Sustainability Review and Work Plan
Since 2020 the Town’s sustainability efforts have been under the umbrella of the Community Development Department (CDD) with one position, the Environmental Programs Coordinator position. In April 2023, the Town’s sustainability efforts transitioned to its own division under the Town Manager’s office. This change aims to increase and sharpen the focus on sustainability and awareness across all Town staff and departments. Currently, the Sustainability Division has added a position, Sustainable Materials Specialist, and is currently hiring for that position. Additionally, the Environmental Programs Coordinator position has changed to an Environmental Programs Manager position to account for the additional job responsibilities and the level of importance to the Town of all sustainability efforts.
Colorado Communities for Climate Action
A representative from Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA) was also at this Council work session and provided an overview of the policy statement update process. Colorado Communities for Climate Action is a coalition of 42 local governments, including Frisco, across the state advocating for stronger state and federal climate policy. CC4CA is governed by a Board of Directors representing all of the member communities.
Town of Frisco Four Areas of Focus for Sustainability
Since summer 2021, staff has focused on projects and policy in four categories: energy use, transportation, waste reduction, and natural resource stewardship. The focus for 2023 in each category is outlined below:
Primary Focus: Implement an Energy Action Plan including outreach to residents, large and small businesses, and research into holistic municipal building energy efficiency upgrades.
Secondary Focus: Assist in planning and design meetings for all Town-owned new construction to ensure net zero design moving forward.
Primary Focus: Continue to maintain and add new EV charging stations.
Secondary Focus: Continue to work with Xcel on the EV equitable car sharing program.
Primary Focus: Implement Pay As You Throw (PAYT) and Universal Recycling (URO) including outreach and customer service to residents, businesses, and HOAs, in addition to implementing low-income assistance and commercial grant programs.
Secondary: Outreach to businesses regarding single use plastic water bottles and draft Single Use Plastics Ordinance using input from outreach including “skip the stuff” and ban on single use plastic water bottles under one gallon and single use plastic cups in municipal facilities and events. The ordinance will most likely come to Council for first reading in late July.
Natural Resource Stewardship
Primary Focus: Work with Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and Forest Service US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on updated scope of work to complete hazardous fuels mitigation work around the water treatment plant with a contracted crew. Project to be completed summer 2023.
Secondary Focus: Collaborate with Public Works Grounds Division to reduce irrigable turf on Town owned property starting with medians and continue to pursue Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) funding to assist.
“Frisco’s Backyard” Trail and Forest Management Project
Also, Town Council discussed the Town’s working with the White River National Forest on a proposal that includes wildfire fuel reduction treatments and recreation improvements south of Frisco in the area known as the “Frisco Backyard.” The Frisco Backyard is south and east of downtown Frisco and includes Mount Royal, Miners Creek, Rainbow Lake, Ophir Mountain, and Gold Hill. The White River National Forest is proposing fuel reduction on up to 1,233 acres within 11 identified treatment units in lodgepole pine, mixed conifer and fir, and aspen forests.
The Forest Service is proposing approximately 21 miles of trails projects, including improving existing trails, closing or rerouting redundant or unsustainable routes, designating one-direction trails, and identifying trails appropriate for winter grooming. Additional proposed projects include restoring vegetation within the Rainbow Lake area and improving trailhead and parking areas.
Town Council urged all who are interested in shaping the future of this area to comment on this project by the May 15, 2023 deadline set by the Forest Service for public comment. Comments will not be accepted by the Forest Service after the May 15 deadline.
Other Sustainability Projects and Programs
Several other departments have also taken on sustainability-related projects independently, including Public Works’ pursuit of the Fleet Electrification Advisory Program through Xcel, the Water Division’s efforts to assist High Country Conservation Center with low-water landscape trainings, Events implementing reusable cups for the first time at Fall Fest in 2022, and many projects from the Recreation Department, including e-bikes, as trail maintenance vehicles, and trailhead trash can installation/maintenance.
Discussion of Summer Business Use of Main Street
Since the summer of 2020, Frisco Main Street has had various business uses, beginning with the 2020 Main Street Pedestrian Promenade between 2nd and 5th Avenues. The Promenade returned for the summer of 2021 with some minor adjustments, and the summer of 2022, Main Street was fully open with no street closures to vehicles; however, the Town offered businesses the opportunity to lease parklets that were located in parking spaces in front of their business.
