Frisco considering urban renewal to rejuvenate town
summit daily news
FRISCO – In hopes of revitalizing Frisco’s commercial core – specifically the Interstate parcel and the Frisco Station area – town council is educating itself on how urban renewal could be used. Nothing has been decided however.
Dillon’s town manager Devin Granbery and Dillon Mayor Barbara Davis sat in on a recent town work session to share their knowledge with Frisco officials about what it takes to form an urban renewal authority, and tips to make the process run smoothly.
Dillon recently adopted its own urban renewal plan and its seeking out potential developers.
“This is one option that we could look at,” said Frisco spokeswoman Amy Stoehrmann, noting that any recent Frisco discussions about urban renewal are merely educational at this point.
Town manager Michael Penny said educational discussions are helpful when trying to “figure out options as the local government agency on how to work with property owners to improve Highway 9.” The land in question is privately owned and state property, not town-owned land.
“Urban renewal authorities are one tool in the tool box to leverage improvements in that area,” Penny said, adding that there could be other options. He also said there’s definitely a strong town desire to come up with ideas and create a master plan for the North Summit Boulevard area for the future.
Davis suggested that Frisco hire a consultant to help the town create its own urban renewal concept if that’s the direction Frisco council members want to take, and she also said Frisco should communicate freely with its residents about any plans.
Granbery suggested not limiting an urban renewal authority to a certain area of Frisco. Rather the town should make the authority span the whole town, at least in terms of an initial blight study.
“You can always make an authority smaller, but you can’t make it bigger,” he said.
Frisco Mayor Bill Pelham said he’s not sure what direction council will take since they’re merely participating in preliminary discussions.
According to Penny, the main street revitalization project – which is finally underway – has been on Frisco’s list of things to do for several years. When the council said it wanted to move ahead on a facelift for Main Street in 2008, its members also said they wanted to look at redevelopment options for North Summit Boulevard – from Pond Drive to the Interstate.
The council even allocated funding – $40,000 – as a place-holder to evaluate the area and come up with a plan for potential improvements, Penny added.
None of the place-holder funds have been spent yet because the town has focused its energies on starting the Peak One affordable housing project, Main Street revitalization and the peninsula recreation development.
Though there’s no timeline for the creation of a master plan, Frisco will continue to participate in educational discussions to understand its spectrum of options.
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