Ames Urban Fringe Plan

Plan Renewal and Update

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The Ames Urban Fringe Plan (AUFP) is a cooperative planning effort between the City of Ames, City of Gilbert, and Story County. It provides policies for understanding and predicting future land uses within two miles outside the boundary of the City of Ames. The cooperators are currently working on an update and renewal to the Plan.

Public meetings and a public comment period occurred in late May through mid-June. A public presentation of the plan was given on May 23. View the PowerPoint presentation here or a video of the presentation here (please note due to technical difficulties the audio begins at 9 minutes and 25 seconds). 

County staff is currently compiling public comments. Direction from the Board of Supervisors and Ames and Gilbert City Councils on a final draft will be given later this summer. 

Scroll through the proposed land use Ames Urban Fringe Plan designations and view their location on the map.

Agriculture and Farm Service 

ag farm service

These areas encompass large areas of farmland, with farming and agricultural production as the primary activity. They may also include other large, undeveloped tracts of land or existing dwellings on previously created parcels under 35-acres in size. Dwellings in this designation are limited to existing homes, new dwellings built on legally established lots of record, or areas where a maximum density of one unit per 35 net acres can be achieved.

Rural Residential - Existing

Therural res existingse areas may include existing rural subdivisions or clusters of dwellings with lots between one-half and five acres in size, which are zoned in residential districts. They are typically located on privately maintained roads or access easements. These areas are not targeted for future city growth. Land divisions for the creation of one additional buildable lot may be permitted if county zoning standards are met.

Rural Residential - Expansion

rural res expansionThese areas may permit new rural residential subdivisions, generally with a maximum density of one acre per dwelling. An amendment to the Land Use Framework Map is required designate an area as Rural Residential—Expansion. This designation is to be applied on only when standards for an amendment are met. These standards include where and when the expansion of rural residential development is appropriate.

Urban Growth  

urban growthThese are areas identified by cities as where urban growth can be supported, and is desirable, in the short term. City infrastructure, street, and trail connections are available, or achievable with low-cost, incremental extensions. They are contiguous to existing urban development. These areas may also include individual properties due to their immediate serviceability and to meet the needs of a growing city.

Urban Reserve Overlay  

Thurban reserveese are areas where city growth may occur in the long-term, past the planning horizon of the Ames Urban Fringe Plan. To ensure orderly, efficient growth, the Urban Reserve Overlay prevents premature development of rural residential subdivisions, rural commercial development, or other uses that may impede urban growth. If infrastructure becomes available during the life of the plan, these areas may be annexed.  

Environmentally Sensitive Overlay  

Thesenvironmentally sensitivee areas include floodplains, steep slopes, wetlands, stream and river corridors, other waterbodies, and other environmentally sensitive areas including prairies, savannas, and wildlife corridors.

Subsurface Mining Overlay 

miningThis overlay includes areas where underground mining operations, including ancillary surface operations, are occurring.  

Airport Protection Overlay 

airport protectionThis land use designation is intended to reduce risk, increase safety and promote land use compatibility between the airport and adjacent land uses. It includes the airport clear zone and planned airport expansion areas that may present compatibility issues with certain land uses.  



Contact Amelia Schoeneman, Story County Planning and Development Director


Current Plan

The Ames Urban Fringe (AUF) Plan (2006) (PDF) is an adopted component of the Cornerstone to Capstone (C2C) Comprehensive Plan.

The land use designations are exhibited in the Land Use Framework Map - Ames Urban Fringe Plan.

To implement the AUF, the Story County Board of Supervisors, along with the City Councils from Ames and Gilbert, entered into the Ames Urban Fringe Joint and Cooperative Agreement (PDF), a 28E agreement to define roles and responsibilities related to development in the Ames Urban Fringe.