The Ames City Council is still in the process of rezoning the abandoned Ames Middle School.
At the meeting on March 5, 2013, the council referred the rezoning project to the city staff, and the staff returned with a report at the meeting on March 26. Breckinridge Group, who purchased the property as of March 11, had come forward with two requests.
The first request was made March 11 for the middle parcel of land where the school currently stands on 321 State Ave. The request is for the land to be rezoned as residential low density.
“A low density residential zone allows single-family housing,” said Charlie Kuester, a city employee with planning and housing. “It means occupied by a family.”
The second request from Breckinridge Group was made on March 15 for the southern parcel of land, located at 601 State Ave., to be rezoned as Floating Suburban Residential Medium density.
Floating Suburban Residential Medium zones allow for single family housing, as well as the construction of duplexes, town homes and apartment buildings with less than 12 units, which would open up the possibility for more student housing areas.
At the April 9 city council meeting, the council heard from several considered neighborhood residents. Their main concern was what building student housing would do to their “quiet” neighborhood.
One resident said that she already has to pick up litter next to her house every weekend.
While the proposal that Breckenridge had only included two parcels of land, they own three. Members of the city council discussed Monday night if the master plan of this project should have to include their plans for all three parcels of land.
“I would propose we request a master plan that includes all three parcels,” said Victoria Szopinski, member of the City Council.
Another concern was several single-family homes being on one lot.
“At this point I don’t personally care who owns it,” said City Councilman Jami Larson. “I just want to make sure down the road that if this becomes something that is truly a single family housing area, that it will meet city standards.”
Larson and other council members expressed the need to make sure that in the future, if these properties were to sell individually, that each home would have its own electricity, utilities and sidewalk available.
The council voted and decided the master plan from Breckenridge would need to include plans for all three parcels of land.