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Cortez council to consider new ordinances at Tuesday meeting

Changes to building codes, land use code on agenda
The Cortez City Hall is at 123 Roger Smith Ave.

During a busy meeting on Tuesday, the Cortez City Council will consider changing the rules for builders and planners in town.

After a 6 p.m. workshop, the council will meet at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall. The regular meeting agenda includes public hearings on a series of building code updates, the first reading of a land use code amendment, a city real estate purchase and much more. Both the workshop and the meeting are open to the public.

At its last meeting, the council approved the first reading of 11 ordinances designed to bring the city’s building codes in line with the 2015 version of the International Building Codes. Council members will take a final vote on those ordinances during 11 public hearings at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council members will also consider an ordinance that would create a city board of appeals to handle requests from residents who wish to appeal a city decision on building codes in the future. The board would be made up of five city residents and two alternates, who would hold public meetings to discuss appeals filed with the city. According to the draft ordinance, they would have the authority to reverse a city official’s decision by a four-member vote, although they would not be able to change existing codes.

Under the ordinance, city residents would be able to file an appeal if they believed “the true intent of city ordinances or codes ... have been incorrectly interpreted.”

The council will also consider an amendment to the city land use code that would allow a school to be built in an “open” zone. The ordinance, which was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on March 6, would allow the old Montezuma County Justice Building to be turned into a school. According to a memo from city planner Tracie Hughes, the Children’s Kiva Montessori School has expressed interest in buying the building, but the land use code does not currently allow a school to be built there. The new ordinance would include schools as a conditional use in the open zoning district.

Another ordinance on the agenda would approve the purchase of 50 acres of land from Keith Evans, to be added to the Geer Natural Area. The city has budgeted $50,000 for the purchase.

Other items

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

Discuss a request for funds from the Mancos Schools Future Farmers of America program.Discuss adding two capital projects to the 2018 budget.Hear a request for funding from Habitat for Humanity.Discuss a potential fiber project.Discuss a request to allow alcohol at a Montezuma Community Economic Development Association event to be held in City Hall.Vote on whether to approve letters from the city to the Federal Aviation Administration in support of easing the training requirements for Essential Air Service pilots.Vote on re-appointments to the board of adjustments and appeals.Vote on whether to approve a $3,000 contract with Trails 2000 for a trail assessment.Vote on whether to authorize the mayor to sign a grant contract for a state grant that will fund the historic preservation board’s walking tour podcasts.Vote on bids for a new street sweeper and recycling truck.Vote on an amendment to the city’s contract with Skywerx, which helps provide wireless services for the Cortez fiber network.Hold public comment periods.

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