Town News

Catchup with Council, November 8, 2022- Granite Park, Frisco’s Back Yard, Alternative Transportation

Camp Hale National Monument and Frisco’s Back Yard Master Plan

Adam Bianchi, Dillon District Ranger, spoke to Council about potential implications of the newly designated 53,804-acre Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument on the trail and resource management proposal for the area known as Frisco’s Backyard. The Backyard area encompasses the land located generally south of Frisco, comprised of Mount Royal, Miners Creek, Rainbow Lake, Ophir Mountain, and Gold Hill. While outside of town limits, these National Forest (NFS) lands are a very important community recreation destination. The proposal will include goals for wildfire fuel reduction and trail improvements among other resource management opportunities.

The US Forest Service will be developing a management plan for the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument over the next several years. Because the Monument proclamation includes support for recreation and fuels management, the Backyard proposal and NEPA study should be able to proceed as planned.

Finance Options for Granite Park Workforce Housing

Council provided feedback on a 10-year housing financial plan developed by staff and authorized staff to move forward with financing the construction of Granite Park workforce housing, located at 619 Granite Street.

The Granite Park project has been in the works since 2020 and is based on a planning agreement between the Town of Frisco and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which owns the land. The Agreement lays the foundation to jointly design and develop 22 workforce housing rental units by requiring CDOT and the Town to share all costs 50/50, excluding each agency’s personnel costs. CDOT will be contributing the land as a portion of their share of the project cost.

The Town will finance its portion of construction costs through a Certificate of Participation (COP), in which an investor purchases a share of the lease revenue of an agreement made by a government entity. With this option, the Town can take advantage of cost-effective financing for the acquisition and construction of property over time rather than depleting existing resources, including the new voter approved tax on short term rentals. Staff is waiting to receive a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) from the general contractor, and is factoring in a $1,500,000 DOLA grant and 50% contributions from CDOT to determine the amount to be borrowed.  Additional discussions will return to Council at the beginning of 2023. 

Winter Operations Staff Update

Town of Frisco Public Works and Adventure Park staff each provided updates to Council regarding staffing levels and operations plans.

The primary goal of the Public Works department during the winter is to remove snow as quickly and safely as possible to ensure that citizens and visitors to Frisco can travel regardless of the conditions. The Public Works Streets division is responsible for clearing snow from paved roadways and sidewalks in the Core business district, and despite being short-staffed, will be able to staff day and swing shifts as well as on-call snow shifts.  The Town of Frisco is currently welcoming applicants for Public Works and several other opportunities.  

The Frisco Adventure Park has a primary goal to ensure that all visitors have a memorable guest experience. The Peak 1 Café will be redone and will offer hot food this year and  sell wine, liquor, and beer made in Colorado.. The Adventure Park tentatively plans to open the tubing hill and a one-kilometer loop at the Nordic Center on November 24, 2022 (Thanksgiving Day). The Beginner Ski/Ride Hill, operated by Snow Schoolers, a third-party concessionaire, is set to open by December 24, 2022. The free sledding hill will remain in same location and will open as natural snow conditions allow. The Adventure Park has one open full-time, year-round position and a several open seasonal positions.

Alternative Transportation Discussion

Council held a discussion regarding expanding alternative transportation options in Frisco to better meet sustainability goals as well as to potentially reduce parking requirements for new construction. Current transportation options are limited for community residents and visitors who do not have cars.

Staff provided an overview of micro-transit options, currently not available in Frisco or Summit County. Micro-transit is an on-demand mobility service.  This service can include individual ride requests, pick up additional riders en route, and coordinate with a fixed-route provider such as the Summit Stage, to provide rides to a fixed-route bus stop, or from a fixed-route stop to the final destination, filling the “first mile / last mile” gap faced by many rural transit providers.

There is a substantial price tag associated with micro-transit implementation, leading Council to direct staff to pursue a regional approach to make this option more effective and financially viable. The Town will request a spot on an upcoming Transit Board agenda to discuss support for collaboration on regional micro-transit. Additionally, Council directed staff to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for shuttle services to supplement the Summit Stage with a fixed route circulator route through Frisco neighborhoods.

The Town will continue implementation of the Downtown Complete Streets Plan, and the Trails Master Plan as part of the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan, with annual appropriations included in the Town budget, to make Frisco more walkable and bike-able.

First Reading Dillon Reservoir Ordinance

Town Council approved on First Reading an ordinance that amends sections of the Town Code regarding the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area. Recreation within the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area is managed by the interagency Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC), comprised of Denver Water, Town of Dillon, Town of Frisco, Summit County Government, and the U.S. Forest Service, each of which either own or manage land within the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area.

Every five years, each Chapter of the Frisco Town Code must be reviewed for possible amendment or repeal. Staff has reviewed Chapter 140 concerning rules and regulations of recreational use of the Dillon Reservoir and recommended amendments to eight sections to match the amended changes from DRReC. The changes modify definitions within the code and clarify the code language.

Single Use Plastics Discussion

Town Council discussed policies that would reduce the use of single-use materials ahead of the upcoming state requirements within the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which in 2021 banned the use of single-use plastic bags by retailers, and after January 1, 2024, will ban polystyrene as a to-go container for certain restaurants after January 1, 2024.

Council discussion centered on how to facilitate any potential changes with businesses and directed staff to research how other municipalities implemented single-use materials bans. Council plans to continue this discussion and gave staff the direction to focus on eliminating the distribution of single-use plastic water bottles in Frisco. Council also supported adding the requirement for businesses to “skip the stuff” such as plastic cutlery for takeout orders unless a customer specifically asks for it.

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.