Frisco OKs its peninsula rec plan; Water Dance worries about noise |

Frisco OKs its peninsula rec plan; Water Dance worries about noise

summit daily news

FRISCO – The town’s new-and-improved vision for its Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area is moving forward, but not without reservations from some Water Dance residents.

Homeowners in the subdivision live directly next to the site at the southeast end of town, where a terrain park, tubing hill, bike park, skating rink and 4,000-square-foot day lodge are planned. Their main concerns include light and noise pollution created by the development, as well as landscaping to insulate the neighborhood.

In a 5-1 vote, Frisco’s council approved a conditional-use permit for recreation buildings at Tuesday’s town meeting, but with one big condition – operational uses for the peninsula development must always be approved by council members. This was included as a protective measure for Water Dance residents.

“It’s our intent to be good neighbors,” said town manager Michael Penny.

Planning commission already voted unanimously to approve the package of recreational amenities at the peninsula earlier this month. If approvals move forward this winter, ground could be broken on the project as soon as spring.

Carolyn Raap, Ken Blackburn and Dick Masica, as well as town Councilwoman Eileen Davies spoke to council Tuesday, mainly about noise concerns caused by the prospect of music being played at the tubing hill. Due to the pine-beetle epidemic, the area between Water Dance and the recreation area has lost most of its trees – a natural sound barrier.

“Noise really carries,” Raap said, asking council to consider containing the hours of music or not having it at all.

Raap asked the town to plant a lot of new trees to help block noise and light, and to consider the types of lighting used for the area and its parking lots.

Masica also asked council not to turn “our lovely mountain town into a zoo,” adding that in previous years the town said recreation on the peninsula wouldn’t include nighttime use.

In terms of concerns over the tubing hill, Penny said music would only be used at the magic carpet. He also said lighting would be downcast, so it wouldn’t spill onto adjacent properties.

“We can turn the music off if it’s not a necessary component and it’s causing discontent,” he added. “It’s going to be trial and error.”

Davies said she had serious concerns about noise, but not about light. She also wanted to make sure new amenities to be offered at the peninsula would not affect the horse-drawn sleigh operation and the Frisco Nordic Center. The Frisco peninsula is an 807-acre area of land by the Dillon Reservoir, and the town owns 220 of those acres where the Frisco Nordic Center sits.

“This Nordic center is a gem,” Davies said. “Skiers appreciate its solitude, beauty and peace.”

Davies said she wanted to ban all outdoor music from the peninsula area so it didn’t impact other uses. Other council members disagreed, saying that renting the area for private parties and events shouldn’t be precluded.

Penny suggested not banning outdoor music in the conditional-use permit, but rather to address music and lighting concerns with an operational plan. The plan will also address hours of operation, lighting, landscaping and special events.

“Music should be addressed, but not now,” Councilman Kent Willis said.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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