Town News

Catch Up With Council, May 23, 2023 – CDOT Exit 203 Presentation, Workforce Housing Discussion with Planning Commission, Island Grill Agreement, and More

CDOT Exit 203 Improvements

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) staff presented an update to Town Council regarding Exit 203, which is at I70 and Highway 9/Summit Boulevard in Frisco. In 2019, CDOT conducted a feasibility study of I70 exit 203 and an eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane which forecasted the usage up to year 2045. To initiate the study, CDOT gives a grade to the existing infrastructure and how that will degrade up to the target year, in this case 2045. Based on the current rating of exit 203, only routine maintenance would be required, but by 2045 this section of infrastructure is expected to degrade significantly, due to the volume of traffic it sees during the ski season and would be rated unacceptable and graded as an F, on a scale of A to F.

Based on this information, CDOT developed five high-capacity interchange designs that could possibly work for the exit and the Lusher/Dam Road intersection. In May 2020, CDOT then presented Frisco Town Council with the results of their feasibility study. Also in 2020, CDOT had funding to complete the design and enter into the proposal phase for the construction of the eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane. Subsequently, construction of the eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane began in the spring of 2022 and will continue into the fall of 2023, which pushed the Exit 203 design construction a bit further into the future.

Current Concerns and Possible Changes to Exit 203

Since some of the data used in the 2020 study is now outdated, CDOT has reevaluated that to accommodate the higher density for the proposed Lake Hill project or housing inventory additions of that magnitude. Also, one of the most significant current concerns is with westbound exit 203 and the traffic congestion on the offramp, which is probable as long as the roundabout remains in this location. Currently, preferred designs of exit 203 include widening the bridge over I70 to accommodate more traffic, taking out the westbound exit roundabout and replacing it with a traffic light, a new traffic light at the eastbound exit, more multi use pathways, a frontage road, and a roundabout on Dillon Dam Road to anticipate the impact of possible housing on Dillon Dam Road.

Funding, Timing, Impacts, and Community Involvement

Based upon the feasibility study conducted in 2020 and with the eastbound auxiliary lane already funded and currently in construction, State of Colorado funding has been projected in CDOT’s ten-year plan with $25 million in funding from 2023-2026, and tentatively $19 million from 2027+. With the construction proposal process potentially scheduled for the fall of 2024 or the winter of 2025, design planning for the Exit 203 project will dictate how the project will be phased. Some of the biggest impacts on traffic during construction will be when the bridge is widened, and there will be anticipated nighttime lane closures. Preliminary planning indicates that this project may take two summers, in addition to the impacts of the necessity of a high-pressure gas line move by Xcel Energy.

CDOT has formed a project leadership team (PLT), which meets regularly to enable CDOT to have connections and conversations with local agencies, businesses, and partners so this project satisfies the needs of the community in 2045 and beyond. Both Frisco Town Manager Tom Fisher and Frisco Capital Project Senior Manager Addison Canino are the Town of Frisco representatives on the PLT and have been tasked by Town Council with assisting CDOT in reaching out to businesses in the area surrounding the project and advocating for pedestrian and bike pathways and access.

Joint Town Council and Planning Commission Meeting Regarding Workforce Housing Programs

The purpose of this joint work session was to provide an opportunity for dialogue between the Frisco Town Council and the Frisco Planning Commission regarding existing and potential workforce housing programs. Increasing the amount of housing for the workforce is a high priority community goal, as stated in both the Town Council’s Strategic Plan and the Frisco Community Plan. Due to the depth and complexity of the housing issue, many policies and programs have been implemented to increase the availability of both rental and ownership, deed restricted affordable housing.

Since 2020 the Town has added, or approved, 123 residential dwelling units. Of these, 36 are to be deed restricted, affordable units designed for members of the local workforce. The Town and CDOT partnership of Granite Park accounts for 22 of these units and the remaining 14 have been added by private developers through the UDC’s bonus destiny program. There are currently 184 deed restricted affordable housing units in the Town of Frisco, and of these, 19 are owned by the Town. Staff estimates the total number of residential dwelling units in Frisco to be approximately 3,600 units.

The following were the primary discussion topics:

Inclusionary Zoning

Inclusionary housing ordinances (IHO), as defined by the Colorado Division of Housing, are “locally implemented zoning policies that mandate a certain number or percentage of affordable housing units to be added into new market rate developments.” IHO programs can vary in structure, but ultimately the goal is to encourage developers to increase the stock of housing while requiring additional affordable units within the development. A variety of Colorado communities have already implemented IHOs including but not limited to Crested Butte, Telluride, Longmont, Boulder, and Denver.

