Bronwyn’s Council Preview, March 6, 2018: 321 State, Downtown Gateway Zoning, Budget Approval, and More!

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

Item 24: Staff report on 321 State Ave. residential development options

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember we’re back at the drawing board after deciding not to proceed with our first proposal at 321 State St. Now we’re being asked a familiar question. Do we try again to look for a developer, do we (the city) act as the developer, or do we consider some multi-family residential units? One suggestion from staff is to relocate Franklin Park to 321 State, and use the former Franklin Park site for 40-50 apartments. (We delayed directing staff on this item previously, as some council members were absent for the vote at the time.)


Item 29: Hearing on zoning text amendment to create Lincoln Way/Downtown Gateway commercial standards

The stretch of Lincoln Way from Grand to Duff was identified as the “downtown gateway” area by our recent Lincoln Way corridor study, and was selected as our primary focus area along Lincoln Way. Staff are suggesting a special zoning for the area that would encourage commercial, retail, and entertainment uses, and has some modified parking standards. Of particular interest to me, I see staff are recommending a minimum bicycle parking standard for commercial uses in the area!

Item 30: Hearing on 2016-17 shared use path system expansion (Grand Avenue from 16th Street to Murray Drive)

This connects an important block of shared use path along Grand Avenue at 16th Street.

Item 32: Motion directing staff to proceed with use of citizen reporting app

This app will streamline reporting things such as icy sidewalks, road hazards, and other nuisances that previously required phoning in or submitting a website form. Since many of our systems (such as sidewalk-clearing) are enforced on a complaint based system, this should bring us into the current century with easier reporting through your smartphone.

Item 33: Staff presentation on proposed water and sewer rates to be effective July 1, 2018

This report details increases in water and sewer rates over several years, to accommodate increased demand and rising costs. (One of the greatest upcoming costs is driven by new nutrient reduction standards that many municipalities are struggling to achieve.) The report shows water rates increasing by 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2018-19 and by 7 or 8 percent every two years following. Sewer rates are projected to increase 3 percent in 2018-19, 5 percent in 2020-21 and 2022-23, but then jumping to double-digit increases every two years until 2027.

Thanks for reading,
Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen
City Council At-Large

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Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen
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.