City Council Approves Campustown Facade Grants, discusses public use of e-cigarettes.

Mitch Anderson

The Ames City Council voted Tuesday to approve two $16,000 grants to enhance the appearance of the West Street Deli and Jeff’s Pizza facades in Campustown. 

Design concepts for the facade enhancements in Campustown were approved in November of 2014. The design concepts included ideas that would improve visual transparency, the social atmosphere and the diversity of building type and design style. Projects may also include uncovering the existing material to restore the original entryways and storefronts throughout several locations in Campustown. 

The council discussed the use of e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine or vapor products and what an ordinance preventing the use of vapor products in public places would mean for the city. 

“There are now 225 municipalities in the United States that have ordinances like this, and in most instances, the places have been pretty universally understood to be defined as public,” said Denise Denton, a prevention specialist with Youth and Shelter Services of Ames. 

Council members expressed concern that Ames does not have a Board of Health to educate the public on the matter; and that enforcement would fall solely with the police department. 

The City Council opted to request that staff seek more information on the health effects of inhaling secondhand vapor or emissions of the alternative nicotine products. 

Among the final hearings of Tuesday’s meeting concerned a text amendment to the zoning ordinance in Ames that would allow Olde Main Brewing Company to construct a brewing facility in conjunction with an even center and a tap room in the Highway Oriented Commercial (HOC) zoning district. 

The amendment gives a definition to a small production facility, and would allow those facilities in the HOC, as well as several other zoning districts. In order to fit under the small production facility definition, the brewery 

If the amendment does pass, there is no indication of when Olde Main Brewing Company will begin construction or moving to the new location.