Affordable housing, open space? Frisco residents will decide
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
FRISCO ” Frisco residents will now decide whether affordable-housing development occurs on the Peak One parcel, after a petition was submitted to the town to require a vote before selling, subdividing or leasing town-owned parcels larger than five acres.
The Friends of Frisco Open Space group began circulating the petition in late September, touting the protection of open space in a town that is fast-approaching build out.
Although only 255 validated signatures were needed, the group collected some 428 signatures to place the issue on a mail-in ballot for the April 28 election.
“There has been a lot of talk about Peak One, but this initiative is broader than that, and it covers the 12 parcels in town over five acres,” said FOFOS member Don Cacace said. “We’re very pleased that the petition has been validated. …It’s nice to see regular citizens can still have a voice.”
While the petition language does not specifically address the development of the Peak One parcel, it can’t be ignored that the Friends of Frisco Open Space group is comprised of many homeowners who live near the parcel.
“Every Summit Daily article on our initiative has quoted a town official writing us off as a group of concerned neighbors,” Cacace said. “These terms are a tired old way of suppressing citizen involvement.”
Frisco law mandates a town vote prior to the sale or lease of town-owned “open space or park land,” but given that Peak One is not designated open space, the new initiative seeks to close a so-called “loophole,” according to Cacace.
The initiative would require a vote for action taken on any town-owned land larger than five acres, which also includes the “Interstate” or “Home Depot” parcel adjacent to Interstate 70 and the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.
“Rather than fearing a vote, the town should embrace this as citizen involvement,” Cacace said. “The signatures that were gathered prove that people want to protect the character of Frisco.”
But a counter group, Families for Frisco, directly opposes the idea that the petition was about protecting open space and is fervently trying to educate residents on the consequences of voting “yes” on April 28.
“We want to make sure people have their facts straight when it comes time to vote on this initiative,” group member Rob Murphy said. “Our position continues to be that there is a need for affordable housing, and Peak One is the most appropriate spot for development.”
Although the initiative already is on the ballot, the town council is required by law to place the issue on tonight’s agenda for a first reading, where it will pass, regardless of contention.
The council also will have a second reading of the new Peak One zoning district and most likely will approve the proposal to annex the parcel into the town.
Ashley Dickson can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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