Town News

Catch Up With Council, August 8, 2023 – Capital Projects Update, Design Plan for Granite Street, Deed Revision to Housing Helps, Plastic Bag Fee Updates, Ban on Single Use Plastic, and More

Capital Projects Update

On March 28, 2023, staff presented Town Council with an overview of the Town’s upcoming capital improvement projects and the plan that outlined these projects. Capital projects are long-term, high-value projects over $5,000 with a life over one year that have the purpose of building upon or adding to or improving the property, plant, or equipment. The main goal of this update to Council was to highlight the status of the projects in the Capital Plan, which were presented in March.

As of August 1, 2023, there are twenty-eight Town projects in various stages of progress with 10 of the projects having been completed or at substantial completion, five under construction, four in design, three delayed until 2024, and six that are ongoing projects to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2023, as outlined in attachment one in the staff report to Council. To assist in the funding of some current and future projects, Town staff has continued to research and apply for grants, and future capital projects will be considered by Town Council as part of the budgeting process this fall.

Design Plan for Granite Street Complete Streets

In March of 2022, Town Council adopted the Downtown Complete Streets Plan to improve the Town’s multi-modal transportation (roadways that accommodate automobile, bike, and pedestrian travel), preserve the community’s walkability, and the development of complete street policies in order to improve opportunities for safe and efficient multi-modal transportation.

Staff worked in conjunction with Toole Design Group on the development of the Downtown Complete Streets Plan. During the community outreach process while the Downtown Complete Streets Plan was being drafted, the highest priority among community members was improvement of Granite Street. Resolution 23-13 was approved by the Town Council on February 14, 2023, which allowed an agreement with Toole Design Group to develop the 30% design of Granite Street. Toole Design Group started the design process in March 2023, and this update to Council is intended to solicit input from Council about the current direction of this design.

On June 14, 2023, the Town of Frisco and Toole Design Group held a stakeholder meeting and a public open house to inform and engage community members around the progress of the project design and receive feedback about community priorities. Comments from both the stakeholder meeting and the open house are included in the attachments of this staff report, and the Town of Frisco and Toole Design Group are continuing to address public comment within the context of the design plan.

After several months of data collection and analysis, Toole Design Group has a draft of the 30% design plans and a preliminary estimate of probable cost of construction. The 30% design plan presents options that include pathways on each side of Granite to accommodate pedestrians and bikers, on street parking, and landscape improvements to include trees.

Council gave staff direction to continue to focus on pathways on each side of Granite Steet to accommodate bikes and pedestrians, analyze how any design will support the Summit Stage, accommodate residents currently parking on Town property by creating a program for these residents to park on Granite Street, and re-evaluate having four-way stops at each intersection. During the 2024 budget, Town Council will consider the budget for going from 30% design to a 100% design for Granite Street.

1041 Regulations Discussion

Town Attorney Thad Renaud presented Town Council with a briefing about House Bill 1041, which was passed in 1974 by the Colorado General Assembly at a time when the Legislature was particularly concerned with the effects of growth and development upon the physical environment of the state and its residents. In particular, the Legislature was concerned that the traditional zoning and subdivision tools used by local governments might not be adequate to fully address the impacts caused by a few specific development activities or to adequately protect and plan for development in certain physical areas.

House Bill 1041 gives local governments more ability to regulate in the following specialized areas:

  1. Site selection and construction of major new domestic water and sewage treatment systems and major extension of existing domestic water and sewage treatment systems;
  2. Site selection and development of solid waste disposal sites except those sites specified in C.R.S. 25-11-203(1), sites designated pursuant to part e of Article 11 of Title 25, C.R.S., and hazardous waste disposal sites, as defined in C.R.S. 25-15-200.3;
  3. Site selection of airports;
  4. Site selection of rapid or mass transit terminals, stations, and fixed guideways;
  5. Site selection of arterial highways, interchanges and collector highways;
  6. Site selection and construction of major facilities of a public utility;
  7. Site selection and development of new communities;
  8. Efficient utilization of municipal and industrial water projects; and
  9. Conduct of nuclear detonations.

Town Council had a discussion about opting into this authority and around exercising any authority around these issues, especially highways, transit, and utilities in the future. Council discussed working collaboratively, rather than using this authority, and Council indicated that they would like to continue to have discussions around the authority that 1041 regulations allow during a future work session.

