Frisco’s wish list of projects drives ill-conceived plan for retail on 9.4 acres | SummitDaily.com
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Frisco’s wish list of projects drives ill-conceived plan for retail on 9.4 acres

Mike McCrakenFrisco

Despite years of free input, feedback and polling results from Frisco voters regarding the 9.4 acre parcel, the Frisco Town Council commissioned a $10,000 telephone survey in April 2005 to “find and better understand the factual data out there,” according town manager Michael Penny. Though originally scheduled for public discussion on May 10 (canceled due to pollster’s illness), the survey results have yet to be publicly revealed or discussed.Responding to my inquiry of June 28, Penny said the council was not focusing on the survey due to scheduling conflicts with the pollster’s travels. He also indicated that the council’s work session and regular council meeting agendas were full into August. There was no opportunity for a review of the survey results prior to council’s recommending a long-term, viable (retail) project for the 9.4 acres.I have a copy of the survey results. The results reaffirm what the council has been hearing for the past two years but refuses to accept.A majority does not want retail on the 9.4-acre site. The results additionally indicate, not surprisingly, substantial support for Colorado Mountain College on the site.Failing that, preferences are parks/recreation then open space.Given the survey results and the inherent margin of error notwithstanding, how can the council, in good conscience, recommend a retail project for the site, let alone a project they know will not get community support?CMC has since decided that the location is not so prime nor is it large enough for its needs. Frisco has decided to pursue a highly speculative approach to acquiring a larger parcel for CMC. This approach involves land swaps/acquisitions for/of U.S. government lands, involves years to accomplish (if at all), may involve a developer (watch it!) and will involve additional undeterminable costs to the town and to CMC.This highly speculative approach obviously does not satisfy the council’s stated commitment to “make sure that CMC HAS a site prior to making a retail decision on the 9.4 acre parcel.”It’s high time Frisco’s Town Council acknowledges the 800-pound gorilla residing in the council’s chambers, namely; Frisco’s $45 Million Projects Binder. The council and the staff appear convinced that Frisco citizens/voters want and need projects, services and amenities totaling $45 million over the next 10-plus years, therefore the need for more retail and its promise of additional sales tax revenues. On Feb. 10 , Penny said, “We’re going to have to start having discussions with this community about the level of services we provide if there’s no additional revenue stream brought in.”The cart is before the horse. Discussions should have started, been conducted in detail and completed as a result of consensus before any action was taken. The council will find it increasingly difficult to garner community support for any of its undertakings without proper justification, including a comprehensive demonstration of need.All the above compels me to wonder if this wouldn’t be the opportune time to suspend all proceedings related to the 9.4-acre parcel, CMC and the $45 Million Projects Binder so as to make time to conduct those reviews, conversations and discussions so critical to our town’s future.


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