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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Jeffrey B. Jacquet


Levels of efficacy and transparency in local government decision-making are often contested by citizens, especially in rapidly growing metropolitan fringe areas with high profitability tied to land-use changes. Research has shown that local officials are often in favor of development; meanwhile, residents perceive limited information access and procedural timelines that limit public response and influence. This research explores these important issues, focusing on a controversial Walmart siting in the expanding ruralurban fringe of a major Great Plains city. Analysis is guided by the intersection of two research suites: one oriented by the “growth machine” and procedural justice perspectives that focus on government land-use procedures, public participation and development interests, and the other guided by the importance of place meaning theories in relation to attitude formation on land development. Data gathered for this study includes the assemblage of a detailed timeline of events, in-depth interviews with local residents, developers, government officials active in the siting process and local news reporters. Additionally, data includes a media content analysis of compiled local newspaper articles covering the major land-use procedures and events throughout the siting, focusing on issue framing. The data reveals an inclination from city government to facilitate rather than mediate the development’s advancement, prompting a smaller enclave of residents to react to seemingly predetermined local growth coalition development plans and only provide accommodative voice throughout the land-use procedures. The results of this exploratory case study research shed light upon the roles of land-use siting procedures and residents’ place meanings in determining oppositional behavior to large land-use decisions in expanding municipality fringes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wal-Mart (Firm) Industries -- Social aspects -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls -- Case studies Discount houses (Retail trade) -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls -- Case studies City dwellers -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls -- Attitudes Land use -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls Wildland-urban interface Sioux Falls (S.D.) -- Politics and government


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright