Frisco rejects coalition’s petition against golf course
FRISCO – The Frisco town clerk Thursday rejected a proposed initiative by the Save the Peninsula Coalition to prohibit a golf course on the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.
Last week, a group calling itself the Save the Peninsula Coalition submitted paperwork notifying Frisco of its intent to petition for an initiative on November’s ballot. The group’s intent is “to forbid the planning, design or construction of a golf course on the peninsula,” said Summit Greens chairman Doug Malkan.
The group must collect the signatures of at least 421 registered Frisco voters by Sept. 5 to qualify for the ballot. It must wait for the town to approve the language on the proposed initiative before beginning the petitioning process.
Frisco Community Relations Director Linda Lichtendahl said the town rejected the initiative because it did not adhere to the form prescribed by Colorado statute. Town officials said they notified the petitioners of several changes that must be made before the initiative can be approved.
The necessary revisions include spacing and typesetting, changing the signature pages and ballot title, and changing the ordinance summary, Lichtendahl said.
Lichtendahl and assistant town manager Theresa Casey said the town only approves or disapproves the language and format of the proposed initiative because it must meet standards set by state law. The town will not disapprove the initiative for its content or intent, they said.
Malkan said the impetus for the petition includes the group’s desire to preserve open space, leave the Frisco Nordic center and peninsula hiking and mountain biking trails undisturbed, and the environmental impacts and financial implications of a golf course.
In a press release, Malkan accused town officials of disregarding the citizen vote in the early ’90s.
In 1992, town officials passed a citizens ordinance prohibiting the use of town funds to design or construct a golf course. Shortly after, in 1993, a related ballot question was put to the voters – which golf course opponents won by 47 votes.
Malkan wrote in the press release that, “The public has stood before the council repeatedly, passionately telling them that protecting the peninsula and keeping it open is one of the highest priorities. Yet despite all this, the pro-golfing town council has just appropriated $35,000 to plan a golf course on the peninsula, defying the public’s desires and skirting their own law.”
While it may be a fine line between “planning” and “designing,” town officials stress they are not designing a golf course. And while they have appropriated $35,000 to hire a consultant – Winston Associates – to develop the Peninsula Recreation Area Land Plan, it is not with the sole goal of a building a golf course on the peninsula.
Last month, council members identified the top six amenities they would like to see evaluated as part of the overall land use plan for the peninsula. Those six include a sledding/tubing hill/ski jump, a Nordic village, a multi-purpose center/ice arena/performing arts center, a golf course, summer/winter trail network improvements, and an amphitheater (only if it can be coordinated with the other amenities.) The $35,000 will pay Winston Associates to plan for all of these amenities on the peninsula, not a golf course alone.
It is the land planners’ job to determine which of those six amenities would fit on the peninsula and how. Town officials also stress the land planning is very conceptual, and they are merely gathering information to plan responsibly for the town’s future.
“Before we see what the consultant comes up with, none of us know whether golf will even be one of the final uses proposed,” Casey said.
Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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