Ames City Council adopts Lincoln Way Corridor Plan as advisory document


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

Mayor Ann Campbell listens to Gruber’s presentation on zoning issues in West Ames Jan. 24.

Chris Anderson

The Ames City Council spent a majority of its meeting Tuesday discussing the Lincoln Way corridor plan.

The plan, which has been in development for more than a year, was developed by consulting firm Houseal and Lavigne for the city of Ames.

The mission of the corridor plan was to create an identity along Lincoln Way as a place and not just a thoroughfare. The council also hoped to enhance multi-modal transportation and to revitalize properties along the Lincoln Way corridor.

The plan separates the Lincoln Way corridor into various districts within the corridor. The plan then looks at the separate districts and identifies issues and solutions within those districts.

The one district that city staff feels deserves greatest priority is the Downtown Gateway area.

It includes the area of Lincoln Way directly south of Downtown Ames and the railroad tracks around Kellogg Avenue, as well as other blocks in the area.

The area has been noted by the council as needing to be a “complimentary” area to downtown Ames.

Policy issues acknowledged in the area are to encourage certain types of land usage, namely office space, entertainment and a hotel.

Public parking was also acknowledged as a need in the area. However, the goal is to change the area from vehicle oriented to pedestrian oriented.

The city also hopes to slow traffic in the area by creating what’s called a “road diet.” The idea would be to reduce Lincoln Way from a four-way street to a two-way street.

These are just a few changes that may be coming to just one district in the Lincoln Way corridor should the plan be adopted in full.

Further documents containing more details in the plan can be found at

The council ultimately chose to recognize the plan as complete, but to use it as an advisory policy document only.

Moving forward, city staff will provide a more detailed implementation program for the council. Developers who are looking to facilitate changes that advance concepts of the plan now can enjoy a streamlined process when working with the council to request development.

This plan also means the city can prioritize certain areas of the plan while lagging behind on other sections.

City council received a staff report regarding the new landscaping ordinances being drafted. These new ordinances are intended to focus on quality and aesthetics rather than screening.

The ordinances that affect commercial and industrial properties would force parking lots to have a greater number of trees surrounding them.

The new ordinances also would require trees in the front yard of commercial properties. Greater requirements for shade trees in parking lots are also included in the ordinance.

City staff also believe the new ordinances will increase the sustainability of properties.

The new ordinances also increase the required amount of vegetation in residential areas.

With direction of the council staff, they are working to have the first reading of the ordinance available for passage on the May 24 council agenda.

Also during the meeting were several proclamations by Mayor Ann Campbell, the first proclaiming April 22, 2017, as “Making Democracy Work Day and Judie Hoffman Honoree Day.”

The proclamation was presented to Judie Hoffman on behalf of her work with the League of Women voters, which Campbell described as “safeguarding our democracy.”

Another proclamation was presented to Ames dispatch operators. The proclamation named the week of April 9-15, 2017, “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.”

Campbell also named April 2017 “Fair Housing Month,” coinciding with the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

City council also granted requests to the ISU Homecoming Central Committee to host its homecoming parade on Oct. 22.

In the requests granted were resolutions approving the closure of portions of Pearle Avenue, Fifth Street, Main Street, Clark Avenue, Burnett Avenue, Kellogg Avenue and Douglas Avenue from noon to 4 p.m.