Proposed Legislative Policy Statement
The Town of Frisco legislative policy statement is intended to provide guidance for elected officials, Town staff, community members, and advocacy partners representing the Town, who are interested in the Town’s official stances on bills introduced to the legislature at both the state and federal levels. Due to the fast-paced nature of the legislative process, it is important for the Town to proactively state and be able to refer to the Town’s stated priorities.
As the 2024 State Legislative Session approaches, Town Staff presented a draft 2024 Town of Frisco legislative policy statement. This document is organized into relevant topics of interest to the community, and those topics are sorted into categories that support Town Council’s strategic plan priorities, including:
- We provide progress-driven Quality Core Services
- We support a Thriving Economy
- We enhance Community Inclusivity
- We provide Vibrant Culture, Arts and Recreation Opportunities
Council gave staff direction to make some edits around wording, to not use AMI as the only evaluation tool for housing, and to add some additional organizations to the appendix. Council also gave direction to add some language about reaching to Town Council individually when needed to receive last-minute direction on a legislative issue and to provide clarification on Council’s process for taking a stance on initiatives/ballot questions.
Nonprofit Community Impact & Common Grant Award Recommendations
On an annual basis, the Town of Frisco considers requests for in-kind services and micro grants up to $5,000 through the Summit County common grant application. Applicants must be tax exempt under the provisions of section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This year, the Town received 57 applications for the micro grant and/or in-kind services request process.
New for 2024, the Town of Frisco also implemented the Frisco Community Impact Grant program. The purpose of this change was to create a formal, annual process for evaluating investments in nonprofit projects that support the Town’s goals and that can be evaluated within the budget process. These are significant grants for non-profits which have programs that will have an exceptional impact on the Frisco community, and therefore, require a higher level of support. These types of funds have often been presented to Council and considered outside of the budget cycling which created challenges with fairly evaluating requests and honoring budgetary constraints. These grants are intended to encourage significant progress on and support for the Town’s strategic objectives: Community Inclusivity, Thriving Economy, Vibrant Culture, Arts, and Recreation and Quality Core Services. The Town received eight applications for the Community Impact Grant program.
Staff and a Council subcommittee reviewed all applications and presented funding recommendations to Council during the September 26, 2023, work session. The staff memo gives a summary of the proposed recommendations. Council directed staff to adjust the following:
- Grant $2,500, rather than $500, to Careers in Construction Colorado with the hope that a future focus of the group could be on more green building and electrification efforts
- Exclude the addition of staff and the subsequent salaries from Community Impact grant requests, as this is not sustainable because the Town cannot guarantee funding for ongoing positions from year to year. Council would also like staff to make it clearer, which grant, micro or community impact, is a non-profit should to apply for when considering funding requests.
Intergovernmental Agreement for Water Services
On July 31, 2023, the Town received an application from Summit County Government for extra-territorial water service for a 15-unit workforce housing project in the Bill’s Ranch subdivision. In the application, the County is requesting the use of Equivalent Residential Units (EQR’s- the typical amount of water resources used by a typical single family residence) which agreed to in the 2001 Intergovernmental Agreement between Frisco and Summit County (IGA) for the development of Councy Commons and the 2018 Amendment of that IGA. Staff has reviewed the County’s application and found it to be complete, with the exception of the County’s request to use the water rights / EQR’s remaining in the County Commons Water Agreement in an area other than the County Commons. That agreement currently allows the EQR’s provided to be used only within the County Commons property. In order to move forward with this request, there must be a second amendment to these agreements to allow the County to use these water EQR’s within the Bill’s Ranch subdivision and to transfer the Clinton Reservoir water rights promised in the past IGA and amendment.
Town Council directed staff to move forward with a second amendment to allow the use of EQR’s in the Bill’s Ranch subdivision, transfer the Clinton Reservoir water rights from the County to the Town, and return to Council with this amendment during the October 10 Town Council meeting.
Winter Rec Path Management Plan
Beginning in December of 2022, the Frisco Public Works Department began a pilot snow plowing program to clear some of the Frisco multi-use recreational pathway of snow during the winter and make them more accessible to a variety of users. These sections of pathway were not traditionally plowed in the past, resulting in snow accumulating on the pathways and not being removed until the spring. The pilot plowing program included the pathways through the Reserve neighborhood from Larson Lane to Rose Crown Circle and the section of the recreational pathways between Summit Middle School and Dillon Dam Road (see Attachments A and B). The goal of the pilot program was to test if and how pedestrians and cyclists would use the pathways if they were plowed, to create new connectivity options, and to keep these key connections clear and accessible in snowy winter months for residents and visitors.
