South Dakota Land Use Planning (1-SD-a)
Land Use Planning Process
1-SD-a.1 – Review Municipal and County Land Use Plans
In South Dakota, a transmission developer should review the applicable municipal and county land use plans to ensure the proposed project is in compliance.
County planning commissions have broad zoning authority to regulate and restrict development. 11-2 S.D. § 2. County planning commissions may prepare a comprehensive plan for the county, including those municipalities which have requested to be included or that are unincorporated. 11-2 S.D. § 2.
Municipalities regulate and restrict development “for the purpose of promoting health, safety, or the general welfare of the community.” 1-4 S.D. §1. South Dakota requires that municipalities develop a comprehensive plan in accordance with 11-4 S.D. §3. Municipalities have the right to regulate by “ordinance the moving of buildings, or the location of telecommunications facilities or electric lines or wires within their respective limits.” 49-32 S.D. § 4.
1-SD-a.2 to 1-SD-a.3 – Is the Proposed Project in Compliance with the Municipal and County Land Use Plans?
If the proposed transmission project complies with the applicable municipal and county land use plans, the developer may continue with the project.
1-SD-a.4 to 1-SD-a.5 – Has the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Determined That the Municipal or County Land Use Plan Is Unreasonably Restrictive?
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) may find that a permit to construct a transmission facility within a designated area supersedes or preempts any county or municipal land use, zoning, or building rules, regulations, or ordinances upon finding that such rules, or regulation, or ordinance, as applied to the proposed route, are unreasonably restrictive. 49-41B S.D. § 28. A developer must obtain a permit to construct or operate a transmission facility approved by the SDPUC before construction or operation of the transmission facility begins. 49-41B S.D. § 1. A transmission facility is defined to include “an electric transmission line and associated facilities with a design of more than 115 kV or lines or facilities that are used exclusively for distribution or gathering.” 49-41B S.D. § 2.1(1).
If the SDPUC has made an unreasonably restrictive finding, the developer may need to obtain an Energy Facility Permit from the SDPUC. For more information, see:
1-SD-a.6 to 1-SD-a.7 – Will the Developer Propose to Amend, Modify, or Repeal a Municipal or County Land Use Plan?
A developer may also propose to amend, modify, or repeal a municipal or county land use plan or zoning ordinance pursuant to 11-4 S.D. § 8 and 11-2 S.D. § 28. Proposals to modify or repeal a land use plan require the developer to submit a resolution or ordinance to the applicable governing body. The developer should follow the relevant procedures laid out in 11-4 S.D. § 8 and 11-2 S.D. § 28.
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