During the October 25, 2022 Town Council work session, the Frisco Town Council discussed business use of public space on Main Street for the summer of 2023 and ultimately determined that more formal data and feedback from the community was needed to make a thoughtful decision. As a result, staff hired RRC Associates to conduct surveys to measure the preferences of Frisco businesses and residents regarding the business use of Main Street. Staff utilized the services of this third-party professional survey firm, RRC, to obtain statistically valid, impartial results. A total of 3,340 postcards were mailed with 411 of those mailed to businesses and 2,929 mailed to residents and second homeowners. The Town received 84 completed surveys from businesses, 344 surveys completed by primary residents, and 417 completed surveys from second homeowners. Results from businesses were separated from residential results. The key findings gathered and presented at the meeting by RRC Associates are as follows:
- There is solid support among residents and second homeowners for the closure of Main Street during the summer months of 2023. Second homeowners are most supportive with 63% citing closure as their preferred option. Among primary residents, 59% support bringing back the Promenade.
- Keeping Main Street open and including parklets (similar to 2022) was a distant second choice among both full and part-time residents (25% and 29% respectively) and keeping it fully open with no parklets was the least popular choice for both groups (15% and 8%).
- Opinions from businesses were more divided. Overall, 43% of business respondents rank closure as their first choice, 30% favor an open street with parklets and 27% prefer keeping the street completely open without parklets.
- Businesses within the Promenade boundaries were split fairly even among the three options. The full closure was the most popular choice with 36% preferring this, and 33% favoring an open Main Street with parklets only. 30% chose having Main Street fully open with no parklets as their preferred option. Main Street respondents outside the boundaries were more supportive, but still mixed with 46% selecting street closure as their first choice. 21% favored parklets and 33% prefer that the street be fully open with no parklets.
- Impacts of the street closure are mixed. 51% inside the Promenade reported increased sales from closing Main Street while 18% reported negative impacts. 30% saw no impact. Results on Main Street outside the closure were evenly split with 29% reporting a “very positive” impact and the same percentage reporting negative results. 42% said the impact was neutral.
- Parklets were less impactful on revenue than closure. 31% of Promenade respondents said sales were up and 7% reported that parklets were negative for revenue. Outside the closure, 4% reported increased sales and 17% reported a decline.
- Regarding the preferred months to make any changes to Main Street- June, July and August are clear preferences for both residents and businesses. September also has net positive support though it is more mixed than the three summer months.
- Residents and 2nd homeowners strongly indicate that creating the Promenade will improve the experience of visiting Main Street. It also appears they would visit more often. 43% of both groups say they would come more frequently. 20% of residents and just 9% of 2nd homeowners say they would come less often.
- Comments showed passionate support for the walkability, energy and ambience created by the Promenade. In terms of negative impacts, loss of parking and added congestion on alternate routes (Granite) were mentioned frequently. In summary, there is strong support from both full and part-time residents to close Main Street, while business sentiment is far more mixed.
Staff also held an open house on April 13 where community members and businesses had the opportunity to give informal comments and facilitate discussion on the future use of Main Street. Town and RRC staff emphasized that the formal survey, open house, and other considerations, such as public safety, are all vital information to consider when making this decision.
Town Council noted overwhelmingly that Main Street is charming, successful, and beloved as it currently is. Council had a lengthy and thoughtful discussion about whether leaving Main Street as it is would cause harm and what the benefits of having a Promenade would be. After robust discussion, the majority (four) of Town Council members decided to not move forward with the Promenade, and all of Council unanimously decided to make parklets available for the summer of 2023, both on Main Street and on the adjacent avenues if possible. Council directed staff to make parklets available in the same manner that they were made available in the summer of 2023.
Proclamation Recognizing Frisco Girl Scouts
Town Council recognized Girl Scout Troop 56333 for making a difference in our community through their Change the World Journey, Bronze Awards, and their commitment to serving and leading. Members of Troop 56333 gave a presentation to Council on their project, which supports youth with dyslexia and mitigates the difficulties that they face when learning how to read.
Use of 602 Galena Parking Lot for Unsheltered in Summit
Unsheltered in Summit developed “The Summit Safe Parking Program” in 2019 to provide a designated, secure location in parking lots for members of the local workforce to sleep in their vehicles. For the 2022-2023 winter season, Unsheltered requested use of the Marina Trailhead parking lot. Town Council approved Emergency Ordinance 22-12 in October 2022 amending Chapter 180 of the Code of Ordinances to accommodate this residential use of parking lots. During that same meeting, Town Council also approved a Revocable License Agreement with Unsheltered for use of the Marina Trailhead parking lot for the Safe Parking Program.
