Frisco sued by Mountainside Condo association
Summit Daily News
Following the denial of an appeal by the Frisco council last month by Mountainside Condominium owners disputing changes to the Peak One Neighborhood phase two plans, the condo association and individual owners filed suit against the town Thursday to review the decision.
The plaintiffs, Mountainside Association, Inc., and individual owners Natalie Bass, Donald Cacace and Richard George, allege the changes do not comply with the goals outlined in Frisco’s master plan for the neighborhood, completed in November of 2008 after three public meetings.
They contend the developer’s plan must meet the requirements summarized in the Peak One master plan, and allege several guiding principles were violated, including: sensitivity to existing trails was not maintained; planned housing is too dense near existing neighborhoods; and plans will block views for adjacent neighborhoods, among other issues.
Frisco town manager Michael Penny said the town is still in the review process of the claim, and its response to that.
“We passed the claim to our municipal attorney to review and prepare a response. I expect the council to discuss that response in executive session at our next meeting,” he said. “We believe that the council took appropriate action in their decision. We plan to vigorously defend the case, and we’re confident that the case will be dismissed.”
Plaintiff Donald Cacace said he had no comment at this time due to the pending litigation. Cacace was the leader of a group in 2009 that forced a town-wide vote related to the Peak One Neighborhood before construction began. That vote was overwhelmingly defeated by voters, allowing Peak One to move forward.
Frisco’s next council meeting is June 26. The case will be reviewed in Frisco Municipal Court.
The amendment to the original plan, which was approved by the commission in early May, eliminated the north-south portion of the East Meridian Alley after issues about fire access and safety arose earlier this year. The developers, Ten Mile Partners, created a east-west alley configuration, added another alley – Recen Alley – and redrew the lots to accommodate the change. A duplex was removed and replaced with two single homes, keeping the same housing density of seven units.
Mountainside appealed to council on June 14 to overturn the May decision, stating concerns about accessibility to and paving of the alleys; maintaining trail connectivity to the bike path and national forest trailhead; and headlights from the alleys spilling into their condos. Owners also expressed concern about the alignments and closeness of the new Peak One homes to their own.
In the updated plan, the only formal path was one just north of the wetlands, running east to west. East Meridian and Recen Alleys would also be accessible to residents from Mountainside, but were planned to be owned by Peak One.
“I think the council and planning commission need to consider the definition of a trail,” Mountainside condo owner Susan Spencer said at the June 14 meeting. “I don’t think alleys are where kids should play. A dirt trail is the essence of what a trail is.”
Owner David Sedium told council he thinks the alleys are really streets, and that even with the planned 5-foot-tall difference between the finished grade and the condos, his Ford Excursion’s headlights would still exceed that.
Ten Mile developer David O’Neil told council members he had met with Mountainside board members to address their concerns. He said the three trail connections were always the intent, and that the alleys will be charming, narrow and landscaped. He said they discussed landscaping to buffer car lights.
Councilman Kent Willis said the master plan doesn’t define a trail, only saying it should be a usable pathway.
The appeal was denied, with two new conditions in place: Meridian and Recen Alleys become public to allow for trail access, and screening be added at the end of Recen Alley to block any headlights.
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