Goos Rv Center v. Minnehaha County Com'n

Decision Date08 April 2009
Docket NumberNo. 24942.,24942.
Citation2009 SD 24,764 N.W.2d 704
CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court
PartiesGOOS RV CENTER, Lee Goos, Sr., Terry Goos and Lee Goos, Jr., Petitioners and Appellants, Alfred Lupien and Donna Lupien, Petitioners, v. MINNEHAHA COUNTY COMMISSION, Minnehaha County, Respondents and Appellees, Myrl & Roy's Paving, Inc., Intervenor and Appellees.

Thomas K. Wilka of Hagen, Wilka & Archer, P.C., Sioux Falls, for petitioners and appellants.

Gordon D. Swanson, Minnehaha County Deputy State's Attorney, Sioux Falls, for respondents and appellees, Minnehaha County Commission, Minnehaha County.

Brian Donahoe, David L. Edwards of Cutler & Donahoe, L.L.P., Sioux Falls, for intervenor and appellees, Myrl & Roys.

SABERS, Retired Justice.

[¶ 1.] Goos RV Center, Lee Goos, Sr., Terry Goos and Lee Goos, Jr., (collectively Goos) appeal the circuit court's decision affirming the Minnehaha County Commission's decision to grant a conditional use permit to Benson Farms, Inc., for gravel extraction. We affirm.

FACTS

[¶ 2.] Benson Farms owns property located north of I-90 near Highway 38 in Minnehaha County. That property is zoned in the A-1 Agriculture District. Pursuant to the Minnehaha County zoning ordinances, rock, sand and gravel extraction is allowed in that area as a conditional use if done in conformity with Article 12.08 of those ordinances. Benson Farms entered into an agreement with Myrl & Roy's Paving, Inc., for the removal of gravel from a portion of its property. That agreement was conditioned on obtaining a conditional use permit allowing the gravel extraction. The agreement allowed no more than fifteen acres to be disturbed at a time and required reclamation of the site. Benson Farms applied for a conditional use permit with the Minnehaha County Planning Commission.

[¶ 3.] Goos RV Center is a former campground that has been converted to a recreational vehicle show area. That operation, along with the residential property of Lee Goos, Jr., is located adjacent to Benson Farms and has operated there for fifteen years. Goos alleged that the gravel operation would devastate the business and decrease the property value. Goos was concerned primarily with dust from the operation, noise and increased truck traffic in the area.

[¶ 4.] These properties are located in the Skunk Creek area of Minnehaha County, an area that is known to contain deposits of gravel. In fact, there is an old gravel pit approximately one mile north of the Goos property and several other pits in the surrounding area. Further, the comprehensive plan for the County indicates that "extractions sites have also concentrated along Skunk Creek west of Sioux Falls."

[¶ 5.] Scott Anderson, Minnehaha County Planning Director, evaluated the application. He visited the site, took note of the surrounding area, inspected the road infrastructure and prepared a staff report recommending the grant of the conditional use permit with specified conditions. After the matter was initially presented to the Planning Commission, it was deferred to allow for a hydrology study and the Planning Commission also requested a berm be added next to the Goos property. At a second hearing, the Planning Commission received the hydrology report, which indicated no adverse impact on the nearby wells because of the operation. A revised site plan also included the addition of a six-foot berm. That berm, to be located between a haul road and the Goos property, was estimated to be sixty-feet wide and was to be seeded with vegetation and trees. An agreement was also entered that required Benson Farms to maintain the township road. The Planning Commission heard objections to the application and ultimately granted the permit with twenty-one conditions.1 Goos appealed that decision to the County Commission.

[¶ 6.] Following a hearing on the application, where Goos appeared and was represented by counsel, the County Commission changed two of the conditions, dealing with hours of operation and the amount of a surety bond, and upheld the decision to grant the permit. Goos appealed that decision to the circuit court. The circuit court, after visiting the site and hearing the objections to the permit, affirmed the County Commission's decision. The circuit court found that Goos failed to substantiate their claims with any evidence. It also found the proposed gravel operation would not create closures or traffic disruption and would not impact the visibility of the business from I-90. The gravel extraction and crushing operation would most likely take place three weeks a year and the remaining season would consist of loading trucks. The circuit court also did not find testimony of Bill Hegg, a realtor, persuasive as to loss of value to the Goos property as it was not supported by any hard evidence such as appraisals or market studies but, instead, consisted mostly of generalizations.

[¶ 7.] Goos appeals raising four issues:

1. Whether the County Commission's approval of the conditional use permit was contrary to the comprehensive plan.

2. Whether the County Commission's approval of the conditional use permit violated its zoning ordinances.

3. Whether the County Commission's approval of the conditional use permit was based on false information.

4. Whether Goos was afforded an impartial hearing by the County Commission.

Myrl & Roy's Paving filed a motion for an expedited decision in this appeal and a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The motion seeking an expedited decision was granted and the motion to dismiss was held in abeyance.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶ 8.] SDCL 7-8-30 provides that appeals to the circuit court from a decision by the county board "shall be heard and determined de novo." This Court has interpreted this standard as meaning "the circuit court should determine anew the question ... independent of the county commissioner's decision." In re Conditional Use Permit Denied to Meier, 2000 SD 80, ¶ 21, 613 N.W.2d 523, 530. In addition, "the trial court should determine the issues before it on appeal as if they had been brought originally. The court must review the evidence, make findings of fact and conclusions of law, and render judgment independent of the agency proceedings." Id. "If the court finds the decision was arbitrary or capricious, it should reverse the decision and remand for further proceedings. Otherwise, it must affirm." Id. ¶ 22.

