The Town of Frisco has a rich history and is committed to preserving its historic character while balancing growth and development. In 2019, the Town commissioned a historical survey project to gather baseline information on historic resources within the Town. The survey, administered through a grant from the Colorado Historical Fund, evaluates buildings through research of property records, visual review, and other historic information about historic owners and construction dates to determine how each individual property fits into the broader context of Frisco history and if enough integrity remains to continue to tell the story of Frisco.
The survey process consisted of several steps including public outreach, research on regional historic trends and context, developing criteria for inclusion in the survey, conducting site visits and inventories of selected properties, and the preparation of a detailed report on the final selected properties. The results of the information gathered, along with a draft of the final survey report, were presented to Town Council during their meeting on January 12, 2021.
Selection of properties to be included in the survey were based on several sources: a visual survey taken by the historic preservation specialist, the property’s construction date as taken from County Assessor data, and the 2017 Historic Property Inventory complied by the Historic Park and Museum. The final list consists of 25 properties that were constructed between 1880s and 1950s. Each property on the list has been evaluated in terms of its historic context, significance, and integrity. The final survey serves as a resource to facilitate community decisions about what should be preserved and how best to preserve them.
The information compiled for the historic resource survey is valuable in its own right as a historical record and can also inform decisions on programs related to historic preservation. The survey consists of two parts:
The survey project is for informational purposes only; it has no regulatory effect. However, Frisco’s land use code, the Unified Development Code (UDC), offers an incentive based approach to preservation and redevelopment of historic structures. The current regulations are based on a Historic Overlay District zoning designation intended to encourage voluntary preservation of historic buildings, preferably on the original site.
To qualify, the structure must be at least 50 years old, have unique historical significance, and contain or be rehabilitated to contain significant historical features. Once a property achieves the Historic Overlay District zoning a list of preservation criteria apply. The owner then has the option of selling the property’s development rights to the Town or developing the property. The Historic Overlay District offers specific development incentives including: relief from underlying zoning requirements such as lot coverage, setbacks, and density; relief from overlay district requirements; and relief from the development standard requirements such as parking, landscaping, and bulk plane.
To help fund this project, the Town received a grant from the State Historical Fund (SHF) in 2019, in the amount of $21,496, which covered approximately 75% of the survey costs. The Town’s contribution was $7,165. Funds from the SHF grant are distributed through a competitive process and all projects must demonstrate strong public benefit and community support. The State Historical Fund assists in a wide variety of preservation projects including restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings, architectural assessments, archeological excavations, designation and interpretation of historic places, preservation planning studies, and education and training