Town News

Catch Up With Council, February 27, 2024 – Ordinance Providing Water Service to Bill’s Ranch Subdivision, Rezoning 101 West Main, Sustainability Updates, and More

Town Facilities Electric First Policy Discussion

Beginning in March 2022, staff began working collaboratively with Xcel Energy and Brendle Group on an Energy Action Plan through Partners in Energy. The final Town of Frisco Energy Action Plan was adopted by resolution at the October 11, 2022 Town Council meeting. One of the target outcomes from this plan, and specifically the municipal buildings section, included “adopt an all-electric policy for new Town facilities.” An “all-electric policy” is a commitment to electrification and avoiding methane gas (natural gas) for heating, appliances, and any other use.

Currently, there are over 30 Town-owned buildings, according to the staff report. These buildings make up 45,000 MTCO2E (2%) of the community’s overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, 53% of the Town’s energy use in municipal buildings is from methane gas. An all-electric policy would ensure that future new construction prioritizes sustainable fuel options which is supported through the Town’s resolution to use 100% renewable energy by 2035 and the Town of Frisco Energy Action Plan. An all-electric policy for municipal buildings will help the Town meet climate goals stated and committed to in this plan.

Although an all-electric policy has not yet been adopted, the Council has supported such efforts by directing staff to pursue sustainable construction efforts with the Landing, Slopeside Hall, Granite Park and Old Town Hall. Town Council directed staff to bring back an all-electric policy for new Town owned facilities which would be adopted through a formal process that ensures all future construction of new Town owned facilities will include all-electric heating and appliances.

Single Use Plastic Reduction Update

The Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance 23-18 was approved by Town Council on First Reading on July 25, 2023, and again on Second Reading on August 8, 2023. Ordinance 23-18 included a ban on single use plastic cups and water bottles in Town facilities, Town-run events and those under a special event permit; required all disposable to-go utensils, condiments, and napkins be given by request only; banned polystyrene containers and cups Town-wide starting January 1, 2024; and banned single use plastic water bottles starting July 1, 2024. Since approval, Town staff have worked diligently to ensure implementation and compliance. A Single Use Plastics Reduction Committee formed of interdepartmental Town staff, has been meeting bi-monthly, and has been instrumental in the communication, marketing, research, grant development, and general collaboration detailed below.

Implementation of the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance and updated Bag Fees has been running smoothly. Questions and any issues have provided opportunities for additional outreach, education, and building relationships with local business owners.

Changes to requirements for Town-sponsored events

All single use plastic cups have been donated, and plans are in place for events moving forward. A new kit of reusable dishware and cutlery is available to check out for internal staff events.

Bag Fees

Staff completed outreach to affected businesses in fall 2023 and updated bag fee remittance rules on Xpress Bill Pay.

2023 Remitted Bag Fees: $84,117.11

2024 Q1 Remitted Bag Fees: $17,755.29

Per the updated bag fees, approved by Council on July 25, 2023, bag fees are permitted to be spent on any waste reduction measure. In 2023, staff spent roughly $5,000 of remitted bag fees on waste reduction projects including:

  1. Outreach materials for Universal Recycling
  2. Liquid disposal bins at the Day Lodge
  3. Support for the Fill it Forward initiative (program to track reusable water bottle usage of bottles given out with the Reusable Bottle Program at the Visitor Information Center)

In 2024, funds from bag fees will be directed towards the Frisco Waste Reduction Business Grant for small businesses for internal waste reduction projects.

Skip the Stuff, Polystyrene Ban, Single Use Plastic Water Bottle Ban

Staff completed outreach to all impacted businesses through email and physical mail campaigns, phone calls, and in-person visits. The majority of businesses seem to be in compliance with Skip the Stuff (effective on signing, August 8, 2023) and the Polystyrene ban (effective January 1, 2024.) Staff will continue to audit and provide education where necessary. Staff recently implemented a new auditing program for any Town staff who visit our local businesses to provide feedback directly to Sustainability Staff. This will help guide outreach and education efforts. Though the single-use plastic water bottle ban is not in effect until July 1, 2024, staff has already been confirming that business owners are aware and preparing for the upcoming ban.

