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‘Little Ponderosa’ to be developed into 13 lots
Project awaits concept approval by P&Z, council
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

March 18. 2013 7:45AM
A 4.9-acre parcel of land that’s been home to Judy and the late Les Schroeder since their wedding day in 1968 will be developed into 13 single-home lots over the next few years.

Smith Development Co. owner Brady Smith has purchased the Brandon landmark, “Little Ponderosa,” at 904 S. Sioux Blvd., from Judy Schroeder, and plans to begin the first of two development phases as soon as weather allows this spring. Eight of the 13 lots will be developed in the first phase, along with the creation of the East Ponderosa Circle cul de sac, which will line up with East Ponderosa Drive on Sioux Boulevard.

The concept plan has been approved by both the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council. The preliminary plan, which details water, sewer, drainage, etc., also needs approval by both boards. City building inspector Dave Swier said the P&Z Commission will decide the fate of the preliminary plan at their March 21 meeting. If approved by the P&Z, the preliminary plan will come before the council at their first meeting in April.

The 4.9-acre tract of land also needs to be rezoned from NCR (city agriculture) to R-1 (single-family residential). That vote will come before the P&Z Commission in early April, and will then come before the council for their approval.

Swier anticipates the P&Z and City Council will give the OK to the preliminary plan as well. A few drainage issues have been the only issue and are being resolved.
Swier said this project is somewhat unique.

“This is actually a good thing,” he said. “This will fill an area in town rather than developing on the edge of town.”

Smith, 23, said he’d been looking for land in Brandon for a housing development, and was excited to purchase the Schroeder land.

“There’s not much land to choose from (in Brandon),” he said. “This was the only site that was for sale unless you go east, and this fit what we want to do,” the young developer said.

Three of the eight lots will be filled by homes Smith has purchased and will move onto the properties. One of the three homes is the vacant home on Aspen Boulevard that Smith purchased from the city earlier this year. The other two homes will be moved in from Sioux Falls.

“I’ve been committed to this for the last couple of months working with engineers, contractors, the city, Dave Swier and Bryan Read. For me personally, this has been a learning process, and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. “And I’m excited to start working.”

According to the purchase agreement, Schroeder will be allowed to remain in her home throughout the development of the first phase, Smith said.

The sale of the acreage is somewhat emotional for Schroeder, whose husband Les died in 2005.
“Les bought the land over 50 years ago. He put in all the trees, fences and built a barn and Quonset,” she said.

As for reason behind the name of the acreage, “Little Ponderosa,” Schroeder explains, “We used to like watching ‘Bonanza.’ ”

Smith said he hopes to preserve as many of the half-decade-old evergreens as possible, and said he’ll bring in some new trees as well.

of the half-decade-old evergreens as possible, and said he’ll bring in some new trees as well.

Little Ponderosa, an acreage situated along Sioux Boulevard in Brandon, will be developed into 13 lots. Smith Development Co. owner Brady Smith said work will begin on the first phase of the new development this spring. "Little Ponderosa" has been home to Judy and the late Les Schroeder since Dec. 7, 1968, the Schroeder's wedding day. Photo by Jill Meier

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