Retail development cannot be allowed
I would like to encourage every Frisco citizen to be present at the Frisco Town Council meeting tonight and express vigorous opposition to the location of a retail development on Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center, 120 Lusher Court, known as the 9.4-acre parcel. I realize that the town faces challenges in coming years to develop sources of revenue to maintain services, but in this instance, it is clear that the townspeople do not want this parcel of our town paved over for any style of retail.The town council must hear and heed this clear opposition. I believe the town council is under the impression that a variety of opportunities for public participation, including the Master Plan update, have allowed the townspeople to weigh in adequately on the disposition of this parcel, but this is not the case.Until a clear connection between any of the goals in the Master Plan and retail development on this parcel is presented, any mandate elected officials suspect they have is illusory.The real test of the townspeople’s wishes on this parcel can, at this point, only be gauged by referring the issue to the ballot. The town council is being lured and misled by the trap of sales tax. For 30 years, I have watched developers play the Summit County municipalities against each other, promising sustained sales tax revenues as a security worth the sacrifice of the appearance, aesthetics and character of each town.Silverthorne builds the outlet mall, Frisco builds Wal-Mart, Dillon steals City Market, Silverthorne tries to steal Wal-Mart, and then sells its soul to Target and makes a play for Safeway.Frisco goes for PETsMART. It’s a downward spiral where the only winners are the developers, who are making a killing. How long until the retail landscape changes again, and Frisco’s new big box store is reduced to a Family Dollar or Big Lots?Frisco’s town manager, in a memo to the town council recommending retail development on the parcel, states, “Colorado residents are not typically fond of incurring property tax costs when those revenues are used for general operating expenses.”If this is the case, a ballot initiative will prove him correct. He also states that “the fiscal reality for municipalities in Colorado is that sales tax is a necessary revenue source in providing government services for the citizens of the community.”Frisco’s townspeople do not want Frisco treated like every other “municipality in Colorado.” If the council’s goal is to render Frisco a second Silverthorne, or worse yet, another Lakewood, Arvada or Aurora, then they’re on the right track.If, however, the council’s goal is recognize Frisco for the natural wonder that it is, then retail development cannot be allowed on the 9.4-acre parcel.
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