While there are challenges to implementing IHOs, the State of Colorado House Bill 21- 1117 clarifies that the existing authority of municipalities to plan and regulate the use of lands includes the authority to regulate development or redevelopment to promote the construction of new affordable housing units. This authority can only be justified if the local government has taken one or more action(s) to increase the number of affordable housing units. Examples of the actions include increasing allowable density through up-zoning, promoting mixed-use developments, and allowing surplus lands owned by the government to be available for the development of housing, among others.

Town Council committed to discussing the potential for inclusionary zoning by considering a budget for a nexus study during the 2024 budgeting process to see what is feasible for Frisco in regard to inclusionary zoning. 

Overview of Existing Programs

The Town already has incentives in place that include bonus densities for deed restricted housing and affordable housing incentives in the Unified Development Code. While these incentives have been successful in providing several units for the local workforce, there are additional tools and policies that the Town may use to obtain a more balanced housing mix throughout the community.

Current Programs

  • Housing Helps- Buy-down program with seven total purchases since 2021, no resale caps and no AMI restrictions
  • Bonus Density 100% AMI Deed Restrictions- 29 existing, 4 pending
  • New Affordable Housing Bonus Density- 100% affordable development only, must average to 100% AMI- two projects that are likely to use this density bonus for at least 93 affordable housing units
  • Frisco Housing Locals- This program has not been successful, limited to Town of Frisco employees only, and staff is recommending that the Town not continue with this program

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Versus Lock-Offs

ADU’s are “second, subordinate dwelling units located on the same lot as a primary dwelling unit or commercial unit” and require water and sewer service tap fees. 

  • ADU’s shall be no larger than 900 sf
  • Shall not be used as a short term rental
  • Shall not be subdivided
  • Limit one ADU per principal dwelling
  • Shall be counted as a unit of density (unless exempted)

Lock-offs are “a portion of a dwelling unit suitable for short term habitation, with a separate entrance, containing at least one bathroom but no cooking facilities, and are capable of being securely separated from the dwelling unit” with no additional sewer or water tap fees needed.

Planning Commission and Town Council discussed how to make building an ADU more affordable by looking at tap fees and other hurdles to building an ADU. The current Frisco Housing Helps program already allows for funding of ADU’s in exchange for a deed restriction. Town Council directed staff to dedicate time during a future work session to discuss ADU’s and lock-offs and how these options can contribute to offering more affordable housing.


Parking requirements have an impact on the number of housing units that can be built in a development, can therefore act as an impediment to building more units, and are as follows in Frisco:

Standard Residential

  • 1 parking space per bedroom- up to 4 spaces
  • 1 visitor space per 5 units

Affordable Housing Ordinance

  • 1 parking space per unit for studios and 1-bedroom units
  • 1.5 parking spaces per unit for 2-bedroom units
  • 2 parking spaces per 3-bedroom units or greater
  • 1 visitor parking space per 5 units

Planning Commission and Town Council discussed how to adjust parking and make public transportation more available. Town Council subsequently directed staff to bring back a discussion about reducing the parking requirement for standard residential by dropping it to one parking space per bedroom- up to three parking spaces (rather than four), to look at changing lot coverage restrictions to accommodate parking for ADU’s, and to look at more parking on Town right-of-ways.  

Recognition of Former Planning Commissioner Robert Franken

Town Council thanked Robert Franken for his significant contributions to the Frisco and Summit County Community, as he is moving on to his next adventure in Estes Park. Robert served on many committees and boards in Summit County and Frisco, including the steering committee for the Community Plan Update in 2019, the Tenmile Planning Commission from 2017 – 2022, the Summit County Countywide Planning Commission from 2018 – 2022, and the Town of Frisco Planning Commission since 2018. During Robert’s time on the Frisco Planning Commission, he has provided guidance regarding the development of Frisco while being a passionate advocate for universal accessibility, affordable housing, and transit.

Robert’s years of service coupled with his professional expertise around leadership, his curiosity and thirst for understanding, and his genuine passion for making his community better have greatly benefited Frisco.

