Ames Prepares for Major Population Growth by 2040

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AMES, Iowa -- Ames 2040 is a comprehensive plan to help the city of Ames prepare for population growth, economic development, and planning for public facilities and services needed to support the city for the next 20 years.

The original plan was Ames 2030, created in 1997. However, Ames Planning and Housing Director, Kelly Dieckmann, said Ames surpassed the expectations of those plans fairly quickly.

“We kind of eclipsed those projections very quickly through the life of that plan, about halfway through that plan's time horizon,” Dieckmann said. “We had already exceeded that growth so it really became evident we needed a plan for what the future of Ames is and not how things were really established in the 90s.”

There are over 60,000 residents in Ames and by 2040 the city is preparing for Ames to grow by 15,000 people. So the first step of the Ames 2040 plan was to figure out where the city could grow successfully.

This led the city to map out four different scenarios -- development either in the north, west, south or east side of town. The key factors in mapping out the best options for development are the best places for better housing and spaces that encourage more job opportunities.

“This also leads to conversations about sustainability, about economic development, what kind of recreational facilities the city is going to need in the future to support these people. So it's really an all-encompassing plan and tomorrow night's just a great opportunity to start to get your priorities out as a person for the community going forward,” Diekmann said.

Diekmann said this comprehensive plan is more than just a land-use map. Ames has been working for a year on soliciting ideas and goals for the vision for the city. Diekmann said in the process of creating Ames Plan 2040, there have been great ideas but unfortunately, everything won’t make the cut. Because Ames can't pursue all four destinations at once, Diekmann said the city is really hoping people come out Tuesday night to voice their opinions on what is most important to the community

“With a comprehensive plan, one of the hardest parts of doing this is that you have a lot of great ideas, but they don't all necessarily go together,” Dieckmann said. “So that's where we talk about vision, goals, and priorities so we can filter through all of the information that we have and city council can really pick what are those true priorities for the city.”

The public meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Ames City Council's chambers in the City Hall at 515 Clark Avenue.

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