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Ames Rental Property Association v. City of Ames

Supreme Court of Iowa
736 N.W.2d 255 (2007)


The City of Ames (Ames) (defendant) was the location of Iowa State University. In order to prevent large numbers of college students moving into residential areas occupied by families, Ames passed a law excluding from the definition of “family” groups of more than three unrelated persons. Therefore, no more than three unrelated people could live in a house in an area zoned for single-family dwellings. Ames Rental Property Association (ARPA) (plaintiff) was a corporation of residential real-property owners in Ames. ARPA members and their tenants were cited for violating the zoning ordinance. ARPA subsequently filed suit, requesting a judgment declaring that Ames’s legal definition of a family for the purposes of determining whether the use of a house violated the single-family dwelling zoning ordinance was contrary to the Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution and the Iowa Constitution. Ames filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, and ARPA appealed to the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Streit, J.)

Dissent (Wiggins, J.)

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