For the 2022-2023 winter season, the Safe Parking Program utilized a total of 25 spaces in the Marina Trailhead parking lot. The program provided sanitation (port-a-lets) and trash collection for its members to maintain a clean and sanitary site, and this winter the site was used as intended with an overwhelmingly safe and positive experience. Before being able to utilize this program, individuals are required to fill out a questionnaire, including place of employment and a personal history; employment is required to participate. During the summer months, the Marina Trailhead parking lot is utilized for other uses, making the space unavailable for the Safe Parking Program.
Town Council directed staff to find other options for this program to provide safe residential parking during the summer months, and subsequently, Town staff recommended using of a portion of the 602 Galena parking lot, which is where the Colorado Workforce Center is located. This lot would only be available at night due to business needs at the Workforce Center and not for 24-hour residential parking, as it had been at the Marina Trailhead parking lot. Staff sought approval for licensing of the parking lot for this use and received approval from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to use eight spaces on the south end of the parking lot during the hours of 6:00 pm – 8:00 am daily. Sanitation (port-a-lets) and trash collection will be provided for its members to maintain an orderly site. Town Council subsequently approved the use of the 602 Galena parking lot for The Summit Safe Parking Program.
Town Council Appoints Frisco Arts and Culture Council Members
In January 2023, Town Council approved through resolution the Frisco Five-Year Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, which recommends the creation of a Frisco Arts and Culture Council (FACC). Subsequently, Ordinance 23-01 was passed by Council on January 24, 2023 establishing the Frisco Arts
The Town received 12 applications in response to the FACC application released on March 2 with a March 23, 2023 deadline. The openings were advertised in the Summit Daily and communicated through social media, email marketing, text alerts and with a media release. Councilmembers Andy Held and Elizabeth Skrzypczak-Adrian were selected by Town Council to review the FACC applications, and after thoughtful consideration, recommendations to appoint seven of the applicants were made. Subsequently, staff assigned their respective terms through a random drawing; as three members will serve a three-year term, two will serve a two-year term, and two will serve a one-year term.
The recommendations and randomly assigned terms are as follows:
- Daymon Pascual, three-year term- Frisco resident and business owner
- Megan Testin- three-year term- Frisco resident
- Mark Addison- three-year term- Frisco resident
- Melissa Sherburne- two-year term- Frisco resident
- Todd Altschuler- two-year term- Frisco resident and business owner
- Alison Lindsey- one year term- Frisco resident
- Jessica Johnson- one year term- Frisco resident and business owner
Town Council approved the appointment of the seven applicants, and Councilmember Andy Held was appointed as the Town Council member to act as a liaison to the FACC.
Ordinance for the Development of Two Affordable Rental Housing Projects
This was the first 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.
Process for Asking for Water Service Outside of Frisco Town Boundaries
In the past, homeowners living near, but outside of, the Town of Frisco jurisdictional boundaries have requested connections to the Town of Frisco’s water system. Staff anticipate that these requests will continue to be made and may even increase, and therefore, a more robust and clear process for water requests and decisions is needed.
Chapter 171 of the Town Code is ambiguous when it comes to these requests. The code, as it currently stands, has no application process for out-of-town boundary water requests. During the February 14, 2023 Town Council meeting, Council requested that staff work with Frisco’s town attorney, water attorney, and water rights engineer to design a process that protects the Town’s water rights, ensures that there will be a sufficient supply of water for the community’s needs, and creates a process for out-of-town water requests.
This proposed ordinance would create a process for property owners to formally apply to the Town for water connections outside of Town boundaries and give staff and Council criteria to either approve or deny such requests and set requirements for service. Here are some highlights of what this amendment does:
- Creates an application and process to evaluate requests
- Creates an application fee structure
- Defines the amount and seniority of wet water that an applicant would need to bring to the Town
- Creates a cash in lieu of water right dedication process where equitable and reasonable, and sufficient fees will be determined by the newly created water planning and fee evaluation tool
- Sets certain parameters that must be met for approval of any application (i.e. well abandonment, connection to sanitation sewer system, etc…)
- Creates several other administrative requirements for Council to consider when evaluating any application
- Removes the provisions of charging one and a half times the current in town tap fee and two times the quarterly water use fees (water bill)
Town Council voted to approve on the second reading of this Ordinance Amending Chapter 171 Of The Code Of Ordinances to create a process for water requests outside of the Town of Frisco boundaries.
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.