Waste Reduction Grant

To help businesses adjust to the upcoming single use plastic restrictions and to incentivize innovation in waste reduction, staff developed the Frisco Waste Reduction Business Grant, funded by bag fees. This grant, launched in January 2024, offers up to $10,000 to support innovative waste reduction projects in local Frisco businesses. Eligible projects include installing water filling stations, expanding sustainability programs, etc.. Applications require project details and alignment with waste reduction goals. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis until funds are allocated. Eligible applicants include small businesses, non-profits, and educational organizations within Frisco’s jurisdiction.

Universal Recycling Request for Assistance: Commercial/Multi-family

Council directed staff to look at increasing from a maximum grant of $2,000 the Universal Recycling grant intended to support businesses and HOAs with implementation of Universal Recycling.

Work Session Intent

The intent of this work session was to update Council on the waste reduction implementation and communication efforts which are also outlined in the staff report.

An Ordinance Rezoning from Mixed-Use to Planned Unit Development at 101 West Main Street

NHPF West Main, LLC submitted an application proposing rezoning of the site at 101 West Main Street from mixed-use to Planned Unit Development (PUD), to encourage flexibility and innovation in the development of land and to provide relief from certain standards of the underlying zone district. The applicant is proposing to develop the site for 100% deed-restricted rental housing. The proposed PUD states that a minimum of 45 deed restricted, affordable rental units are required on site, servicing households up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), while allowing for minor deviations up to 100% AMI. To construct this type of development, the Town recognizes that factors, such as high construction costs, high interest rates, and competitive State financing, are all barriers to providing rental units with the proposed Area Median Income (AMI) rental rates, as outlined in the staff report. To assist in alleviating these constraints, the applicant is utilizing the PUD rezoning as a method to provide the Town with a project that meets a high community need, while requesting certain relief from the Unified Development Code.

Pursuant to Town Code §180-2.4.1, rezoning requests are subject to two public hearings at the Planning Commission where the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to Town Council. After such a recommendation, the Town Council shall consider the rezoning ordinance at a public hearing where Town Council shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application.

The Planning Commission held a preliminary public hearing on November 16, 2023 to consider the proposed PUD plan in conjunction with a submitted sketch plan for the property. The applicant received feedback from the Planning Commission and revised the proposed PUD Plan. The Planning Commission held a final public hearing on January 4, 2024 where the Planning Commission recommended conditional approval of the application to Town Council. Should the proposed rezoning request, and PUD plan, be approved by Town Council, the applicant shall return to Planning Commission for final review of the major site plan.

For Town Council to approve the application and as required per UDC Section 180-2.4.2.D, the following criteria shall be met:

  1. That the project is beneficial or necessary for the economic development of Frisco; and
  2. That the application preserves or contributes to usable open space, and natural and scenic features (when open space is provided as a community benefit); or the applicant provides affordable work-force housing when housing is provided as the community benefit; and
  3. That the application achieves a compatibility of land uses with neighboring land uses; and
  4. That the modifications to the underlying zoning district by the project are in the best interest of the Town, and neighborhood in which the development is planned; and
  5. That the projected capacity to fully serve the project site(s) with water and sewer is available; and
  6. That Town services shall be provided in the most efficient manner practicable; and
  7. That more than one housing type, or housing price, or housing form of ownership (i.e. for sale and rental) to satisfy the needs of more than one segment of the community be provided (when residential uses are proposed); and
  8. That the project contributes amenities to the development itself, and to the community at large; and
  9. That an owner’s association is established to promote a sense of community and to ensure the continued existence of a viable entity responsible for maintenance of private open space and other similar duties; and
  10. That the project meets all of the applicable requirements of this Chapter that are not expressly varied in the final PUD plan, contributes to design aesthetics and layout, and promotes efficient use of land.

