Ordinances and Policies


Some Ordinances or Policies of Interest

Couch Ordinance

The "couch" ordinance, in Section 17.34 of the Municipal Code, explains that if you place household appliances, furniture or furnishings in a yard, deck or porch you will be in violation of the new law. In the past, it was illegal for anyone to place indoor furniture on rental property. The new ordinance applies to all residents of the property.

The ordinance does not apply to items designed for outdoor use and also excludes porches that are completely enclosed by glass or screens.

Penalties for violating this ordinance will be $50 for a first offence, $100 for a second offense and $250 for a third offense and subsequent offense. The ordinance went into effect July 1, 2003, and will be enforced on a complaint only basis.

Noise Ordinance

The maximum level for the hours of 7 a.m. to midnight is 60 decibels and for the hours of midnight to 7 a.m. is 55 decibels. The sound will be measured at the edge of the city street or alley right-of-way.

When a complaint is received, a measurement may also be taken at the location on the property where the complaining party was disturbed. If charged with noncompliance, you will be tried in the Associate District Court for a simple misdemeanor and could be charged for court costs and up to $115 in fines or 30 days in jail.

If an officer is available and the conditions permit, it may be possible to measure the sound levels before the party.

If you live off campus and intend to exceed the maximum levels of sound, you must submit an application at the Ames Police Department for a noise permit. Your request must be received at least 24 hours in advance or by noon the Friday before the event.

Parking Ordinances

As of July 29, 2003 illegal parking fines, not meter or handicap violations, will be a minimum of $10.

Guests are not allowed to park on the front lawn of a unit. Parking is acceptable in a driveway or in a Zoning Board approved area. The fine for this offense is a $10 ticket. If a vehicle is parked on a city street for more than 48 hours, it is considered abandoned and will be towed.

Parties With Beer Kegs

Before holding an event where more than one beer keg tapper is to be used at or about the same time, first obtain a permit from the Ames Chief of Police. Permits may be obtained by only an individual, not corporations, associations, or groups of people. The permit must be obtained at least twenty-four hours before the event. The Chief of Police provides applications.

Responsibilities of the Keg Tapper Permit Holder

  • Attend a brief session to be conducted by the Chief of Police concerning litter, open liquor containers, parking, noise, and serving beer or liquor to underage or intoxicated persons.
  • Display the permit in a conspicuous place at the event site.
  • Clean up event site including streets and private property.
  • Permit holder is bound by applicable ordinances of the city and state statutes, including state law requiring a permit or license for the sale of beer.
  • Failure to obtain a keg tapper permit is punishable by fines of up to $100 and 30 days in jail.

Pay Tickets Online!

Paying tickets will never be fun, but now it's more convenient. The Iowa Judicial Branch and the City of Ames have added an online payment option. This will enable you to pay fines and court fees to the Story County Clerk of Court and current parking tickets to the City of Ames.

This free service accepts credit card payments 24 hours/day, seven days/week. To take advantage of this convenience, please click on one of the options below and follow the instructions.

For more information, check out the Municipal Code.