Simplified:  The Sioux Falls City Council voted Tuesday to bring back a façades easement program – essentially a way to preserve the historical character of buildings in the city's core.

Why it matters

  • The vote Tuesday passed a resolution to take $120,000 out of the streets' five-year capital budget and move it to a new core façade revitalization project.
  • It's not really a new project, though. Sioux Falls for years had a façade easement program in place to help offset the costs to building owners for the upkeep of their historic building façades.
  • The plan saw unanimous support from the council as well as vocal support from a couple of building owners who gave their input ahead of the vote.
"This resolution (funds) a program the city has that was very successful," said Councilor Curt Soehl, who co-sponsored the resolution with Councilor Christine Erickson. "And now we're going to breathe some new life into it."

How does the program work?

The specific details of the new program weren't discussed at council Tuesday night, though Soehl described it as a "reenactment" of the previous program.

In the past, building owners would agree to fix up the building façade.

Then, the city buys a façade easement, essentially a special real estate agreement that gives the city ownership for a limited and specific purpose.

What happens next?

The city already has people interested in taking advantage of this new program, Soehl said.

Erickson added that this program could be the kind of thing that makes a difference between a project getting done or not.

"We would love for (the funding) to be more," she said Tuesday. "But we just want it to be something for now to get that funding mechanism back in there."