Because the applicant is proposing a community benefit, they are eligible to receive relief from certain requirements within the UDC if allowed by Town Council. The applicant is proposing the following exceptions to Frisco Town Code, Chapter 180, as written in the submitted PUD plan:

Ceiling Height

The applicant is proposing that the first-floor building height for structure(s) shall be nine feet in height, whereas the UDC states that 10 feet are required. The staff’s understanding of this requirement is that it was established in the UDC to ensure adequate ceiling heights for various commercial uses. Nine-foot height ceilings are still adequate for commercial uses and more ideal for office space which usually have nine-foot-high ceilings. With the ground floor being proposed for residential units and reduced commercial space, staff recommends support of this request as stated within the PUD.

Residential Uses in Central Core and Mixed-Use Districts

The applicant is proposing that ground floor residential uses shall be permitted as a use by right within this PUD designation, where the UDC states that residential uses in the MU zone district are permitted through conditional use approval. Section 180-4.3.1.B. of the Frisco Town Code states that any use that is allowed by right or by conditional use permit within the underlying zone district may be allowed in a PUD. Therefore, the PUD may state that ground floor residential uses on the property shall be permitted by right. Staff support this request as stated within the PUD recognizing that there is a strong community need for affordable rental units and that by utilizing the ground floor, there will be an increased number of affordable rental units provided.

Mixture of Uses in the Mixed-Use Districts

The applicant is proposing that instead of the required minimum of 20% commercial space on the property, a minimum of 1,500 sq. ft (roughly 3.7% of the floor space) is provided. Staff support this request as stated within the PUD recognizing that there is a strong community need for affordable rental units and that by reducing the commercial footprint, there will be an increased number of affordable rental units provided.

Parking and Loading Regulations

As is written in the Affordable Housing Incentive Program (AHIP) of the UDC, the applicant is proposing the following parking quantities:

  1. One-half parking space per unit for studios and one-bedroom units, one parking space per unit for two-bedroom units, and two parking spaces per unit for three bedrooms or greater. One visitor parking space is required for every seven dwelling units in the development.
  2. On-street parking would be utilized. Required parking, excluding ADA and handicap accessible spaces, may be accommodated on streets proximate to the property, on a one-for-one basis, subject to construction of any needed improvements, and Town approval of an acceptable agreement to ensure adequate maintenance and snow removal procedures and a permit system for resident use.
  3. Car-sharing service is being proposed. Each car-sharing space provided shall count as four parking spaces, up to 20% of the parking requirement. The car-sharing program details and agreement shall be provided as part of the major site plan application and shall include provisions and alternative options to ensure operation for the duration of the project.

Landscaping and Revegetation Requirements

The applicant is proposing that the landscaping for the site shall be in conformance with the Town Code, with the following exceptions:

  1. Plant material quantities may be reduced by up to 20% from the requirement per §180-6.14.3.
  2. Species mix may be increased to a 50% maximum for each species, and minimum tree caliper size may be reduced to 50% of the caliper size requirement in §180- 6.14.4.

Snow Storage and Snow Shedding

The applicant is proposing that snow storage shall be accommodated on the property at the rate identified in the UDC. The applicant had originally requested that snow storage be allowed off-site, however, that was not approved per Public Works requirements. The applicant has since worked with Public Works to allow snow storage within the proposed water quality infiltration area that is located between 15 feet and 25 feet of the 100-year floodplain. No snow storage or detentions facilities shall be allowed within 15 feet of the 100-year floodplain. Staff supports the applicant’s snow storage request, as this is supported by the Town Engineer.

Non-Residential Development Standards

The applicant is proposing that the PUD utilize the design guidelines per §180-6.22 Residential Development Standards, rather than §180-6.21 Non-Residential Development Standards. While the design standards are the same as the Residential Development Standards in the UDC, the applicant has written all standards within the PUD to provide further clarification. The PUD states that a minimum of four building elements are required to provide articulation. This is an increase from the two that are required in the Affordable Housing Incentive Program.

