City council to repeal rental cap ordinance, vote on 2019-20 budgets


Ames City Council members sit in at their meeting April 23.

Kara Gravert

In addition to their regularly scheduled meeting, the Ames City Council will meet Tuesday night with the Ames Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Policy Committee and the Ames Historic Preservation Commission afterwards. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council chambers and is open to the public.

On Tuesday night, the council will vote to repeal the rental cap ordinance adopted in 2018, which prohibited new rental properties being established near the Iowa State campus. As of May 2, state law prohibits cities from enforcing a rental concentration cap ordinance. The city can no longer limit the number of rental properties in certain neighborhoods.

A City Safety Committee was established after the murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena in September 2018. The committee convened to consider improvements in the overall safety of citizens on and around city property. On Tuesday, the council will direct the committee’s next steps to examine whether zoning codes are compatible with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.

The council is set to vote on the approval of the Fiscal Year 2019-20 contracts with human service agencies. If approved, the budget will see a $42,705 increase, allocated among 22 organizations in the Ames community.

The council will also vote on an amendment to the Federal Fiscal Year 2019-22 Transportation Improvement Program. The amendment, if approved, will allocate $702,848 in federal funding to the expansion of routes and the frequency of CyRide’s West Ames bus routes.

Last January the Ames Area MPO distributed applications for Surface Transportation Block Grants and Transportation Alternative projects. Only one STBG application was received and no Transportation Alternative applications were received. The STBG program provides federal funding for a wide variety of projects aimed to improve infrastructure conditions.

The single received application comes as a $225,000 request from CyRide to replace a vehicle. The council will vote to include the project in the FFY 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program.

The council will also review the current activities of the Ames Historic Preservation Commission to confirm they are meeting the City Council’s 2018 goal to ensure commissions are addressing important community issues, including diversity and inclusion.