Bronwyn’s Council Preview, September 26, 2017: Proposed Moratorium on Rental Occupancy Permits

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The Ames City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. The agenda includes:

Item 24: First passage of ordinance establishing six-month moratorium on new rental occupancy permits for single- and two-family homes within the boundaries of the city limits of Ames (second and third readings and adoption requested)

This was brought forth at the last Council meeting as a way to temporarily halt new rental permits while we develop a strategy to deal with the state’s recent decision to prohibit the regulation of rentals based on familial status.

Item 29 Staff report on north growth gap area fringe plan major amendment

Two similar requests are being brought forward to change how land is classified in the city’s urban fringe plan, one from city staff dealing with land east of George Washington Carver Avenue, and the other request from a developer with property west of George Washington Carver. The areas are currently a mix of priority and rural transitional residential and parks and recreation (all ineligible for annexation). The proposed change is to urban residential with a convenience commercial node, both of which would allow for eventual annexation. The council is being asked to give input on the scope of changes to the urban fringe plan. Prior to development, other information would be needed on subjects including traffic, sanitary sewer, and police and fire coverage.

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Item 30: Staff Report on Lincoln Way corridor plan implementation

This plan is back with some modifications, and staff recommend the City Council prioritize pursuing changes to the “Downtown Gateway” (Clark Avenue to Duff Avenue) subarea. Several of the subareas could potentially be affected by changes to our rental regulations, so staff recommend deferring on these areas until a new rental occupancy strategy is in place.

Item 31: Beer and wine permits and liquor license renewals for Blue Owl Bar

It’s unusual to see a liquor license renewal issue, but this licensee also has a large bill for parking ticket fees. Staff recommend against unconditional annual renewal of this license.

Item 32: Staff report on cameras in Campustown

This has been in discussion for some time. Both Iowa State’s Student Government and Campustown Action Association have sent letters indicating support of cameras in Campustown. According to this proposal, cameras would be maintained by Iowa State, and footage only provided to the Police Department to assist in solving crimes in the area. (No routine monitoring of footage.) The cost to install the system would be just under $50k, and annual operations would cost $2,880.


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Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen is an at-large member of the Ames City Council. She is also a manager at Wheatsfield Cooperative and the co-owner of Cycles Recycling.