Bulk Standards

The applicant is proposing that bulk plane encroachments shall be allowed up to 1,000 cubic feet per 10,000 square feet of lot area. The Affordable Housing Incentive Program allows bulk plane encroachments of up to the ratio of 500 cubic feet per 10,000 square feet of lot area. The PUD also states that bulk plane encroachments may be allowed for livable spaces.

During the February 13, 2024 meeting, Town Council approved on first reading Ordinance 24-01 after giving staff to direction to add a provision during the second reading that required the applicant and staff to arrive at a future parking operational plan that will direct the location and hours of on-street parking. Town Council approved Ordinance 24-01 on second reading with the addition of a requirement for parking operational/management plan to be reviewed by Town Council before the building is occupied.

Ordinances Making Supplemental Appropriations to the 2023 and 2024 Budgets

The Town Council approves a budget each year. From time to time, it is necessary to make changes to the budget. Per the Town’s Charter, these changes must be adopted by Council ordinance. Below is a list of those budget changes.

2023 Supplemental Appropriations

These supplemental appropriations were discussed with Council during the 2023 calendar year. Ordinance 24-04 will amend the 2023 budget by the amounts listed below.

General Fund Expenditures – $244,704
  1. Transfer to the Marina Fund – $244,704
Marina Fund Revenue – $244,704
  1. Transfer from General Fund (10% of total Marina Fund revenue) – $244,704
Marina Fund Expense Reduction -$582,609
  1. Reassigning 2023 costs related to Marina Park drainage improvements from the Marina Fund to the Capital Fund – ($582,609)
Capital Fund Expenditures – $2,124,232
  1. GAP Project completed in year one vs. two years reflected in 2023 5-year capital plan – $1,160,499
  2. Backyard Project: SE Group contract expansion – $381,124
  3. Marina Park drainage improvement – $582,609
Housing Fund Expenditures – $2,500,000
  1. 101 W. Main subsidy for NHP housing project- $2,500,000

2024 Supplemental Appropriations

Rolled Over From 2023 Budget

In this instance, the supplemental appropriations listed below relate to projects budgeted in 2023 but not completed in the 2023 budget, so these funds are then proposed to roll over to the 2024 budget. Ordinance 24-05 will amend the 2024 budget by the amounts listed below.

General Fund Expenditures – $162,642
  1. Social equity projects – $22,250
  2. Timeclock replacements – $27,572
  3. Annual employee gifts – received in 2024 vs 2023 – $9,000
  4. Solarize Summit: One Solarize project was contracted but not completed in 2023, as well as six unused rebates – $10,500
  5. Historic Park Furniture: Museum desk construction – $10,000
  6. Parklet maintenance – $18,320
  7. Streets maintenance: V-Box sander attachment – $40,000
  8. EV training and tools – $25,000
Capital Improvement Fund Expenditures – $9,512,113
  1. Appropriated vehicles and equipment – $1,987,782
  2. Old Town Hall project – $1,501,369
  3. PRA comprehensive plan implementation: Slopeside Hall – $3,357,866
  4. Frisco Backyard Plan: SE Group contract – $359,652
  5. Wayfinding (PRA Signage): For improved signage with updated logo – $22,526
  6. Highway 9 sidewalk improvements – $1,470,000
  7. Neighborhood park improvements: Old Town Hall Park – $491,567
  8. Town Hall dumpster enclosure- $163,985
  9. Town Hall Master Plan – $75,000
  10. Fiber infrastructure planning – $82,367
Water Fund Expenses – $500,000
  1. Lagoon Drive water main replacement – $500,000
Housing Fund Revenue – $1,693,144
  1. Granite Park: Partnership contributions due from CDOT – $1,650,513
  2. Granite Park: IHOI grant funding due from DOLA – $42,631
Housing Fund Expenditures – $6,243,236
  1. Granite Park: Construction – $6,243,236
Lodging Tax Fund Expenditures – $49,000
  1. Art and Culture: Art and Culture Council not seated until May 2023 – Programming $25,000; Capital $24,000

New Appropriations

In this instance, the supplemental appropriations listed below relate to budget requests recommended by staff to achieve Town Council’s Strategic Plan. Ordinance 24-05 will amend the 2024 budget by the amounts listed below.