Island Grill Concessionaire Contract and Lease Agreement

The Island Grill at the Frisco Bay Marina is operated and managed by Bobby Kato and Doug Sakata. Their existing food and beverage concessionaire agreement and lease agreement with the Town of Frisco was effective May 14, 2019 and is for five successive one-year renewal terms until September 30, 2024. Mr. Kato and Mr. Sakata have expressed to the Town that they would like to make improvements in 2023 to the Island Grill, including the addition of a modular beer cooler with beer lines and tap system. The Town has not budgeted to make improvements of this type in 2023. These improvements would be fixtures and would become a part of the real property owned by the Town upon their installation. Mr. Kato and Mr. Sakata have proposed that they would pay for the improvements, and Frisco would then reimburse them for the improvements over this summer and the summer of 2024. None of these improvements would hinder future development of this space. Mr. Kato and Mr. Sakata would also like an extension of their concession rights for a period of seven years from the date of the new agreement, which is through the summer of 2029 operating season. All other terms of the agreement would remain in effect. The agreements can be terminated by either party provided notice is given prior to the end of the initial term or any renewal term.

Through the food and beverage concessionaire agreement between the Town and the Island Grill, the concessionaire pays the Town 10% of all gross revenues collected. In 2022, the Town of Frisco received $55,000 in revenue through this agreement. Revenue remained consistent between 2019-2022, averaging $50,750 per year over this four-year period. Per the terms of this new agreement, the concessionaire would plan, pay for, and install or construct improvements to the Island Grill facility, including the addition of a modular beer cooler with beer line and tap system. Concessionaire would provide Frisco with an estimate of the work prior to ordering and starting construction. If the Town of  Frisco approves the estimate, the concessionaire would pay for all improvements and secure all necessary permits for the work in 2023. Frisco would reimburse the concessionaire the total cost in equal parts over the summer of 2023 operating season and the summer of 2024 operating season. Preliminary estimates for the work and equipment are estimated to be $30,000 total.

Town Council approved the new concessionaire agreement between the Island Grill, which would allow for reimbursement for improvements the concessionaire has proposed for the Island Grill.

Authorization of the Community Relations Technician

During the 2023 budget process, the Community Service Officer position in the Police Department (PD) moved from PD to the Community Development Department (CDD), and the position title was changed to Community Relations Technician. Under our current Town Code, this position was not authorized to issue citations. Ordinance 23-17 amends Chapter 124 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Frisco by adding a new Article IV to authorize the enforcement of certain Town laws by a Community Relations Technician.

Recruitment is currently underway for one Community Relations Technician. Through this ordinance, Chapter 124 of the Code of Ordinances would be amended to reflect the change that a Community Relations Technician is not required to be certified by the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. Through this ordinance, Community Relations Technicians are also authorized to enforce all of the laws of the Town, except for those specifically called out in the ordinance, including criminal offenses and traffic violations.

Town Council approved Ordinance 23-17 on first reading.

Ordinance to Adopt the 2020 Model Traffic Code

The Model Traffic Code (MTC) is a document maintained and published by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Town previously adopted the 2003 edition of the MTC into Chapter 167 of the Frisco Town Code. Since that time, as important new state traffic laws have been adopted, the Town has amended its 2003 MTC to adopt those new laws. The Town Attorney clarified that significant changes have been made to the code in the years since the 2003 edition of the MTC were adopted, and that this adoption is a 100+ pages of “housekeeping”.

Due to small changes in State traffic laws that the MTC accumulates over time, the best practice to achieve uniformity in traffic laws between state and local governments, and among local governments, is to repeal and re-adopt the latest version of the MTC from time to time.

Ordinance 23-16 was passed upon first reading by Town Council to repeal and re-enact Chapter 167 of the Town of Frisco, as it relates to vehicles and traffic and adopt the 2020 edition of the Colorado MTC.

Ordinance for the Development of Two Affordable Rental Housing Projects

This was the second reading of Ordinance 23-14 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 NHP Foundation to facilitate the development of affordable housing units. NHP is also under contract to purchase 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. NHP has requested the Town make a loan of $2,500,000.00 to assist with acquiring the property. NHP intends to submit an application to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) for an allocation of 9% federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for 602 Galena Street and an additional application to CHFA for an allocation of Colorado tax-exempt bonding authority and 4% federal LIHTC, along with an allocation of Colorado state housing tax credits for 101 West Main Street.

In the development agreement, NHP has agreed to develop 602 Galena Street into no less than 45 units and no less than 49 units at 101 West Main Street, for 100% affordable housing.

Town Council has determined that it is in the public interest for the Town to grant a long-term ground lease over 602 Galena Street and to loan $2,500,000.00 to NHP for the acquisition of 101 West Main Street for the purpose of developing affordable housing units because the need for workforce housing greatly exceeds the supply.

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.