Deed Revision to Housing Helps Program

On August 27, 2019, the Town Council adopted Resolution 19-31 to establish Frisco’s “Housing Helps” program. The Frisco Housing Helps program was initially set up to provide financial assistance in exchange for a live/work occupancy deed restriction, including income and appreciation caps.

In June of 2021, Town Council approved a modification to the Housing Helps program, deemed “Housing Helps 2.0”, which modified the program to remove the income and appreciation caps from the program. Since its inception, the Housing Helps program has been used to purchase or acquire restrictions on ten properties. Six properties were purchased by the Town, two deed restrictions were purchased jointly with Summit County, and two were properties purchased by people employed within the Ten Mile Basin utilizing the down payment assistance option of the program. To date, the Town has spent approximately $3.9M on the program; this will be reduced when the Town sells three of the units in the upcoming months.

Current options under Housing Helps 2.0

  • Option 1: Town purchases a deed restriction from a new home buyer who can use that cash assistance for anything, including as down payment assistance. Buyers may include businesses or investors who want to rent their properties to occupants who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 2: Town purchases a deed restriction from a current property owner (including businesses and developers) and then this property has a deed restriction that limits occupancy to local workforce community members who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 3: Town purchases a market rate or existing deed restricted housing unit and resells the property with a deed restriction limiting occupancy to local workforce community members. Income caps, price appreciation caps, and/or household size limits may be imposed at the discretion of the Town if the property is purchased by the Town.
  • Option 4: Town provides financial assistance to a current property owner to construct an accessory dwelling unit that is deed restricted to local workforce community members who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 5: Town partners with Summit County to purchase a deed restriction from a current property owner (including businesses and developers) that limits occupancy to local workforce community members with no income cap, price appreciation cap, or household size requirement.

Recently, the Town had been approached by a retired homeowner wishing to sell a deed restriction to the Town on their home. The individual is no longer employed 30 hours per week within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin, and therefore, does not meet the conditions of the current standard Housing Helps deed restriction.

At the May 9, 2023, Town Council meeting, Staff and Council discussed the Housing Helps program with a potential scenario regarding the Town proceeding with placing a deed restricted covenant on a unit with an owner/occupant who is not currently employed but who does live full time in the unit. Knowing that one of the goals of the program is to increase full time residency in Frisco, Council directed staff and the Town Attorney to move forward with an amendment, Resolution 23-20, to the Housing Helps covenant allowing a retiree who resides in a unit for over seven years to qualify as an occupant under the covenant.

Staff presented Resolution 23-20 on August 8, 2023 which included a provision that when the retiree sells the unit, the unit would then be sold with a Housing Helps deed restriction, and the amount that would be paid for a deed restriction under this new option of the Housing Helps program would vary based upon an estimate of the amount of time (based on actuarial table information) that will likely pass before the restriction will impose working requirements on the next subsequent owner who would need to qualify with work requirements.

Town Council tabled Resolution 23-20 and directed staff to modify Resolution 23-20 to remove the requirement that the Housing Helps payout to a retiree be based on the estimated amount of time that that they would be expected to live in the property before it can be sold to someone who meets the live/work (30 hours or more per week) requirements. Staff will return to Council with an updated version of Resolution 23-20 on August 22, 2023.

Development Agreement with NHP Foundation

In May 2023, Town Council approved Ordinance 23-14 on second reading concerning the development of two affordable rental housing projects, where the Town of Frisco intends to grant a long-term ground lease at 602 Galena Street to the NHP Foundation to facilitate the development of affordable housing units. NHP also now owns 101 West Main Street to develop affordable housing. Through this acquisition, NHP would finance, construct, and operate affordable housing improvements, in addition to owning the property. After pricing both modular and stick-built methods of providing the agreed upon workforce units at the 602 Galena Street property under the initial development agreement, NHP has proposed the following modifications to the lease:

  • That the lease for the property to fulfill 54 workforce units (more than originally proposed) be modified to include the whole property of the 602 Galena land owned by the Town of Frisco
  • The method of construction will be traditional vs modular
  • The Town’s obligation to accommodate the State of Colorado Workforce Center currently at 602 Galena Street be fulfilled at the 101 West Main Street location, which is currently owned by NHP

These proposed modifications need to be memorialized in the lease option and the development agreement amendment to keep the Town’s records up to date and to make sure that future applications by NHP or the Town for any kind of grant or financing indicates the correct site requirements.

Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-15, on the first reading, and the ordinance will now return during the August 22 Town Council meeting for second reading.

Ordinance Updating Town’s Plastic Bag Ban and Paper Bag Fees and Requirements

Due to Council’s ongoing discussions regarding the many issues related to single use plastics, Town Environmental Programs staff returned to Council with an ordinance to reduce single use plastic in the Frisco community. The Town’s Bag Fee and Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance 21-01 has been in effect since September 1, 2021. This update to the ordinance will bring it into alignment with the State’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act HB 21-1162 (PPRA).

Under the previous Ordinance 21-01, 50% of the disposable bag fee may be kept by a business, up to a maximum amount of $100 per month. The new Ordinance, 23-19, would allow businesses to keep 40% of the bag fee that they collect with no maximum, and the other 60% would be remitted to the Town of Frisco. The minimum remittance would be $20 per quarter; there is currently no minimum under the current ordinance. If a business has less than $20 to remit, they would keep the remittance until they had over $20 and remit within that quarter. Under Ordinance 23-19, the Town can now use the bag fee for more purposes, including to plan, promote, or implement any recycling, composting, or other waste reduction programs and related outreach and education. This ordinance would be in effect starting September 1, 2023.

Currently, businesses are only permitted to provide (with a $.25 bag fee) paper bags made from at least 40% post-consumer (PCR) recycled materials. Under this new ordinance, paper bags would need to be made of 100% recycled or other post-consumer recycled materials, and a $.25 bag fee would still be charged. Businesses with remaining 40% PCR paper bag stock as of September 1, 2023, when this new requirement would go into effect, would be able to continue to distribute (with a $.25 bag fee) to customers until they run out.

Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-19 on the second reading.

Ordinance Banning Single Use Plastic

At the November 8, 2022 Town Council meeting, Environmental Programs facilitated a conversation about single use plastics and was directed by Council members to return with more information on water bottle bans, “skip the stuff” style ordinances, and clarification on requirements of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act HB 21-1162 (PPRA).

On March 14, 2023, Environmental Programs staff returned to Council and was then directed by Council to return with an ordinance including:

  • In effect starting July 1, 2024- ban on sale or provision of single use plastic water bottles under 1 gallon,
  • In effect immediately- ban on single use plastic cups in municipal facilities, events, or Town spaces being used for special events, and
  • In effect January 1, 2024- ban the use of to-go containers including hinged boxes, trays, bowls, cups, etc.
  • In effect immediately- requirement for all single use plastic items (including utensils, condiments, straws, stirrers, and napkins) to be on request only for take-out food.

Over the last few months, Town staff have sent communications to impacted small and large businesses, met with internal and external stakeholders, and strategized implementation. During the March 14 work session, Council requested that the implementation of this ordinance arrive in conjunction with related programs to assist businesses and residents with the change. While implementation of most pieces of this ordinance will not go into effect until January 1, 2024 (polystyrene products banned) or July 1, 2024 (single use water bottle ban), staff has worked diligently to create a complete package to accompany this ordinance, including a grant program to assist small businesses to implement reuse and waste reduction projects. Council was very supportive of a business grant program in conjunction with this ordinance and directed staff to continue to develop and implement.

Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-18 on the second reading.

Frisco Town Council Meetings: Ways to Participate

Frisco Town Council meetings are available to view via Zoom and YouTube, and are also held in person to make Town Council meetings easier to access for everyone.

The public can provide comment during meetings via Zoom or in person (not YouTube), and a public comment period will be available at 7:00pm; during the consideration of ordinances; and at the discretion of Town Council during work session items, which are discussions that don’t require a formal vote by Town Council and do not require public comment.Again, this hybrid approach is intended to make Town Council meetings more accessible, and meeting recordings will typically also be made available the day after a meeting in the meeting archive with agenda topics bookmarked to the discussions in the video.

Due to technical issues, the YouTube recording of last night’s meeting is not yet available.

You can watch the meeting through a Zoom recording by clicking this link and using the passcode:  r7+3YGix