Town News

Catch Up with Council, September 13, 2022 – Unsheltered in Summit, Draft Energy Plan, STR Code Amendments

Presentation on FAMLI Paid Leave Program

Town Council directed staff to begin the process of opting out of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, a state-run paid insurance program approved by voters in 2020 that provides workers 12-16 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves or a family member in the event of a serious illness or injury. Although all municipalities are included in the program by default, participation is not required if they opt out by December 31, 2022 through a noticed vote by Council.

Because the Town’s participation in the FAMLI program would not benefit the majority of Town employees like a private plan would, and the Town’s benefits are of similar value to full-time employees as the state’s FAMLI program, and eligible employees can still participate on their own, Council supported the staff recommendation to opt-out of the FAMLI program. Council also supported staff’s recommendation to consider further analysis of Town leave benefits and understand where adjustments could be made to better align with the FAMLI program benefits. The Town will continue to provide full-time employees a leave program to care for themselves or a family member in the event of a serious illness or injury, and while Colorado statute does not require the Town to provide a substitute benefit when opting out, the Town is considering doing so to remain an employer of choice.

In order to opt out, the Town of Frisco must give prior notice of the vote in the same manner it notices other public business. The Town must also provide special notice to employees, as well as an opportunity to submit comments before voting.

Unsheltered in Summit

At the August 9, 2022, Town Council work session, representatives of Unsheltered in Summit discussed with Town Council possible opportunities for members of the local workforce who are without permanent housing to sleep in their vehicles in designated locations within Town limits. At that meeting, Unsheltered in Summit described the program, the need in the community and discussed possible locations.  The program, which began in July 2019, has helped over 50 individuals.  As the need continues to grow, Unsheltered in Summit is seeking additional locations, as they will have to vacate their current location in Breckenridge.

Council expressed support for the program and directed staff to return at a future work session with options in Frisco for the program and potential code amendments that would allow for camping in Town areas that currently prohibit it.

At the September 13 meeting, Council further discussed locations presented by staff, both within Town boundaries and in areas adjacent to Frisco, which would require cooperation with neighboring jurisdictions and property owners, and supported the use of the trailhead parking lot at the Marina as a temporary program location for the winter. The Frisco Bay Marina lots see very little traffic during the winter season and provide a private, safe, low-light area for the 10 – 15 cars that would be parked there.

Staff will continue to research and pursue other locations for longer term solutions including 602 Galena, the Workforce Center property the Town plans to purchase from the State of Colorado for future workforce housing, and as well County, US Forest Service, and privately owned properties which have expressed interest in participating.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has set a work session for October 4, 2022, to review potential use of selected County parcels with representatives from Unsheltered, the Towns and the County.

Council also supported suggested code amendments that would allow for the use of public or private property for the purpose of temporary car camping. Changes to the code will need to be reviewed by the Planning Commission and Town Council.  Unsheltered indicated they are required to vacate their current location in Breckenridge by October 1, so Town Council may need to consider an emergency ordinance to expedite the process, and also petition the Town of Breckenridge to allow Unsheltered to remain until Code changes are completed.

Partners in Energy Draft Plan

Partners in Energy is a two-year program with Xcel Energy designed to support Frisco in developing and implementing a strategic energy plan, motivate action, track progress, and celebrate and promote successes. This plan offers opportunities for Frisco to leverage additional resources, identify cost savings, support economic development, and save energy.

 Xcel Energy will provide resources to support Frisco as a Frisco specific plan is developed. Xcel will also provide resources to reach the goals identified in the plan. In addition to their existing rebates and programs, Xcel will provide project management, program outreach, trainings for local implementation, data or tracking assistance, and more.

The Energy Action Team selected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction as the primary objective while also prioritizing equity, and selected four focus areas to prioritize strategies and resources: residents, businesses & institutions, municipal facilities, and regional partnerships. The team also identified several strategies to include education, outreach, support, expanded rebates, and expansion of the Solarize Summit program to meet energy goals.

Council supported moving forward with the plan.

Police Resources: Lenco Bearcat

Town Council approved the Town of Frisco Police Department’s participation in the purchase of a Lenco Bearcat, a tactical vehicle to be used by the newly formed Municipal Emergency Response Team (MERT) comprising of the Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne police departments. The vehicle will be used for rescues, first responder protection, natural disaster response, acute critical incident response, and other emergency scenarios. The Towns of Frisco and Dillon will share the cost of $365,698. The Town of Dillon has a certified mechanic who can maintain the vehicle, and Dillon would officially own the vehicle.

Short Term Rental Discussion – Code Amendments

Council tabled the first reading of an ordinance that would cap the maximum number of short-term rental licenses at 22% of the residential housing stock and exempt local property owners who utilize their STR as a primary residence from the license cap. Council had directed staff to draft this ordinance at their August 23, 2022 work session after numerous discussions and reviews of the comprehensive data gathered and presented by staff.

While reviewing the ordinance, the Town attorney discovered a recent case decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that determined that an STR regulation exemption for primary residence homeowners violated an interstate commerce clause by discriminating against out-of-state property owners. Frisco’s attorney therefore recommended Town Council consider alternative options to the exempt license. Approximately, 119 existing STR license holders may have qualified for the exempt license type. By increasing the cap from 22% to 25%, the total number of STR licenses would therefore be approximately the same as the original intended amount.

To meet a main objective of mitigating negative impacts to the local community, including the availability and affordability of housing, Council directed staff to return with an ordinance that would set the STR license cap to 25% instead of 22% of the residential housing stock, and include exemptions for properties that are under construction or under contract. There was also a discussion about allowing STR licenses to be transferrable if a property is transferred between family members. Council indicated that more discussion is needed to consider an exemption of this type and to ensure such a provision would not create an unintended loophole that would undermine the intent of this ordinance.

Staff will present the first reading of this ordinance at the September 27, 2022 Council meeting.

Budget Amendments – Adding to Capital and Housing Funds

Town Council approved on second reading 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 – $5,100,000 Expenditures

  • Short Term Rental Excise Tax – (+ $570,000)
  • 602 Galena partner contributions from the County – (+ $1,500,000)
  • 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.