Town Council received both positive and negative public comments regarding the pilot snow plowing program in early 2023. Council listened to the public concerns, as well as the overwhelmingly supportive comments especially from users with disabilities and strollers, and directed staff to continue with the pilot program for the remainder of the 2022-2023 winter season. Council also directed staff to return to a Council work session prior to the 2023-2024 winter season to review the winter management plan for the recreational multi-use pathways prior to the start of the season. Staff also mentioned that the bridge on this section of multi-use pathway near Dillon Dam will need to continue to be cleared of snow no matter what is decided about plowing all the pathways in order to extend the life of the bridge. Staff also presented future opportunities for grooming other pathways adjacent to already groomed free pathways currently accessible from the Dickey Day use lot and part of the Frisco backyard plan implementation.
Staff presented the following options for these sections of the recreational multi-use pathway:
- Continue with the snow plowing efforts on both segments of the recreational pathway, or
- Grooming these segments of the recreational pathway, or
- Plowing fewer segments of the recreational pathway, or
- Not grooming or plowing any of these sections of the recreational pathway, thereby returning to natural conditions on these pathways, as they were prior to the pilot program
Council gave staff direction to move forward for another year with plowing all of the proposed pathways in support of providing recreational access to a diversity of users and supporting connectivity to other parts of Town. Council also asked staff to look at the possibility of installing counters on the pathway between the Middle School and Dillon Dam Road.
Town attorney Thad Renaud presented Town Council with a briefing about House Bill 1041, during the August 8 work session, 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:
- Site selection and construction of major new domestic water and sewage treatment systems and major extension of existing domestic water and sewage treatment systems;
- 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;
- Site selection of airports;
- Site selection of rapid or mass transit terminals, stations, and fixed guideways;
- Site selection of arterial highways, interchanges and collector highways;
- Site selection and construction of major facilities of a public utility;
- Site selection and development of new communities;
- Efficient utilization of municipal and industrial water projects; and
- Conduct of nuclear detonations.
Based on the direction provided to Town Council during the August 8 meeting, the proposed regulations included in Chapter 180 Code of Ordinances designate four distinct activities of town interest, that include proposed submission requirements, approval criteria, and related permitting processes. Those four activities outlined in the staff report include:
- Site selection & construction of major new domestic sewage treatment systems and major extensions of existing domestic sewage treatment systems;
- Site selection and construction of major facilities of a public utility;
- Site selection of arterial highways & interchanges and collector highways; and
- Site selection of rapid or mass transit facilities
Council made a motion to proceed to a public hearing regarding the adoption of these regulations during the next two upcoming Town Council meetings, as required by the state statutes.
Reappointments for Board of Appeals
The Town of Frisco Municipal Code, Chapter 4, “Appeals, Board of”, states that the Board of Appeals (BOA) shall consist of three members appointed by the Town Council for three-year terms. Members of the BOA must be residents or business owners in the Town of Frisco and shall be qualified by experience and training to pass upon matters pertaining to building construction.
The BOA is appointed to hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by any administrative official charged with the administration or enforcement of the building construction standards in Chapter 65 of the Town Code. The BOA does not have any interpretive authority relative to the building codes, nor does it have any authority to waive building code requirements. However, the BOA may review and offer recommendations on proposed building code amendments and may also propose building code amendments for consideration by Town Council.
Town Council approved the reappointments of these three members to the BOA for another three-year term.
Proposed Amendments to the Planned Unit Development Section of the Town Code
The Unified Development Code (UDC) establishes a procedure to depart from certain requirements within the code through rezoning to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) Overlay District. A PUD Overlay District is a tool that communities use to promote creative design efforts on the part of owners, builders, architects, and developers, and to produce developments that meet the objectives of the Town’s Community Plan.
The PUD Overlay District is generally used when there is special public interest that does not coincide with the traditional zoning in a geographic area. The PUD Overlay District may only be used when an application is not able to meet the requirements of a standard zone classification. The PUD is a mapped area with restrictions in addition to, or less than, those in the underlying traditional zone. Rather than attempt to create a new zoning category, an overlay zone is superimposed over the traditional zone and establishes additional regulations or reduces or extends the existing uses.
Over the past several years, property owners have inquired about utilizing the PUD rezoning process; usually as an attempt to provide additional housing or reduce setbacks to protect sensitive environmental areas. These inquiries have not advanced into rezoning applications due to the existing PUD regulations containing requirements that are not necessarily conducive to the available vacant land in Frisco including:
- Usable open space requirement of 55% of the site
- Thirty (30) foot perimeter setbacks
June and August 2023 Review of PUD Regulations and Requirements
Town Council reviewed the existing PUD regulations and requirements during the June 27, 2023 meeting. During this work session, Council noted that the existing PUD regulations and requirements did not encourage creative developments that propose workforce housing as a public benefit, and as a result, Council directed staff to propose amendments to the UDC. Staff reviewed the proposed amendments to the UDC during the August 22, 2023 work session, where Council directed staff to move forward with modifying the PUD Overlay District with the following modifications located in the Staff Report:
180-2.4.2B REZONING TO A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT
Since the August 22, 2023 work session, “type of use” has been reinserted into the code, which allows any uses to be proposed within a PUD; regardless of the underlying zone district requirements.
