SPEARFISH — The first phase of development at Spearfish Canyon Village is going through final approval process.

The Spearfish Planning Commission Tuesday recommended approval for the proposed three-story, 14,900-square-foot, mixed-use building on a portion of the former driving range off the southwest corner of East Colorado Boulevard and Spearfish Canyon Road. The overall village area was rezoned from agriculture to development review district in March, when a concept plan was approved.

The proposed building would front Spearfish Canyon Road, with an overall height of 45 feet at its highest point on the roof ridge. The building setback from the highway right-of-way line would be 15 feet, and because the exact mix of future tenants is unknown, the owners must build additional parking when the required parking surpasses the 46 stalls shown on the site plan, the staff report states. This requirement would be verified with each tenant occupancy permit.

“The building reflects a contemporary concept with exterior finishes that reflect the forms and texture of mountainous and canyon environments,” the report states.

Jason Roberdeau, of Williams and Associates, addressed the commission Tuesday. He explained that during this phase of development, one access, one building, and one parking lot would be built. As additional portions of the development are designed, those plans will come through the planning commission and city council for final approval.

Roberdeau said that the building meets all of the requirements set forth in the concept plan approved previously, and he showed a design rendering of the structure.

He added that there are drainage studies in the works for the overall parcel, and the Spearfish Emergency Ambulance Service, which is located to the west of the overall development, has agreed to a future drainage easement to allow for the construction of an outlet structure, to control drainage, as all of the water drains on that property before flowing underneath East Colorado Boulevard.

“We’ll save as many of those trees in there as possible,” Roberdeau said of the site, adding that there is a wetland area on the overall parcel, which is controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, so the developers do not plan to change or affect that site.

Roberdeau said that the team has also been in contact with utility providers to work out a plan for providing utilities to the future buildings.

Commission Chairman Greg Kruskamp asked about the impact to the rec path that fronts Spearfish Canyon Road, and Roberdeau said that this building would not affect the rec path, which is currently on city right-of-way. In the future, there is a portion of the path that “jogs in and out” along a section of the frontage that may “be straightened out,” he said.

Roberdeau added that unless there were a safety issue that required closing the rec path for short periods of time, which would be signed, etc., the intention is to keep the rec path open throughout the construction of the building.

Commissioner Toby Bordewyk asked about access to the property, and Roberdeau said that there would be an access off of Spearfish Canyon Road. Eventually, the plan is to have a connection from Spearfish Canyon Road to East Colorado Boulevard through the site, and the developers are seeking a second, exit-only access to Spearfish Canyon Road, farther south from the current phase of development. While the South Dakota Department of Transportation has not provided approval for this second access, Roberdeau said that decision would not affect the current phase of development.

“In Spearfish today, we have about 10,000 square feet of premium, commercial office/retail space available for use. Some of it’s been on the market for over two years, so with you guys proposing to introduce 15,000 square feet more of the same product, does your developer have (an) action plan to attract tenants that are going to succeed in these spaces?” Commissioner Meghan Byrum asked. 

Roberdeau said that the plan is not to overbuild if the market’s not there. He added that Ketel Thorstensen has already committed to about half of the space in the first building. 

“Hopefully it’s a mix of spaces so you can get access there, so you get people there around the clock, around the week, so to speak,” he said of the overall development, adding, “It will be a slow (buildout); it will probably follow the growth of the community.”

The commission unanimously recommended approval; Commissioner Barb Zwetzig was absent. The request now moves before the Spearfish City Council.

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