General Fund Revenue Reduction- $552,000
  1. Grant Revenue: Bridge improvement grant not received – ($552,000)
General Fund Expenditures- $213,400 reduction
  1. Transfer to Marina Fund – $268,600
  2. MERT: Budget for expenditures tracked by Town (offset by $10,000 in revenue collected from Silverthorne and Dillon) – $15,000
  3. Climate Action Plan: Increased cost over original estimate – $55,000
  4. Bridge improvements: Reduction due to grant funding not received – ($552,000)
Nicotine Tax Fund Expenditures – $40,532
  1. Non-Profit funding (FIRC, Building Hope, Summit County Community Care Clinic): Funding committed by Countywide Nicotine workgroup over 2024 budget – $40,532
Marina Fund Revenue – $374,200
  1. Increase in parking revenue – $43,000
  2. Increase in storage user rates – $45,000
  3. Increase in boat rentals – $50,000
  4. Decrease in grant revenue – ($30,000)
  5. Decrease in sale of assets – ($80,500)
  6. Increase to other operating revenue – $78,100
  7. Transfer from general fund: 10% of Marina Fund total revenue – $268,600
Marina Fund Expenses – $190,131
  1. Increase in salaries and benefits – $262,381
  2. Decrease to capital equipment – ($63,000)
  3. Decrease to operating expenses – ($9,250)

Town Council approved Ordinances 24-04 and 24-05 on the second reading.

Ordinance Providing Water Service to Bill’s Ranch Subdivision

Summit County Government submitted a “will serve” letter for water service to Town Council, for its proposed workforce housing development within the Bill’s Ranch subdivision. In its request letter, Summit County proposed that “[t]his water service will be made available pursuant to the provisions and requirements of the 2001 Water Service Agreement and the 2018 First Amendment to the Water Service Agreement, between the Town of Frisco and Summit County”. That 2001 water service agreement, and its 2018 first amendment, do not, however, currently provide for the Town’s provision of water service at any location outside of the County Commons which is why this change has been presented to Town Council.

Project Description

The property, Tracts 4-10 & 15-17, Bills Ranch Subdivision, consists of 2.08 acres accessed primarily from Miners Creek Road, directly across the street from the Frisco Bay Townhomes in Frisco in unincorporated Summit County. The proposal is to build 14 small-footprint, cabin-style single family residences that will be made available for sale as deed restricted, workforce housing in the 80-105% AMI range. One existing cabin on the property is also proposed to be remodeled and upgraded and also sold to the workforce as part of the project. The goal of the project is to meet a stated need for affordable ownership housing in the Ten Mile Basin of Summit County and the vicinity of the Town of Frisco.

Water Agreement Details

The proposed ordinance, 24-06, would amend the Intergovernmental Agreement for Water Services with the following changes:

  1. Up to 15 EQRs remain for water service under the existing IGA would be allowed to be used within the Bill’s Ranch Subdivision at the site of the proposed workforce housing project;
  2. The County would be obligated to immediately (by April 1, 2024) cause the Clinton Ditch and Reservoir Company to transfer to the Town’s ownership all water (ditch company) rights associated with the water taps that have previously been sold and put into service at the County Commons;
  3. Going forward, the County will be obligated to cause the transfer of ownership of all water (ditch company) rights associated with a requested water tap, prior to the Town’s issuance of the requested tap; and
  4. The outdoor use of water at residential property that is served under the agreement would be prohibited, except for the limited hand-watering and vegetation-establishment exceptions allowed under Frisco Town Code. For the February 27 meeting, Summit County provided a memorandum requesting that they be allowed to use water for irrigation of landscaping, specifically trees, for three years to allow the trees to establish and thrive. Town Council requested that the County commit to removing the irrigation system after three years, and County representatives in attendance at the meeting agreed to this.

