Campustown resolutions passed


Suhaib Tawil/Iowa State Daily

Jeff Harris, from Roseland Mackey Harris Architects, speaks to the Ames City Council. The council met Tuesday with the public on Campustown expansion, Kingland Systems’ projects and the Ames Urban Fringe Plan.

Emelie Knobloch

Resolutions were passed at the city council hearing for the establishment and adoption of the Campustown Urban Renewal Area. 

After the city council meeting on Oct. 22, several actions involving the Kingland Redevelopment Project were taken.

“We have been number one in terms of ISU student employment in Ames for years,” said Todd Rognes president of Kingland Systems. “We now need more space for our functions.”

The planning and zoning commission decided the Urban Renewal Plan agrees with the city’s land use policy plan.

“We have a good dialogue with city staff,” Rognes said. “We have continued discussion with our tenants which has led to a few changes.”

The city of Ames received a detailed redevelopment plan from Kingland Systems for the project including floor plans, architectural elevations and an animation of the projected appearance.

“That type of look and style is what I like to see,” said Jeremy Davis, Ames City Council member. “I want to see if the staff can work this out.”

These detailed plans and images can be found at the City of Ames website under the Nov. 12 city council meeting agenda.

“This isn’t the only chance to look at the plan,” said Kelly Diekmann, the City of Ames Planning and Housing Director.

Kingland Systems requested tax increment financing which is a public financing method that is used as an endowment for redevelopment and other community improvement projects.

“I think we have plenty of time to work out an arrangement,” Davis said.

Kingland Systems proposes to use the tax increment financing for new street level retail space, new offices for expanding business and additional office space for lease.

“We continue to work on a few design enhancements,” Rognes said.

Kingland Systems’ tax requests were approved by city council Nov. 12.

“We think the project is a great combination of economic development with great jobs and needed neighborhood development,” Rognes said.

On Nov. 26, the city council might approve the second reading of ordinances to create the Tax Increment Financing District and amend the zoning code for a third-story step-back exception.

On Dec. 10, the city council will have the public hearing on the Tax Increment Financing Development Agreement.

“The CAA is in full support of the Tax Incentive for Kingland,” said Anne Taylor of the Campustown Action Association.

At this hearing, the city council will also be asked to approve a plat of survey to secure the properties for the Kingland System.

After the amendment of the Zoning Code, Kingland will submit the Minor Site Development Plan for staff reviews.

The Kingland System will then submit an application for a building permit.

The amendment to the Ames Urban Fringe Plan Land Use Framework Map about the expansion of the ISU research park was approved at the meeting on Nov. 12.

“Story County approved the amendment earlier tonight,” Diekmann said.

There are two areas at the edge of Ames that are shared with the city of Gilbert, Boone County and Story County.

The Ames Urban Fringe Plan was developed to provide guidelines for understanding and predicting future land use for this area, according to the plan.

“We sold part of our land to Iowa State knowing it would be used,” said Mary Glenn, a citizen of Ames. “We are concerned about being swept into the industrial zoning.”

The plan gives three categories that the land can be used for that include Urban Service Area, Rural/Urban Transition Area and Rural Service and Agricultural Conservation Area.

The southern portion of the land was identified as Industrial Reserve/Research Park, a subcategory of the Rural/Urban Transition Area.

However, only the northern portion was chosen for development in the plan.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has voted to recommend the city council to adopt the map amendment to the Ames Urban Fringe Plan Land Use Framework Map for the expansion of the ISU Research Park.