Good evening and welcome to Ames City Hall and a City Council live blog. I think we've kicked the software issue that kept the blog quiet last time.
As it's been for the last two meetings, tonight's agenda is highlighted by more discussion of the ISU student oriented housing on the site of the old Ames Middle School. For those of you just joining us, this issue's taken up no less than seven hours of discussion and debate in the last two council meetings.
The Council, tonight, will consider a rezoning request for the so-called "south parcel" of land, where Breckenridge Land Acquisition wants residential low density and floating suburban residential low density housing. Essentially, it would allow the company to put some mixed use housing in the area, with a majority being low density. The company wants 170 units with more than 400 beds. This is scaled back from the original plan, that would have put more than 500 beds in the area. As a majority of property owners in the Old Ames Middle School/College Creek oppose the request, it will need five council "yes" votes for passage. It's unclear at this point if those five votes exist.
FWIW, the council chambers are full again tonight, with the audience largely comprised of people from the neighborhood who've addressed the issue in the past.
7:27PM--We've reached that point in the agenda.
7:46PM--Part of the agreement between the city and the company calls for a share of cost for traffic improvements at State Ave. and Mortenson Rd. The word "roundabout" was just tossed out. Everywhere, Ames drivers heads exploded.
8:10PM--City staff and council members are saying all the words.
8:27PM--We've turned the corner on the first hour of this agenda item...
8:28PM--And now the neighbors speak...
8:45PM--A problem for the neighbors--it's the same people saying the same things. The message just hasn't changed.
9:17PM--Last member of the public speaks, Mayor Campbell calls for a break while leaving hearing open. What this means is we are clearly going to go 'round the two hour mark on this discussion.
9:25PM--And we're back...
9:26PM--Council discussion begins as we turn the corner on two hours. For those of you scoring at home, this issue's taken up NINE hours of council meeting time in the last three meetings.
9:45PM--Rezoning motion fails on a 4-2 vote. Members Betcher and Goodman voting "no."
9:49PM--Crowd seems a bit stunned... just low murmurs as they exit the chambers.
9:50PM--When asked for comment by Ames Tribune reporter Gavin Aronsen , Breckenridge attorney Brian Toressi says "no comment." This reporter can only assume that the company will consider legal action against the city.