Town News

Catchup with Council, August 23, 2022 – STR Discussion, HC3 Presentation, FIRC/Building Hope Sol Center Update

Short Term Rental Discussion

In the continued discussion of short-term rentals (STRs) and their impact on community character, Council decided to limit the number of short-term rental licenses issued by the Town to 22% of total housing inventory, with separate licenses issued for primary residence STRs, which will not be subject to the cap. Council made this decision upon reviewing the comprehensive data gathered and presented by staff based on Council’s direction on June 28, 2022.

In July 2022, Town staff sent out three separate surveys to collect data from Frisco business owners, realtors, and property managers to gather information on the impact of workforce housing availability on staffing, effects of existing STR regulations in neighboring communities on real estate sales, and projected outcomes of a license cap in Frisco.

The changes, which will come back to Council as an ordinance, will allow for the total number of issued licenses to increase as housing inventory increases through new development and as properties with short term rental licenses sell, as licenses are non-transferrable. Homeowners who short-term rent their primary residence can qualify for an exempt license that is not subject to the license cap upon providing documentation, including a land title, a state-issued ID, and an affidavit of primary residence.

Council declined to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy for license holders, and declined to place a 10-month minimum occupancy on exempt licenses. As of this discussion, the Town has 775 (or 21.5% of existing housing stock) active licenses. Implementing the cap will bring the total allowable number of licenses to 792.

This proposed ordinance is scheduled to be considered by Town Council for first reading on September 13 and for second reading on September 27. If passed by Town Council on second reading, the ordinance would likely be scheduled to go into effect immediately.

High Country Conservation Center Presentation

High Country Conservation Center (HC3) is a local non-profit that collaborates with the Town of Frisco on climate action and sustainability initiatives by promoting practical solutions for waste reduction and resource conservation in Frisco, as well as all of Summit County. HC3 presented some of their local successes, impacts on the community, and plans for 2022 in the following areas:

Waste Diversion

  • HC3 held five educational events at the Frisco Recycle Center and did a residential tagging program at the curb with helpful tips to residential recyclers.
  • HC3 has worked with six Frisco businesses on their waste diversion/recycling efforts.
  • 371 Frisco residents registered for the free composting/food scrap program, up 40% since 2021.
  • HC3 partnered with Frisco Fun Club and Peak School for waste diversion education.
  • HC3 is working on marketing and implementation of “pay-as-you-throw” and Universal Recycling ordinances, approved by the Town Council on March 22, 2022, which will incentivize recycling for homeowners and businesses.
  • HC3 is working on a construction and demolition recycling and recovery plan.

Climate Action:

  • Solarize Summit- In 2021, ten Frisco residents participated in the program, which provides free solar assessments, and received $1,500 rebates from the Town for installing solar panels at their homes. Seven residents have enrolled in 2022. Between 2019 and this year-to-date, over 223 kilowatts of solar power were installed in Frisco through this program.
  • Electric vehicle (EV) readiness planning- HC3 is hosting an EV meet-and-greet event on September 24, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at the Frisco Adventure Park EV stations (just outside the Day Lodge). Electric vehicles will be available for a test drive, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions from existing EV owners and the EV-curious. Over 100 people attended in 2021.
  • Sustainable building codes- HC3 is currently planning another round of training for builders in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office, which will offer the latest effective techniques for energy efficient building.
  • Renewable energy program- HC3 is working on a renewable energy program that would require onsite renewable energy offsets for high-energy outdoor usage, such large snowmelt systems and/or large commercial outdoor pools and hot tubs, with solar development.
  • Over 500 people attended the Purple Mountains film event in partnership with Protect Our Winters.
  • Climate Equity Plan kick-off – HC3 has received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the development of a climate equity plan, which seeks to address environmental policies that potentially present challenges to or exclude underserved populations in Summit County. This will serve as a companion document to the Climate Action Plan.
  • Three-year update of greenhouse gas emissions inventory- This audit for 2017 through 2020 showed that energy use in buildings accounted for approximately two thirds of all emissions in Frisco and Summit County, and transportation accounted for about one third. HC3 offers the Energy Smart and Resource Wise programs to help reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings.

Energy Smart Colorado

This program offers free energy use audits in homes as well as rebates for energy saving upgrades.

  • In 2021, HC3 completed 40 energy assessments in Frisco, well over the goal of 25, with 12 energy efficiency upgrades completed (goal of 10), resulting in an annual average energy bill savings of $343 per household.
  • So far, in 2022, HC3 completed 20 out of 25 energy assessments in Frisco and seven out of 10 upgrades. This year, HC3 is offering larger rebates and expanded qualifications for rebates.
  • HC3 will also have greater collaboration with Xcel Energy by sending Xcel audit results, and in turn, Xcel will send goody bags directly to homeowners.

