Pennington County outgrows growth plan

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Pennington County Board of Commissioners met on May 25, 2022, to evaluate the growth happening in the area. The “View to 2040″ was set up back in 2020, with the goal of creating a guide for county development to expand logistically, and in some areas, that growth has already occurred.

The Pennington County Planning Department presented adjustments to the county’s “View to 2040″ guide. Primarily the changes could be found in the more urban areas. Ron Rossknecht, Pennington County Commissioner said the most practical range for development is headed in one direction for Rapid City.

“It’s going to go east and hopefully as it goes east, we can get the City of Rapid City, the city of Box Elder, and Rapid Valley to work together, finding solutions to water, sanitary, and sewer.,” said Rossknecht.

Solving the issues at hand for basic housing necessities allows the county to guide where development should be.

“Growth is going to be where the sewer line ends because you can’t sit there and build a housing subdivision without the infrastructure”

As the county plans for growth in the more urban areas, they are also planning and working towards solving problems for the more rural areas. Pennington County Planning Director, Brittney Molitor said, “Just one of the things to understand about Pennington County is, as you saw in the presentation today, we have a very wide variety of developments and needs in our community. We have anything from large lot ranchettes to large farming areas to the eastern part, vacation home rentals, and recreational areas. The diversity throughout Pennington County is, there are just a lot of different requests. So, it’s just responding to all of those needs.”

With an abundance of varying issues, Rossknecht says it is important for the communities to join forces and help guide the growth together, “Be at the table. I’m going to let the two major incorporated cities be the leader on this. The county should say ‘hey what can we do to help’.”

Rossknecht says it is easier said than done when staying ahead of the game, but the county is ensuring that the impact of the growth is positive.

An unrevised reversion of the Pennington County comprehensive plan, “View to 2040″, can be found here.

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