CIty council discusses development in Ames

Ashley Seaton

The Ames City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission met Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a joint meeting to discuss a number of issues regarding the city of Ames that have been raised by the Commission including the Land Use Policy Plan, increasing tax base and flooding issues.

The Land Use Policy Plan was up for discussion due issues previously presented from lack of proper planning for growth by Ames developers.

“We’ve seen growth in areas that was not planned and was not intended. It has caused, frankly, some real problems,” said Mayor Ann Campbell.

In regards to the developers, “It’s important to anticipate where the developments might be when we invest in our roads. While development is always encouraged, that might sometimes mean saying no (to some developers) so that the infrastructure we have invested in may be utilized the way we intended it to,” said At-Large City Councilman Matthew Goodman.

The Council and the Commission both see the city expanding greatly geographically in the next 20 years and the question is how to keep the city tied together and growing smoothly during that time.

The plan will be up for revision by both groups in the near future.

Further discussion of the need for diversity in development and tax base opportunities was also discussed.

Regarding diversifying the tax base, Planning and Zoning Commission member Chuck Jons said, “We need jobs. We have a great opportunity with the university and the research park. The city needs to encourage and instigate finding more jobs. People need to have jobs available or they will go somewhere else.”

“We need to increase the tax base. We know that. We understand that. It is necessary to help the city of Ames prosper. We are interested in this from a regional standpoint as well. We want people to come to us,” said Liz Beck, Planning and Zoning Commission member. “We want to make sure that we are maintaining a vision that is consistent with Ames.”

Regular city council meetings will continue Tuesday, March 27.