Town News

Catchup with Council, June 14, 2022 – Slopeside Hall, Workforce Housing and STR Discussion, Paperless Billing

Slopeside Hall at the Frisco Adventure Park Budget Discussion

Staff presented Council with the most recent budget estimates for the construction of the new Slopeside Hall building, tube storage, a plaza, a remodel at the Day Lodge, and other improvements at the Frisco Adventure Park based on 90% construction drawings. The most current designs place the new estimated total project budget at $9.7M. Council, staff, and the owner’s representatives, DCS, discussed the difference between earlier costs estimates and the current estimates.

At the April 12, 2022 Town Council meeting, staff and the design team shared the most up-to-date hard cost estimates for Slopeside Hall construction and Day Lodge improvements at the Frisco Adventure Park, which, based on 80% construction drawings, amounted to $6.9M. Council directed staff to move forward with the design team to produce 100% construction documents for all elements of the project, which include the new building, renovations at the Day Lodge, a new tube storage structure, and site work. Of note:

  • During prior reviews of the construction and improvement designs, Council and the design team discussed several value engineering options to stay closer to the $5.2M budget originally estimated for the new Slopeside Hall building. At that time, Council directed staff to stay with the original vision for the building, rather than reducing the footprint, in order to better serve community, specifically by increasing capacity for youth programs and camps. Council also directed the design team to pursue a net-zero energy design for the new building.
  • The original budget estimate of $5.2M was for construction of the new building alone. The project, which includes renovations at the Day Lodge, a new tube storage structure, and site work, has nearly doubled in scope.
  • Construction costs have significantly increased in an unpredictable market.
  • The previous estimates were done by different firm, on behalf of the architect, OLC, and only included hard costs, such as time and materials, and did not include soft costs, such as design and permitting.

Council directed staff to move forward with preparing bid documents and putting the project out to bid with a Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction manager/general contractor services with the intention to use the most updated cost estimates to decide whether to move forward with the project. This RFP was subsequently released on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Workforce Housing and Short-Term Rental Discussion

Staff presented an overview of the current short-term rental and housing market in Frisco and Summit County to engage Council in discussion of various policy options that could be applied to short-term rentals. Summit County as a whole is currently experiencing low inventory and high demand for available housing units, which is driving up real estate prices and decreasing affordability. With housing prices out of reach for locals, and the widespread ability to work remotely, the Summit County housing market is attractive to outside investors. While short-term rentals in Frisco do not make up as big of a percentage of housing units as some surrounding areas, their ubiquity has been identified as a factor in the limited availability of affordable housing. Council supported moving forward with several regulatory options that could help mitigate the impact of STRs on available housing:

  • Council directed staff to research and bring back inclusionary zoning options, which would require that a certain share of units in new developments be deed restricted, usually at a specific AMI. This would not directly affect STRs, but offset the concentration of STRs with deed-restricted units, and maintain economic diversity in neighborhoods.
  • Council also directed staff to research more information about commercial linkage fees in addition to inclusionary zoning.
  • Council discussed a STR license cap, potentially limiting the amount of licenses to 22% of available housing, with additional licenses issued as exemptions to owner-occupied units, and a potential ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ policy. Frisco is currently at 20% STRs, and 2% more licenses would lead to the addition of approximately 70 more STR licenses.
  • Council directed staff to come back to a future Council meeting with more details about the STR license cap and license types so that Council can make a formal decision.
  • Council supported defining license types that would differentiate owner-occupied properties versus investment properties.
  • Council supported Town Code revisions as they pertain to STRs, that would amend and clarify language regarding parking requirements, owner/manager contact information, defining bedrooms for occupancy purposes, and revising enforcement measures. Staff will draft an ordinance to initiate the proposed code revisions.

Council Committee Updates

The Town of Frisco relies on Council members to engage in numerous committees that deal with a variety of important issues that directly relate to Council’s strategic priorities, in order to aid in the overall progress of the Town of Frisco. Councilmembers reviewed the committees list, provided nominations to open or changing committee positions, and confirmed representatives for each of the different committees.

Thanking Former Planning Commissioner Donna Skupien

The Frisco Town Council thanked Frisco resident Donna Skupien for her 13 years of service on the Frisco Planning Commission. Donna was present as Council thanked her and wished her the best in all of her future endeavors.

Water Bill and Paper Filing Fees

Council approved the ordinance to establish a fee for mailing paper water bills and processing paper tax/fee filings.

During a May 24 work session, Council discussed and supported establishing a fee for mailing paper water bills and processing paper tax/fee filings in order to encourage customers to switch to electronic billing and tax/fee filing. Council supported the recommended initial fee of $5.00 per paper filing for tax or fee remittance forms, as well as for mailing paper water bills. There will be no fee around the method by which a customer pays their water bill. Currently, only about 30% of customers have opted for the electronic delivery of water bills, as well as remittance of taxes and disposable bag fees. The paper fees will offset the cost of staff processing and storing the paper documents.

In order to inform customers of the fees, communications will be sent to those that currently submit paper returns or receive paper water bills for six months before the ordinance goes into effect. Staff will also be available to assist any customers who need assistance switching to electronic billing.

Town Code Amendments – Water

Council approved on second reading an ordinance that provides two amendments to the Town Code regarding out-of-Town water rates and the testing and reporting of backflow devices. The changes are outlined below. Town Council approved the proposed ordinance as written on first reading at their May 24, 2022 Council meeting.

In-Town Rates for Deed Restrictions

At the April 12, 2022 Council meeting, following a request from property owner who lives outside of Town limits, Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would allow a property owner with a property outside of town limits placing a local workforce occupancy deed restriction to request in-Town water rates. Frisco water customers outside of Town limits are charged double the in-town rate. The Town code still requires Council’s approval for an out-of-Town customer to tap into Frisco’s water system, but if said property is deed restricted, in-Town rates will automatically apply upon approval to join Frisco’s water service, if the building was in existence as of July 1, 2022. Any deed-restricted buildings that comes into existence after July 1, 2022 will need to apply, both for Town water service and in-Town water rates.

Backflow Testing Compliance

In order for the Town to comply with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s requirements for backflow prevention, Council approved amendments to the Town Code that will implement deadlines for property owners to test their backflow devices and submit the results to the Town, and fines for those who fail to do so. Properly working backflow prevention devices keep outgoing water from contaminating source water. These requirements pertain to multi-family and commercial properties rather than individual homes.

The code amendments establish the following:

  • Report submission deadlines:
    • Backflow device testing reports for domestic and fire suppression devices must be submitted to the Town no later than September 1 of each year.
    • Backflow device testing reports for irrigation devices must be submitted to the Town no later than July 31 of each year.
  • Penalties:
    • The penalty for the first offense will be a mandatory fine of $250.
    • Any subsequent violation will carry a mandatory fine of $500.
    • These fines can be assessed each day the property is out of compliance within a twelve-month period.

Council Orientation: Open Records Act

The Town of Frisco’s attorney reviewed the Open Records Act with Council. Public records are available by request, as long as the request is in accordance with state statutes and federal regulations, is not contrary to public interest, the information is not part of an ongoing investigation, or does not disclose personal, confidential, or otherwise privileged information. The presentation delved into the nuance around what may define public interest, as well as what may define privileged information.