Town News

Catch Up With Council, May 14, 2024: Housing Strategic Plan, Re-Appointment of Frisco Arts and Culture Councilmembers, All Electric Municipal Building Policy, and more

Town Council Trainings

With two new members on Frisco Town Council, Martin Allen and Dan Kibbie, three trainings were presented to Council during the May 14 meeting. This included a refresher and introduction to liability risks and risk prevention best practices surrounding meetings and quasi-judicial issues, social media, and Council involvement in personnel matters presented by a representative from the Town’s insurance provider, Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA). Frisco’s Town Attorney Thad Renaud also provided training on quasi-judicial decision making and open records. This training is presented to the whole Council whenever there are new members elected to provide an introduction for new members and a refresher for current members.  

Housing Strategic Plan Joint Work Session with Planning Commission

Town Council has recognized the need for a Frisco specific Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Housing Plan, and therefore, directed staff to contract with a firm that could do a Frisco focused assessment and plan. Back in 2020, Town Council members met to update the Frisco Strategic Plan and set a goal of having 50% of the housing units in Frisco occupied by year-round residents. This percentage is often referenced with little strategy, and Council has recognized the need to understand if this number is best for the community, and if so, to have an actionable plan around how to get there. 

Subsequently in early 2024, the Town contracted with Dynamic Planning + Science, a planning consulting firm located in Montrose, CO, to assist the Town in completing a housing assessment and plan. The goals of the Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Action Plan are:

  • To build off the 2023 Summit County Housing Needs Assessment by specifically pulling data from this report as it applies to Frisco. Utilizing this data and further gathering data specific to Frisco to identify housing needs and gaps within the Town limits of Frisco, identify needed product types for new construction or conversions, and propose strategies for addressing the identified needs.
  • To evaluate the goal of having 50% of the housing units in Frisco occupied by year-round residents. This goal of 50% may need to be adjusted based on the findings of this study.
  • To evaluate the impacts of housing production on Frisco’s economy.
  • To guide the creation of effective policy and programs to support housing, maintain a healthy economy, provide effective community services, and maintain a high quality of life for residents and visitors. To answer the question: “How do we manage and plan for the growth of Frisco?”

Through scenario planning, financial analysis, and an interactive buildout model supplied by the Strategic Housing Plan, the Town will then have a focused road map (the housing strategic plan) on how to advance housing solutions based on current and future needs.

The purpose of the joint work session with the Town Council and Planning Commission on May 14 was to meet the project team from Dynamic Planning + Science, to review the tasks and timelines, and to review project deliverables. Council gave the planning team direction to not consider housing on existing open space and parks, but to be open to bringing back creative solutions for housing in Frisco, including looking at density and development over first floor commercial developments, so Council could consider many creative ideas and their potential impact before settling on a final strategic plan.

Re-Appointment of Two Arts and Culture Councilmembers

Town Council appointed seven members to the Frisco Arts and Culture Council (FACC) in May 2023 and then filled two subsequent vacancies in September 2023. Due to the creation of this new board, staggered terms were created with three members assigned to three-year terms, two assigned to two-year terms, and two assigned to one-year terms. Subsequently, the terms of two members, Alison Lindsey and Diane Harty Schlaefer, expired on May 9, 2024.

The FACC is hitting its stride and is making significant progress on projects that are identified in the Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, including mural installations, public art collection maintenance and repair, sound and lighting workshops, event planning and execution, and collaborations with neighboring communities. Therefore, the two members whose terms expired on May 9, 2024, Alison Lindsey and Diane Harty Schlaefer, were re-appointed by Town Council.

Resolution Approved for All-Electric Municipal Buildings Policy

In 2022, Town staff began working collaboratively with Xcel Energy and Brendle Group on an Energy Action Plan through Partners in Energy, and in the fall of 2022, the final Town of Frisco Energy Action Plan was adopted by Town Council. One of the target outcomes from this plan, and specifically the municipal buildings section, includes “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, cooling, appliances, and any other use. This policy would only apply to buildings owned by the Town of Frisco.

Currently, there are over 30 Town-owned buildings. 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. 

Council has already been supporting all-electric design and building by directing staff to pursue sustainable construction efforts at the Landing building at the Marina, Slopeside Hall at the Frisco Adventure Park, Granite Park housing project with CDOT, and Old Town Hall which houses the Information Center and public restrooms. By adopting an all-electric policy for new Town facilities, Town Council has now formalized this process to ensure that all future construction of new Town facilities will include all-electric space and water heating, cooling, and appliances.

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.