DISCUSSION

[¶ 9.] SDCL ch. 11-2 provides that a county planning commission is authorized to prepare a comprehensive plan for the county. SDCL 11-2-2; 11-2-11. A comprehensive plan is defined as:

a document which describes in words, and may illustrate by maps, plats, charts, and other descriptive matter, the goals, policies, and objectives of the board to interrelate all functional and natural systems and activities relating to the development of the territory under its jurisdiction[.]

SDCL 11-2-1(3). The purpose of the comprehensive plan is outlined in SDCL 11-2-12:

The comprehensive plan shall be for the purpose of protecting and guiding the physical, social, economic, and environmental development of the county; to protect the tax base; to encourage a distribution of population or mode of land utilization that will facilitate the economical and adequate provisions of transportation, roads, water supply, drainage, sanitation, education, recreation, or other public requirements; to lessen governmental expenditure; and to conserve and develop natural resources.

"Zoning ordinances and other controls deemed necessary are included as adjunct to and in accordance with the comprehensive plan." Coyote Flats, LLC v. Sanborn County Com'n, 1999 SD 87, ¶ 9, 596 N.W.2d 347, 350. Consequently, a county commission's decision to grant a conditional use permit must be done in accordance with the comprehensive plan and local zoning ordinances. "We interpret zoning ordinances in accord with the rules of statutory construction supplemented by any rules of construction within the ordinances themselves." Hines v. Bd. of Adjustment of City of Miller, 2004 SD 13, ¶ 10, 675 N.W.2d 231, 233-34.

[¶ 10.] Goos contends that the County Commission's approval of the permit violated both the comprehensive plan and the zoning ordinances. The comprehensive plan adopted by Minnehaha County is an extensive document outlining population growth and trends, land use and development plans, transportation, employment, public land use, environmental considerations and provides a general framework for dealing with a myriad of other issues. That plan specifically acknowledges construction aggregate land use and prevalent "sand and gravel pits dispersed across the county which supply aggregate to road construction and building projects." Included in that plan is the recognition that "[e]xtraction sites have also concentrated along Skunk Creek west of Sioux Falls." The comprehensive plan continues:

Smaller isolated pits are scattered throughout the county and generally supply local needs such as gravel for township roads and an occasional project involving nearby highway construction. Many of these pits experience only limited usage while others remain inactive for several years at a time. The level of activity is generally dictated by the number of road or other construction projects in the general vicinity of these pits. Residents who have recently built in the country are usually surprised and upset when an unexpected flurry of activity occurs in previously inactive or seldom used pits.

The comprehensive plan also provides criteria for considering mining related land use. Those factors include:

• Development criteria based on type of extraction, intensity and duration of use.

• Appropriate separation from existing residences.

• Adjacent to hard surfaced roads or upgrade existing roads used for hauling.

• Visual considerations-berms and natural screening.

• Environmental...

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7 cases
  • State v. Troy Twp.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • August 16, 2017
    ...Use Permit Denied to Meier , 2000 S.D. 80, ¶ 22, 613 N.W.2d 523, 530. And the standard of review stated in Goos RV Center v. Minnehaha County Commission , 2009 S.D. 24, 764 N.W.2d 704, is internally inconsistent. In stating the standard of review, the Court first said that a de novo hearing......
  • Armstrong v. Turner County Bd. of Adj.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • August 26, 2009
    ...of certiorari. However, a recent case, Goos RV Center v. Minnehaha County Comm'n, approved of a de novo review pursuant to SDCL 7-8-27. 2009 SD 24, ¶ 8, 764 N.W.2d 704, 707. Although Goos RV Center appears on the surface to contradict some of our prior decisions on proper appellate procedur......
  • Hanson v. Minnehaha Cnty. Comm'n (In re Conditional Use Permit # 13–08)
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • October 29, 2014
    ...was not exercising the powers of a board of adjustment, SDCL 11–2–59 and SDCL 11–2–60 do not apply. See also Goos RV Ctr. v. Minnehaha Cnty. Comm'n, 2009 S.D. 24, ¶¶ 18–21, 764 N.W.2d 704, 710–11.[¶ 26.] Moreover, even if the County Commission were acting as a board of adjustment in this ca......
  • Carmody v. Lake Cnty. Bd. of Comm'rs
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 22, 2020
    ...id. ¶¶ 41–46, 772 N.W.2d at 656 (Gilbertson, C.J., concurring in result).Additionally, Armstrong cites Goos RV Center v. Minnehaha County Commission , 2009 S.D. 24, 764 N.W.2d 704 as authority for the standard of review. Id. ¶ 10, 772 N.W.2d at 647. In Troy Township , we noted that Goos RV ......
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