New student housing development hearing at City Council meeting

Emelie Knobloch

The main topic of focus for Tuesday’s City Council meeting will be the rezoning request by Breckenridge Group according to Alexandria Harvey, student representative for the City Council.

Breckenridge has made a request to change the 28.9 acres of land from special-government and airport land to residential medium-density land on State Avenue.

Breckenridge would like to build a new student housing rental development with a mix of residential unit types ranging from two-family, town home and apartment style units.

“The council is concerned about whether this is the right location for this kind of development,” Harvey said.

The city manager’s recommendation is to deny the petition to rezone the property.

According the city manager’s recommendation, the change in zoning does not promote the city’s interest in single-family housing opportunities needed within the community.

“This development would have an impact on CyRide and could cause congested traffic in this area,” Harvey said. “Iowa State is also concerned about their agricultural plots in this area.”

The city manager’s recommendation states the change would be detrimental to the general welfare of the community and surroundings in its intensity of development.

According the city manager’s recommendation, the development would be incompatible to its surroundings and site constraints including impacts on the surrounding transportation and bus systems.

During Spring Break, the council moved forward with the Iowa Reinvestment District Project by submitting the pre-application.

This project is a $48.4 million development that includes a new Menards store, a new restaurant, a new hotel facility and a new Field Station Dinosaur Museum.

“The City of Ames submitted its pre-application to the Iowa Economic Authority, as part of the Iowa Reinvestment District Program, prior to the March 15 deadline,” said Susan Gwiasda, city of Ames public relations officer.

In order for this development to qualify for the Iowa Reinvestment District Program, the application had to be made by the city instead of the developer.

“The IEDA will score the applications and will respond to the applicants by June 30,” Gwiasda said.

Upon the formal approval by the IEDA Board, the city of Ames may then adopt an ordinance establishing the reinvestment district to facilitate the project.

Liquor licenses at Café Northwest located at 114 Des Moines Ave. and Paddy’s Irish Pub located at 126 Welch Ave. are also up for renewal.

The City Council meeting will take place in City Council chambers at City Hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday.