Frisco works to refine peninsula plans
FRISCO – Town officials continued refining plans for the Frisco peninsula at a work session Tuesday. Council instructed Paul Kuhn, senior associate with land-planning consulting firm Winston Associates, to proceed with refining a plan they adopted last month.
The preferred plan will serve as a recreation master plan of sorts for the area, helping guide future development on the peninsula. Although the plan includes a controversial 9-hole golf course, among other amenities, as part of the long-term vision, voters would be given the final say over whether or not the course ever becomes a reality.
Kuhn returned to the worksession Tuesday to show council members the preferred concept for developing recreation amenities on the peninsula. The town hired his firm to determine how, and if, the council’s chosen top six amenities would fit on the town-owned property.
Last month, Kuhn presented council members with five options – or concepts – for the land, and council members directed him to modify Concept C, which would place the 9-hole golf course mainly on the northeast portion of the land (where it would affect an existing disc-golf course marginally). Concept C also places a multi-purpose convention center and ice arena closer to Highway 9 than other concepts suggested.
Concept C also incorporates a Nordic village (two to three additional buildings providing support facilities), a 10-meter ski jump, a sledding hill, improved summer and winter trail networks, and an outdoor amphitheater to accommodate 1,500 people.
Council members had indicated they preferred a smaller amphitheater, a separation between the existing disc-golf course and proposed ball-golf course, a preference to leave current amenities such as disc golf unchanged, and moving the ball-golf course eastward to use the southeastern portion of the peninsula to preserve the land’s higher quality forest.
Kuhn said he combined elements from the other concepts, as well as suggestions from council members, to create what council now calls the preferred plan.
The preferred plan
The preferred concept leaves most existing facilities, including the skatepark, disc golf, and Nordic trails, unchanged, Kuhn said. The plan would locate the sledding hill and a 10-meter ski jump on the western portion of the land, close to the Nordic center facilities, and it would concentrate buildings such as the multi-purpose center and a scaled-down amphitheater, accommodating 500 to 750 people, close to the Highway 9 corridor. The preferred plan also allows for a 9-hole, ball-golf course, but Kuhn said he moved the course in accordance with council’s wishes to preserve the disc-golf course and the peninsula’s forested areas.
Kuhn said there are some disadvantages to the preferred concept, however. Although most of the disc-golf course would remain the same, one or two holes might have to be moved. Also, because the peninsula’s trail network is dense, Kuhn said it’s virtually impossible to add amenities without realigning some of the Nordic, hiking and biking trails.
“I’m not sure it would be to the point it would radically alter the experience,” he said.
Trees would have to be removed for the multi-purpose center, golf course, amphitheater and ice skating rink. Limited tree removal would be needed for the sledding hill, ski jump and Nordic village.
Although council gave Kuhn the go-ahead to continue refining the preferred plan, Councilmember Jon Zdechlik said he would be fine omitting the amphitheater from a final plan.
Assistant town manager Theresa Casey said she will present the preferred concept to the planning and zoning commission at its Sept. 5 meeting and that she hopes to have the finalized plan ready slightly at its Sept. 17 meeting.
What the council members will do once they’ve agreed upon the final plan remains uncertain, however.
Zdechlik asked fellow council members how they foresee proceeding, because many of the so-called big ticket items, like a ball-golf course, multi-purpose center and amphitheater, would be costly.
Council members agreed the land planning by Winston Associates is an exercise they will use to make future decisions about the use of the land. They can analyze the information Kuhn provides them and then prioritize, as Councilmember Rick Amico suggested, considering both the desire for a particular amenity and its cost.
Council will continue to discuss recreation plans for the peninsula at future meetings.
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