Ames City Council Works on Rental Cap and Lincolnway Change Approved

AMES, Iowa- The Ames City Council continued work on an ordinance which would limit rental properties to 25% in some Ames neighborhoods. The council spent over two hours talking about exceptions to the rental cap. They also decided which neighborhoods would be included in this ordinance, once it is passed.

The council approved a resolution including Edwards, Oakwood Forest, College Creek/Old Ames Middle School, West Side, South Campus Neighborhood North, Colonial Village, and Oak Riverside.

The council heard from people both in favor and opposed to the cap.

“I’m here representing the Oakwood Forest officially submit our petitions in support of the cap,” said Dilys Morris of Ames. She told the council her big concern is landlords who let formerly nice homes go downhill, when occupied by renters.

“Half of our neighborhood is opposed to this ordinance..and we feel that this petition and the numbers we have shown have clearly demonstrated that we do not support this, and do not want this in our neighborhood,” said Sarah Conroy of Ames.

The City Council also approved a zoning change for Lincolnway near downtown Ames. The proposed Gateway District would encourage residential, commercial type business like what is found in downtown Ames, just over the tracks and a block north of Lincolnway. It would move away from zoning oriented around the old highway 30.

“The rezoning plan proposed in alternatives 1 and 2, are unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory,” said attorney Jenny Dorman, who spoke for 16 Ames businesses, opposed to a zoning change.

“Since there is a non-conformity on property it puts a cloud over the property, it makes it more difficult to sell, it reduces the price, and thats a taking,” said building owner, Bob Goodwin.

At Large Council person Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen moved to support the change, saying that sometimes you need  the vision for change, even if it doesn’t happen right away,