Town Council approved Ordinance 24-06 on the second reading with an amendment that allowed for the use of this water for landscape irrigation for no more than three years.

An Ordinance Amending Chapter 180 of the Code of Ordinances Concerning Affordable Housing

On January 9, 2024, the Town Council reviewed proposed amendments to 180-5.5, Affordable Housing. After discussing these amendments, Council requested staff bring back these amendments at a later date.

Due to ongoing changes to State financing requirements and project developments within the Town, staff are proposing that Town Council review a modified amendment than what was originally brought forward during the January 9 meeting.

The proposed modifications include:

  • Frisco Town Code, Section 180-5.5.1.B. Density Bonus.

Existing language in the code allows a project to request density bonus in certain zone districts if the average AMI for half of the bonus units is 100% AMI (the other half of bonus units do not have an AMI restriction and are usually market rate).

Staff requests that the Council consider an amendment inserting a new paragraph under 180-5.5.1B.1.b. stating that if a project is being developed with all units being affordable and/or workforce restricted, then the average AMI may be up to 120% AMI. This modification would allow developments that are not proposing any market rate units, to have a slightly higher AMI for the bonus units.

Proposed Insertion, 180-5.5.1B.1.b.:

For projects that are being developed with all residential units restricted to affordable and/or workforce housing, bonus units shall be provided as affordable deed restricted housing being available for purchase or rent to households earning, on average, an income up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), at a rate established by the Summit Combined Housing Authority for that income level, and pursuant to the other criteria as established from time to time by the Town or the Summit Combined Housing Authority; or

  • Frisco Town Code, Section 180-5.5.1.B.2.b., sale of density bonus units.

Existing language in the Town Code requires bonus density units to be sold through the Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA). As of fall 2023, the SCHA does not have a real estate branch anymore and so staff proposes removing this requirement, as it is not feasible.

Proposed modification: 180-5.5.1.B.2.b.:

Every owner of an affordable housing unit shall ensure that each potential buyer of the unit is qualified for the purchase through the Summit Combined Housing Authority, and any affordable housing unit established pursuant to any density bonus provision of this Chapter shall be marketed and offered solely through the Summit Combined Housing Authority.

  • Frisco Town Code, Section 180-5.5.1.B.2.c.3.a., criteria for designating properties as Affordable Housing Development.

Existing language in the Town Code states that an applicant may only apply for incentives (deviations from specifically stated code requirements) if all the dwelling units within the development are restricted to households earning an average of 100% AMI. As the Town pursues affordable housing projects with AMIs that are not funded through the Lower Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), it is difficult to fill the gap funding to make the financial models work. This has led the Town to recognize that a slightly higher AMI would allow applicants to be able to fund and move forward with development, meeting the goal of providing more housing units for locals. Staff suggests that the Council discuss an amendment to state that an applicant may request incentives if all dwelling units within the development are restricted to households earning an average of 120% AMI (as opposed to the existing 100% AMI).

Affordable Housing Incentives are outlined in the Code and specific detail of requests can be read fully under 180-5.5.1.C.4. These include:

  1. Zoning Requirements
  2. Density
  3. Lot Coverage
  4. Setbacks
  5. Maximum building height
  6. Development Standards
  7. Landscaping and revegetation
  8. Nonresidential development standards
  9. Residential development standards
  10. Bulk Plane
  11. Parking

Proposed modification: 180-5.5.1.C.3.a:

Each of the dwelling units within the development is restricted as permanently affordable through the Town of Frisco standard covenant. The units shall be restricted for occupancy for purchase to households earning up to a maximum 140 percent Area Median Income (AMI), or maximum 120 percent AMI for rental, with an average AMI not to exceed 100 percent. The units shall be restricted for occupancy by households earning, on average, an income that does not exceed the Area Median Income (AMI) by more than 120 percent (120% AMI). The draft deed restriction will be reviewed and approved as part of the site plan review.

Town Council approved Ordinance 24-03 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.