Rapid City South Valley Drive Annexation Veto Referendum (2009)
Supporters of the veto referendum filed about 2,400 signatures with Rapid City election officials on January 9, about 300 more than are required to force the issue onto the citywide ballot in June.
At issue is the Rapid City Council's recent ordinance seeking to annex 262 acres near S.D. Highway 44 and South Valley Drive.
In 2008, Rapid City embarked on a renewed effort to annex areas that are in a separate political jurisdiction but are, geographically, completely encircled by city limits. This area is sometimes known as the "doughnut hole."
In June 2008, the city annexed about 500 acres along North Valley Drive. Its efforts to annex the South Valley Drive area have proven less popular.
The city wanted to add 900 acres. The Pennington County Commission rejected the city's bid for unplatted property in that area. The city council voted to annex 262 acres of platted property, and the area's residents responded with the idea of challenging the city council's action on the ballot.
The referendum was approved.
Opponents of annexation
Reasons that residents of the affected area give for opposing the annexation are:
- The belief that the city won't provide the same kind of service the county now provides.
- Higher city taxes.
- Uncertainty about whether the city plans to condemn homes to extend the Rapid Creek floodplain greenway.
Who can vote
In the June election, all registered voters in the city and in the proposed annexation area will be able to vote on the issue.