Frisco’s Resource Wise Business Program

This sustainable business certification program helps businesses reduce energy use, carbon emissions, and waste while improving recycling, composting, and purchasing practices.

  • HC3 saw nine businesses complete assessments (goal of eight) in 2021, five businesses subsequently take on improvement projects (goal of six), and this has resulted in an 18 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2022, seven businesses enrolled (goal of eight) include eight new assessments and two out of six improvement projects have been completed.
  • HC3 plans on more collaboration with Xcel Energy, who will perform the energy assessments

Building Hope / FIRC Sol Center Capital Campaign Update

Two local non-profits, the Family Intercultural and Resources Center (FIRC) and Building Hope, presented an update on their fundraising campaign for the proposed Sol Center non-profit campus, to be located at the Alta Verde workforce neighborhood in Breckenridge. The new building will better meet the needs of both non-profits and the people they serve by increasing and encouraging access to services and reducing the stigma often associated with seeking help. The 18,150 square foot building will house a community food market, thrift store, offices for FIRC and Building Hope staff, and meeting space for community partners. The non-profits reassured that there would still be a food market in Silverthorne to maintain ease of access for the North side of Summit County. The funding campaign has reached $8.5M out pf the estimated $11.9M construction costs, with a significant portion of those funds coming from the nonprofits themselves as they plan to sell some of their existing properties. Building Hope and FIRC representatives appealed to Council for additional financial support as a community partner. Town Council expressed support of the project and intends to discuss the appropriate contribution amount during 2023 budget discussions.

Final design plans for the Sol Center will be submitted to the Town of Breckenridge by the end of August with construction groundbreaking planned for the end of September.

Planning Commission- Joint Session with Town Council

Town Council and the Frisco Planning Commission held a joint work session to provide an opportunity to discuss community vision, issues, challenges, and upcoming projects. The Frisco Planning Commission plays a key role in guiding the ongoing development of the Town by reviewing site development applications for conformance to the Frisco Community Plan and compliance with the Unified Development Code, and in the creation of guiding plans and documents such as the Community Plan and Complete Streets Plan. The conversations focused on:

  • An update on the status of the Lake Hill project, the Town’s role, and development challenges
  • The Town’s current and future workforce housing projects  including Granite Park and the Colorado Workforce Center
  • Inclusionary zoning, which would require the construction of workforce housing in new developments
  • Code changes which would encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to increase availability for long-term renters
  • Term limits for planning commissioners

Reimbursement Resolution

Council approved a reimbursement resolution that will enable the Town to be reimbursed through Certificates of Participation for capital expenses incurred in the anticipated construction of the 602 Galena Street affordable housing project. As done for some other capital projects such as Granite Park, the Town is considering issuing debt to cover the costs of the project.

The Town has been working with State of Colorado and Summit County to construct workforce housing on a parcel owned by the State of Colorado and currently home to the Colorado Workforce Center. The State intends to sell the land to the Town, and Summit County will share in the land purchase costs per a negotiated agreement. Construction costs will likely need to be fully funded by the Town of Frisco, and a figure of $25,000,000 in the resolution is an estimate of the Town’s share of costs; this figure is not meant to be a definitive measure of total project expense.

The reimbursement resolution will allow the project to move forward, while more refined construction cost estimates will be evaluated and a final decision on the project and funding mechanism will be discussed at a future Town Council meeting. This resolution alone does not equate to any costs to which the Town would be obligated in the future.

Budget Amendments – Adding to Capital and Housing Funds

Town Council approved a list of changes to the 2022 budget as discussed by Council during the 2022 calendar year. Many of these expenses are carried over from 2021 projects.

Capital Improvement Fund ($2,002,675 Expenditures)

  • Complete Streets Plan (unexpended budget from 2021) – $43,893
  • Summit Blvd Gap Project (unexpended budget from 2021) – $98,092
  • Public Art projects and planning (unexpended budget from 2021) – $12,735
  • Fiber Infrastructure (unexpended budget from 2021) – $51,955
  • PD Remodel – $1,650,000
  • Town Hall Facility Master Plan – $146,000

SCHA (5A) Fund – $2,070,000 Revenue – $5,100,0000 Expenditures

  • Short Term Rental Excise Tax – (+ $570,000)
  • 602 Galena partner contributions from the County – (+ $1,5000,000)
  • 602 Galena land purchase (- $3,000,000)
  • Housing Helps (- $500,000)
  • 810 Pitkin land banking (- $1,600,000)
  • These changes will decrease SCHA 5A Fund by $3,030,000.

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.