Master Street Plan
Master Street Plan Overview
The Master Street Plan is a part of the City of Cortez Comprehensive Plan. The plan provides a long range look at where and how the city may grow and provides a "road map" for future growth. Click on the map image on the right, or on the links in the "Quick Links" section below, to view a map of the Master Street Plan.
What is the Master Street Plan?
The Master Street Plan is a tool for the City of Cortez and Montezuma County that proposes future street alignments. The plan is also a guide for citizens to understand where future street infrastructure is proposed. For example, when a subdivision is proposed, the plan provides guidance to the developer and the local governments to ensure that the street connections can be accommodated. Anticipating the need for additional road alignments and road capacity will better accommodate future commercial and residential land development by ensuring there is adequate connectivity and the ability to install the necessary road sizes for future traffic needs.
How is the Master Street Plan Used?
The Master Street Plan is used to identify locations where there is a need for street connectivity. When development is proposed, the plan provides guidance to the developer and the local governments to ensure that the street connections can be accommodated. The Master Street Plan is part of the City of Cortez Comprehensive Plan. It provides a long range look at where and how the city may grow and provides a "road map" for future growth.
The Master Street Plan is NOT:
- A plan to annex land
- A capital improvements plan
For more information, please explore the tabs below. If you'd like to comment on the draft Master Streets Plan and receive email notices related to the plan and future meetings, please click here.
- What Does the MSP Do?
- MSP Authority
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Street Classification
- How Can I Participate?
The Master Street Plan...
- Provides a vision of the street network for the future
- Helps coordinate street connectivity
- Provides a tool for developers and citizens to assist in identifying street connections
- Provides a tool for the City to serve the community's future needs by identifying necessary street connections when new development occurs
- Helps the community plan for growth
- Is advisory - can be adjusted as development occurs
The Master Street Plan does NOT...
- "Condemn" or "take" private property
- Act as a transportation plan
- Solve all transportation problems or issues
- Require the City or County to improve a proposed street
- Set exact location or define alignments of streets
What is the authority of the City of Cortez to have a plan that extends into the jurisdiction of Montezuma County?
The Colorado Revised Statues authorize a municipality to adopt a master plan include a section on streets. Colorado State Statutes 31-23-206 states that a City's Planning and Zoning Commission can make and adopt a master plan. In addition, municipalities are required to adopt a three-mile plan which acts as guidance for annexations. Within a master plan, the following can be considered within the municipality and outlying areas:
- The general location, character, and extent of existing, proposed, or projected streets, road, rights-of-ways, bridges, waterways, waterfronts, parkways, highways, mass transit routes and corridors, and any transportation plan prepared by any metropolitan planning organization that covers all or a portion of the municipality and that the municipality has received notification of or, if the municipality is not located in an area covered by a metropolitan planning organization, and transportation plan prepared by the department of transportation that the municipality as received notification of and that covers all or a portion of the municipality;
Further, State Statutes section 31-23-212 allows a municipality to have jurisdiction over land within the three-mile area with regards to subdivisions, and requires subdivisions to be submitted to municipalities for review:
- "the territorial jurisdiction of any commission over the subdivision of land located within the legal boundaries of the municipality, and limited only to control with reference to a major street plan and not otherwise, also includes all land lying within three miles of the boundaries of the municipality not located in any other municipality."
Subdivision plats are submitted to the city for a signature with regards to the alignment of streets with the city's street plan.
The purposed of the state laws is to provide a way for a city to have some input into subdivision of land so that there is a coordinated effort to arrange street ROW so that existing and future streets connect.
- What is the Master Street Plan?
The Master Street Plan is a tool for the City of Cortez and Montezuma County that proposes future street alignments. Please see the Master Street Plan Page for more information.
- How is the Master Street Plan used?
The Master Street Plan is used to identify locations where there is a need for street connectivity. When development is proposed, the plan provides guidance to the developer and local governments to ensure that the street connections can be accommodated.
- Why do we need a Master Street Plan
The Master Street Plan helps local governements and land developers identify where a future street should go. Otherwise, streets may not connect to each other in a logical way.
- Who uses the Master Street Plan?
Local governments (i.e. the City of Cortez and Montezuma County), the State Highway Department, land developers, and individual property owners all use the the master street plan for guidance on where streets should go, and on where a street may need to be upgraded.
- What area does the Master Street Plan cover?
The street plan can cover an area of up to three miles outside of City limits. The proposed street plan only covers an area of one mile outside of the City’s limit. If significant growth begins to happen, the plan can be amended to plan for additional traffic needs appropriate for the demand.
- How is the Master Street Plan related to other City of Cortez plans or policies?
The Master Street Plan is a subsection of the City of Cortez Comprehensive Plan, which looks at policies to guide growth and land use for the city in general. The Master Street Plan provides specific guidance regarding street connectivity and policies for ensuring that there is a logical system of streets for the City and certain areas of the unincorporated area.
The Master Street Plan is advisory, in that it provides general guidance. The Street Plan is implemented through the land use code, in the form of regulations that require development to consider the proposed streets and accommodate the street connections that are proposed in the Master Street Plan.
Street Classifications Explained
The connectivity of a street network can affect public safety and the success of the economy. If it is too difficult to access a property, whether it is because traffic volumes slow down traffic movement or if there are too many conflicts at the access point, it may result in the location being an unsuccessful one for business or other uses. Having suitable access for first responders is also extremely important.
Different types of land use result in a certain number of “trips”. For example, a residential use will generate a different number of trips per day than a 60,000 square foot grocery store. Street design should meet the adjacent land uses. Local streets are typically the streets that provide direct access to a property, and then local streets feed into collector streets and ultimately arterial streets.
See below for more detail on the various classifications of our Cortez streets. Note that the City’s design standards address the requirements for pavement width, thickness, and subgrade preparation.
The main purpose of a local street is to provide direct access to properties. Local streets can be a part of the design of a neighborhood, for example, through curved vs straight alignment of the street, landscaping, and building siting, and by providing space between structures. Local streets also serve to provide on street parking, sometimes primary parking. The typical right of way width of a local street is between 50 and 65 feet.. Wider local streets may be found in heavy commercial and industrial areas to accommodate truck traffic associated with those uses. Local streets should connect to collector streets and not directly to arterials if possible. Texas Street is an example of a local street.
A collector street gathers traffic from local streets, usually residential local streets, and serves local activities such as schools and shopping centers, or transfers traffic to arterial streets. They are not intended for direct access to a lot and therefore driveways connecting directly to a collector should be discouraged, as should parking on the collector street. Right of way width will be between 60 and 80 feet. Montezuma Avenue is an example of a collector street.
Arterial streets are intended to provide traffic flow for longer trips across an area. While arterials will provide direct access to individual lots, it is not ideal and can create conflicts. Typical arterial ROW widths range from 60 feet to 100 or more feet. Mildred Road is an example of an arterial street.
There are highways located within City limits, HW 145, HW 160, and HW 491. Highway rights of way and design criteria under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The Master Street Plan was adopted by the City of Cortez Planning and Zoning Commission on August 3, 2021. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the City Planning Department at (970)- 565-3402, 123 Roger Smith Avenue, Cortez.