Frisco outlines core values for community master plan (hint: they like outdoor recreation)
More than 20 residents gathered in the Frisco Town Hall on Monday as part of a citizen resource group meant to outline the community’s core values. The event marked another stage in the town’s ongoing efforts to develop a new comprehensive town master plan.
It’s those core values identified by residents and town staff that will ultimately help to inform the rest of the plan and future decision making processes.
“This will give us the basis from which to form the rest of our community plan,” said Susan Lee, community planner for Frisco. “We’re saying this is who we are, this is what we value and this is what we want to preserve and protect. All the policy that we develop as part of the community plan needs to support these values.”
The citizen group, a diverse array of residents handpicked by town staff to serve as a sounding board during the planning process, used data and comments from more than 250 individuals who participated in a July kickoff event. During that meeting, residents were asked to fill out postcards with their favorite things about Frisco, which were given to the group to help identify common themes brought up by residents.
In the end, the results, facilitated by Mike McCarthy of the Flourishing Leadership Group, outlined six core values vital to the town’s identity: preservation of history, environmental stewardship, healthy living, the sense of community, inclusivity and community balance between full-time residents, part-time residents and tourists.
The group was also asked to define the more nebulous values and what they mean from a planning perspective. Preserving history was loosely defined as being thoughtful and respectful of the town’s past as it relates to guiding the future. The sense of community revolved around the town’s human resources, dedication to supporting neighbors in need and active and engaged citizen base. Inclusivity involves ongoing dialogue between the town and residents, and the continuation of public outreach to promote the town’s collective vision. Community balance deals largely with creating equity in economic, recreational and housing opportunities for locals, part-time residents and tourists.
While these concepts are certainly considered important in maintaining Frisco’s character, they are neither set in stone or comprehensive.
“We want to put them back out to the community,” said Joyce Allgaier, Frisco’s community development director. “I think this gave us kind of the ethos of the community. It came from a place of emotion and understanding of this is who we are. But by October we’ll have our community value statements tightened up and a better understanding of what this plan is. That will again give our citizens a chance to chime in and respond.”
The town will likely host another public open house sometime in late September or early October to fill in the community on what progress has been made in the planning process and to get feedback on the work done so far. There are also three stakeholder workshops planned for Aug. 28 dealing with economic sustainability, community design and housing. Parties interested in being selected to participate in one of those workshops should visit FriscoCommunityPlan.com.
“We’re determining where we’re coming from,” said Lee. “You have a shared understanding of where we are at today, and we need everyone to get on board with what we want to protect before we create policy to start making changes.”
As part of the town’s kickoff event on July 11, Frisco also collected community opinions via keypad polling and public notes on a map of the town to outline opportunities for change in land use.
The keypad polling, collected from more than 100 respondents, helped to emphasize what residents believe are the biggest problems and opportunities in town. The group was composed of primarily full-time and part-time residents (88 percent) between the ages of 46 and 70.
More than 70 percent of residents said the outdoor recreation options in Frisco are among their favorite parts of living there, and 47 percent said that the loss of Frisco’s small mountain town character was the most troubling issue facing the town in the future. Participants also said that planning efforts should provide a balance between building a livable community for locals and being a great tourist community.
Additionally, respondents said the town should place a greater emphasis on expanding transit services, connectivity for bikers and pedestrians, environmental stewardship and more recreation facilities. Among things the town could be doing differently, participants noted potential changes to policy regarding affordable housing and traffic flow.
In the mapping survey, respondents focused on increased affordable-housing supplies, attracting good paying jobs and employers to town, investing in better telecommunication infrastructure, improved signage, better connectivity and increased water access at Lake Dillon and Tenmile Creek.
“The things that come next will implement these responses and values,” said Allgaier. “We won’t do anything that would go in a different direction. The next step is developing policies and goals from mobility to housing, and infrastructure to design. Those things all need to support the values we have, and we want to keep hearing what the community wants through outreach.”
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