Additionally, in response to Planning Commission feedback on August 17, 2023 a modification has been made to Section 180-2.4.2.E.3 that clarifies any modification to the number of dwellings still requires review.
180-4.3 PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT OVERLAY (PUD) DISTRICT
Staff proposed a complete strike-through of the existing section 180-4.3 of the UDC. Changes made, as presented at the work session include:
- Criteria for PUD rezoning proposals based on the community benefit. Developments proposing affordable housing as a community benefit have different listed standards than a development proposing to protect open space as a community benefit.
- Removal of 30% open space requirement for projects that have a workforce housing community benefit.
- Removal of thirty (30) foot perimeter setbacks for projects that have a workforce housing community benefit.
- Addition of a workforce housing requirement:
- All PUD developments shall provide a minimum of 25% workforce units. Deed restricted unit(s) shall be occupied by a member of the household who earns the majority of their income in Summit County, or from an employer based in Summit County.
- Occupant(s) of workforce unit shall not own any interest alone, or in conjunction with, other developed residential property.
- No short-term rentals shall be permitted within the deed restricted unit(s).
- In response to Town Council feedback at the August 22, 2023 work session, the 30’ perimeter setback for PUD’s proposing a community benefit of open space has been removed.
Staff notes that by removing specific restrictions from Section 180-4.3, it does not mean that development can be constructed with no setbacks, height restrictions, etc. When an application is submitted for a PUD rezoning, the Town reviews which development standards of the underlying zone district the applicant is proposing to differ from. If these are not agreed upon, and approved, all requirements within the underlying zone district would still apply. All sections of the Frisco Town Code apply to development within a PUD, with the exception of any stated differences that the Town approves within the PUD plan and narrative. The Town takes into consideration what flexibility from the Town Code the application is requesting and analyzes if the project’s overall benefit to the community warrants flexibility to certain town code requirements such as setbacks or parking requirements.
Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-24 on the second reading.
Agreement with Xcel for Electric Charging Stations at Public Works
Over the past year the Town has been working with Xcel Energy to begin transitioning the Town’s light duty vehicles to electric vehicles. The Town completed the Fleet Electrification Assessment Program which identified the most efficient way to transition the Town’s fleet to electric. Now that this study is complete, the next step in the process is to install the primary electrical infrastructure that will power the charging units that are scheduled to be installed next summer. This project will ultimately allow the Town to charge up to 22 vehicles at one time.
This process would require the installation of electrical infrastructure that will provide electricity to the proposed 11 vehicle charging units that will be located at Public Works. In order to install this infrastructure, Xcel Energy requires the Town to grant an easement for the cable pathway and the transformer pad. Exhibit A that is attached to the staff memo, shows the easement areas to be granted by this ordinance. According to the EVSI Agreement, this easement will sunset in 10 years, at which time, ownership of the installed primary infrastructure will be switched over to the Town. The Town will pay for, own, and maintain the chargers and secondary infrastructure once installed. Xcel Energy will own and maintain the primary infrastructure for that 10-year period. Ordinance 23-23 will grant Xcel Energy the required easements on Town property to install the infrastructure.
Through the Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure (EVSI) program, the Town will incur no costs associated with the installation of this infrastructure. There will be future costs incurred by the Town to purchase and install the charging units once the infrastructure is installed during summer 2024. Funds for this portion of the project have been included in the 2024 Capital Projects budget.
Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-23 on the second reading.
Ordinance Approving Service and Granting and Easement for Comcast for the Granite Park Housing Project
Granite Park, also known as 619 Granite Street, is the start of several Town projects to create workforce housing for Ten Mile Basin residents and employees. Since this is a joint venture with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), it will also allow CDOT to provide more housing to their current or prospective employees who maintain and operate the I-70 and Highway 9 corridors. To afford the residents of the property access to cable, internet, and voice services, it is necessary for the Town of Frisco to work with prospective providers to provide those services to the property. Throughout the design and construction process, the ownership team has reached out to several providers to see who could meet the need and provide these services at this property. At this time, only one provider, Xfinity, can offer cable, internet, and voice services to the residents provided that the Town enters into an agreement with the provider.
The prospective agreement that is being presented to Council is Xfinity Communities Service Agreement Service Order. If this document is approved by Council, it will take effect once the first certificate of occupancy is issued for Granite Park and will be active for 10 years. The ownership team for the project has opted to utilize some of the project budget to install much of the infrastructure that is needed for these services, so the Town and CDOT can retain ownership throughout the lifespan of the facilities. Xfinity would be providing all the services that enter the facilities and would be responsible for removing those in the future if the agreement were ever to be terminated. The benefit of this agreement is that it is non-exclusive and if another provider were to be engaged in the future, they would be granted access to the infrastructure that has been installed, at the owner’s expense, to provide their services to residents.
Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-35 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.