project has flown under the radar with no serious study or opportunity for community input. The voters of Sioux Falls deserve a say in the matter before we rush ahead on a new slaughterhouse near our homes, businesses, and schools.

Are voters aware of this proposed project by Wholestone Farms?

Our attention to this issue is the result of countless conversations with employers and residents in Sioux Falls. Initially, few were aware of the project, but as awareness rises, so do the same widespread concerns about the profound impact on the health, safety, and quality of life of area residents. That’s why we felt the need to get organized and protect the future of our city.

Wouldn’t meatpacking jobs be good for the city?

Sioux Falls residents want to see city leaders bring in high-skilled, high-wage jobs. Given those aims, we should be focused on innovation, education, and technology. Simply put, another heavy industrial slaughterhouse doesn’t help attract the kind of businesses and jobs that we envisioned for the future of Sioux Falls.

Would you support the slaughterhouse in another location?

Yes. Agriculture is a top industry in the state of South Dakota, and we understand the importance of value-added agriculture, including meat processing, to regional farmers. That’s why we fully support moving the project outside of city limits – closer to the farmers it serves, and further from commercial and residential neighborhoods where it would do more harm than good.

We’re not alone. Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken shared similar reservations about this project’s impact on our over-burdened housing and labor market, noting “these are not normal circumstances. While I have been and continue to be supportive of value-added agriculture investments in our region, I have a duty to note the challenges currently being faced within our community at this time.”