Bicycle Parking Standards

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen Photo

Bronwyn's Council Preview

The City Council meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. this Tuesday at city hall. The agenda includes (but is not limited to):

  • 14. Hearing on rezoning of 1114 South Dakota Avenue from Community Commercial/Residential (CCR) to Community Commercial/Residential (CCR) with revised Master Plan.

    • The owners of this property on the northeast corner of Mortensen and South Dakota are requesting an amendment to the property's Master Plan which would allow a convenience store and gas station. (The current zoning allows for commercial use, but not vehicle service.) The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-3 to recommend, so ultimately voted to pass this item to Council with no recommendation from the Commission.

  • 15. Transitional Letters of Compliance.

    • This item is on the agenda following concerns expressed by SCAN about the current status of Transitional Letters of Compliance. Transitional LOCs allow a property owner to rent their property for one year without being subject to the rental cap. Property owners are allowed to get another Transitional LOC twelve months after after a prior one has lapsed. In addition, each property owner is allowed one occurrence of a special two-year Transitional LOC.

    • SCAN had three basic concerns with Transitional LOCs. First, it isn't required that properties with a Transitional LOC be the primary residence of a property owner. Second, if the property has been deemed an illegal rental, owners are still eligible to apply for a Transitional LOC. Finally, no annual gap between the special two-year Transitional LOCs is required if the property changes hands. SCAN would like to see language that prohibits Transitional LOCs for properties determined to be renting illegally and requires properties to be the primary residence of the applicant for the Transitional LOC.

  • 16. Revisiting Discussion of Property Sale Hardship Exemption Request from Robert Howell for 107 S. Riverside.

    • This item clarifies a vote taken at our last meeting. At the February 26th meeting, we discussed our first claim for a hardship exemption from the rental cap. The property owners of 107 S. Riverside put forth their claim that their property hadn't sold after being offered at a fair market value for eight months, and would have but for the rental cap. Council considered several factors, assessed vs appraised value, other variables affecting marketability, etc. as we attempted to evaluate these criteria. We took two votes, first a 3-3 vote to deny the exemption, which failed because it was assumed to be a resolution requiring four votes to pass. Then, we voted 3-3 to approve the exemption, and had some discussion about whether it was in fact a resolution or a motion. Thinking it was a motion, the mayor voted 'aye' to break the tie. In fact, this item does require a resolution (4 'aye' votes from Council) to pass. Because of this, the exemption was not approved at our last meeting. 

  • 17. Homewood Golf Course Clubhouse Design.

    • This agenda item has to do with LEED certification in regards to the clubhouse renovations at Homewood golf course. While the building may meet LEED standards, staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission recommend continuing with the building design as is, but not pursuing LEED certification due to cost.

  • 18. Resolution approving Agreement with Iowa Department of Transportation for the Jefferson Highway Heritage Byway.

    • Coming into town from East Lincoln Way and turning south on Duff/Hwy69 is the Jefferson Highway, the first major north/south hard-top highway in the U.S., spanning from Canada to New Orleans. I bet you didn't know that. Well, now there will be signs! (Provided by the Iowa DOT)

  • 19. Bicycle Parking Standards.

    • This agenda item is a memo from staff that Council requested listing some options for bicycle parking standards. Ames has some bicycle parking standards for certain types of use (multi-unit residential), and in certain places (Downtown Gateway), but not for other uses citywide. In the memo, staff list other cities with minimums for bicycle parking, as well as some cities that incentivize bike parking by allowing it as a substitution for car parking spaces. 

  • 20. First reading of ordinance adjusting water rates by 7%, effective July 1, 2019.

    • During budget hearings, Council heard a report from the Water Utility regarding this proposed water rate increase. Much of the need for a rate increase is being driven by upcoming nutrient reduction requirements which will require upgrades (estimated at approximately $40 million) to our Water Pollution Control Facility.

Non-Agenda Packet: The following items are requests and communications to the council that are not on the agenda.  This includes staff reports and communications/request from constituents/developers. By tradition the council can ask city staff for more information (a report), put the item on a future agenda for discussion or just accept the communication (taking no further action). This usually takes place at the end of the meeting during council comments.

  • Electric Vehicle Chargers
    • This memo from staff is an update on the City's two level 2 electric vehicle charging stations. The memo details usage and provides some feedback on the rate charge. (To use the charging stations costs $1/hr for residents, and $2/hr for non-residents.) 
  • 734 E Lincoln Way
    • This memo deals with a property on E Lincoln Way which would like to consolidate parcels, but behind which there is a city water well. 

Thanks for reading,

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen

At-Large Council Member