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Code compliance on Cortez city council agenda

City will consider several city code changes
The Cortez City Hall is at 123 Roger Smith Avenue.

The Cortez City Council plans to spend most of its meeting on Tuesday voting on whether to conform the city code to new national standards.

Tuesday’s meeting will start with a workshop at 5:30 p.m., where council members will discuss several upcoming issues, including a request from a resident to change the city code’s residency requirements for those starting a marijuana business. The regular meeting will start at 7:30 p.m., and it includes several votes on proposed changes to city codes. Planning and Building Director Sam Proffer has been working on an update to town regulations governing things like fire safety and building maintenance since May 2017, hoping to bring them into compliance with the models set by the International Code Council.

Proffer will bring 11 ordinances before the City Council for a vote, each of which would repeal previous ordinances that conflict with the 2015 version of a different International Code, and adopt new ones that comply with it. Specific updated codes that could affect Cortez regulations include the International Fuel Gas Code, the Mechanic Code, the Plumbing Code, the Property Maintenance Code, the Energy Conservation Code, the Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Code, the Building Code, the Fire Code, the Existing Building Code, the Residential Code and the National Electric Code.

If the council approves the first reading of these code updates, they will be considered in public hearings on March 13. In a memo to the council, Proffer said the city still uses the 2009 version of most of the codes, and is overdue for an update.

“It is increasingly difficult for designers to keep having to reference back to the old codes,” he wrote. “The city needs to update in order to stay abreast of changes.”

The memo noted that some Colorado jurisdictions are already transitioning to the 2018 versions of the codes, which are updated every three years.

During the workshop before the meeting, council members will discuss another possible change to the city code, one that would allow someone who had lived in Colorado only one year to obtain a retail marijuana license. Right now the city code, based on state regulations adopted in 2014, requires retail marijuana sellers to have lived in Colorado for two years, but the state government has changed its residency requirements to one year since then. According to a memo from City Clerk Linda Smith, a Cortez resident interested in opening a retail marijuana store requested the city change to match the new state laws.

Other action

During the workshop and regular meeting, the council will also:

Introduce three new city employees.Hear a presentation from Laurie Dickson on the energy conservation nonprofit 4CORE.Hear an update on the Paths to Mesa Verde project from James Dietrich.Vote on whether to award a bid for a mower machine to Stotz equipment for $11,900.Vote on whether to award a bid for softball infield mix to All American Sports Material for $39,655.Vote on the appointments of Kevin Mullikin and Tim Kline to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board.Vote on a professional services contract for former golf course superintendent Wayne Becker to provide consulting services to the new superintendent.Hold a public comment period.

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