Vermillion approves zoning for Coyote Village By David Lias
Plain Talk What once served as a trailer court in Vermillion will be the new home of high quality housing for students attending The University of South Dakota. The Vermillion City Council approved a zoning change to create a new development district for the building, which will be located south of the DakotaDome and east of Dakota Street, north of the Newman Center where the former Brunickâ�?�?s Trailer Court was located. The University of South Dakota Foundation applied for the zoning change. The parcel of land where the new housing will be built is currently zoned R-3. University and city officials asked the city council to rezone the parcel of land to the Coyote Village Planned Development district. The new building will be four stories high, with approximately 175 living units, 550 beds and 661 parking spaces for students. Farrel Christensen, the cityâ�?�?s zoning officer, said during initial planning stages it became apparent that the proposed development would not meet all of the requirements of a R-3 district. For example, a R-3 district limits the building height to 45 feet. The proposed residential building is just over 64 feet to the top of the main roof. The R-3 district also requires a minimum front yard of 30 feet. The proposed residential development will have a front yard along Rose Street of 20 feet. The R-3 district requires a minimum rear yard of 25 feet. The proposed residential development will have a rear yard of 20 feet. Richard Van Den Hul, vice president of finance and administration at USD, said the new building is needed to meet future housing needs of university students. â�?�?This is part of the university master plan,â�? he said. â�?�?Facilities are a big part of the master plan, and how you deliver education and how you deliver your services. Students want to know what kind of services they are going to get. They want to know where they are going to live, where they are going to eat, and where they are going to exercise.â�? Van Den Hul noted that most students grow today with their own bedroom, that is often furnished with not only a bed, but also a television, stereo, and other touches of home. â�?�?All we have here at the most part are double occupancy rooms, and housing units built in the 1950s and 1960s,â�? he said. â�?�?Now, weâ�?�?ve renovated six of those, so I think we have the base covered on renovated double-occupancy rooms.â�? The new housing proposed at the university will contain 75 two bed, one bathroom units, and 100 four bed, two bathroom units. After completing their first year of class at the university, when students typically live in dorm rooms on campus, they usually want to explore different housing options, Van Den Hul said. â�?�?They ask, â�?�?are we going to have options?â�?�? and we canâ�?�?t answer that very well right now,â�? he said. â�?�?Thatâ�?�?s really what weâ�?�?re trying to do. Weâ�?�?ve got to give them options, and those options have to the amenities that they want.â�? Part of the universityâ�?�?s master plan calls for removing four residence halls that have not been renovated. Some of the buildings will be torn down, and some will be evaluated to see if they can be used as academic space. Besides building the new Coyote Village, the university plans to improve its remaining residence halls. Many double-occupancy rooms will be converted to single occupancy, he said. The University Foundation has been of great assistance to the university by purchasing the property that once housed the trailer courts south of the DakotaDome. â�?�?They wanted to improve the area around the campus, with the long-term knowledge that the university needed to do this, and they needed to build suite-style housing,â�? Van Den Hul said. â�?�?It was a critical piece of putting this all together.â�?