Land Use Code Update
The City of Cortez is in the process of updating the Cortez Land Use Code (LUC) and housing policies. The current LUC was adopted in 1996 and has been amended numerous times over the years. Since the initial adoption, almost 30 years ago, the City has grown and our needs have changed. The current LUC needs an update specifically for ease of administration and simplification of review processes, as well as inclusion of standards that support the city’s housing needs. For context, the Land Use Code is comprised of zone district regulations, use regulations, subdivision standards, site development standards, and administration/ application procedures.
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What is the Land Use Code (LUC)?
The LUC sets regulations for property within City limits in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the City. The regulations are designed to lessen congestion in the streets, secure safety from fire, provide adequate light and air, prevent the overcrowding of land and population, promote energy conservation, and facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements.
Why Update the LUC?
The current LUC was adopted in 1996 and has been amended numerous times over the years. Since the initial adoption, almost 30 years ago, the City has grown and our needs have changed. The current LUC needs an update specifically for ease of administration and simplification of review processes, as well as inclusion of standards that support the city’s housing needs.
Land Use Code Assessment Report
As part of the overall Land Use Code & Housing Policy Update project, on August 30, 2023, the City of Cortez completed a Land Use Code Assessment Report. This assessment report considers all public feedback; input from staff and elected and appointed officials; and the professional opinion of the consultant team, and serves as an update-able, living document that outlines a general roadmap for the LUC update process. Each of the recommendations discussed in this document will take time to develop and many may require additional public outreach and continued discussion with staff and elected and appointed officials. The following pages combine results of community feedback and detailed review of the existing LUC into recommendations for the update. Each section includes background and technical details followed by a summary of the suggested recommendations.
Land Use Code Guiding Principles
The following guiding principles were established by the project team (City staff, community representatives, and consultants) during the initial kickoff of the Land Use Code and Housing Policy Update:
- Ensure the Land Use Code is User-Friendly for residents, land owners, business owners, city staff and elected officials.
- Make the Right Things Easy so that we are supporting residents, business owners and the community.
- Balance Flexibility and Predictability so that the public knows what to expect from the Land Use Code.
- Engage the Public so that the community understands the Land Use Code and has the opportunity to participate in the update process.
- Right-Size the Standards and Procedures so that zoning and subdivisions standards match the unique needs and market conditions of Cortez.
- Preserve and Enhance Local Character so that Cortez stays Cortez.
- Respond to Housing Needs so everyone in our community can find attainable, and save housing.
Upcoming Land Use Events
There are no scheduled public events about the LUC Update as of now. Please check back again soon.
The next public feedback session should be in early 2024.